The first full-length trailer for Disney/Pixar's Cars 3 has landed, and while the first thirty seconds or so are just a rehash of the teaser footage released ahead of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the full thing provides a lot more insight into the film's high concept.
That concept, as had been hinted at in the teaser, is that Lightning McQueen has to recover, return to racing, and battle for his championship, after a debilitating crash.
The trailer didn't give a ton of information away about the film -- at least at first glance -- but a deeper dive into the trailer can actually tell us quite a bit.
...Or, you know, just a medium-sized dive from somebody who knows way, way too much about the world of Cars.
Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician with her own plan to win, inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet, and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn't through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing's biggest stage!
Cars 3 is set to debut in theaters on June 16, 2017.
MORE CARS: Cars 3 Sneak Peek Coming This Sunday / Cars 3 Unveils Character Teaser Trailer / Cars 3 Trailer Sneak Peek Released / New Cars 3 Trailer Coming Soon / New Cars 3 Poster Shows Lightning McQueen's Horrific Crash / Someone Already Gave Cars 3 Teaser Trailer The Logan Treatment
TOW MATER? NO MATER.
So far, Disney/Pixar has released a teaser trailer, a smattering of official images, and a full-length trailer for Cars 3. They've also screened a brief clip of the film at a press event over the weekend.
Total lines of dialogue by Larry the Cable Guy's Tow Mater, Lightning's best friend and the lead character in Cars 2? Zero.
In fact, unless you happened to be at that Disney event, you haven't seen Mater at all yet...and even then, you'd have had to be paying pretty close attention to see him.
In that footage, which briefly leaked online but has since been taken down, there's a rection shot of Sally, who looks dismayed during Lightning's big crash. You can see Mater's door on the left side of the screen (Sally's right). You can't see the rest of him, and he doesn't say anything (not that there was any audio at that moment anyway).
That's a huge reduction in his role, and while it's unlikely he's totally or even mostly absent from the film, the fact that Disney/Pixar have decided to focus on Lightning rather than Mater likely tells you a little bit about the approach to the film. Mater is to the Cars franchise what the Minions are to Despicable Me. At some point, the whole thing just started centering around him, with Lightning McQueen relegated to a side character. That's true not only of Cars 2 but also of the Cars-branded animated shorts released by Disney under the banner Mater's Tall Tales.
Putting Lightning McQueen clearly back in the driver's seat (so to speak) for this movie actually tells us quite a bit.prevnext
We touched on this at some length already, so head on over and read the full rundown if you're interested.
The bottom line is that we get a look at Lightning from early in the movie -- where seems to be plus/minus a decal or two sporting the same look from the first two movies -- and then again from later in the film, where he gets what looks like a pretty significant change in his paint job.prevnext
It stands to reason that since in the original movie, Lightning was a rookie and now he's a veteran on the verge of being forced out of racing, that most of the other racers in the movie will not be the same.
After all, anybody older than Lightning would have retired, and since we're essentially led to believe by these trailers that he has remained at the top of the sport until recently, it's likely some people his own age have passed in and out during the course of his long career.
One example here is Misti Motokrass, who raced on the Rev-N-Go team in Cars. This could theoretically still be her, with a new paint job (it's clearly darker than in the first movie, although certain shots in Cars also made her look a bit darker as well), but since she's essentially a background character who has a name because of the toy line, it seems more likely we'll get a new Rev-N-Go car when it's time for Cars 3 toys.
Anybody concerned about representation of female racers, worry not: there's a pink car with a heart on the back that looks like a breast cancer awareness logo, so it's likely Misti has been replaced by that character (which obviously could be male, but probably isn't).
The #117 car who races for Li'l Torquey Pistons, is the one next to the Rev-N-Go car in the original shot, and that car also looks markedly different than Ralph Carlow, who drove for LTP in Cars.
Murray Clutchburn (Sputter Stop) and Darren Leadfoot (Shiny Wax) may actually still be around, as those cars look basically the same, although the No Stall car is radically different, and there are new cars as well, including #31 (no idea on a sponsor), the aforementioned "breast cancer" car, and another pink ribbon car, this one bearing an "Intersection" sponsor logo.prevnext
IT'S A SPORTS MOVIE
There were pretty much instantly responses to this trailer that compared it to Rocky III, in which the Italian Stallion lost to a cruel young challenge in the first act and then had to train to fight smarter so he could come back and defeat Clubber Lang by the end of the movie.
There's shades of Rocky IV in there, too, with the high-tech training regimen of Jackson Storm being offset by Lightning McQueen's trip to what looks like a demolition derby with a mud floor.
A big takeaway, frankly, is that this movie feels like a sports movie, rather than a character study (Cars) or a spy comedy (Cars 2).
Whereas previous Cars movies gave lipservice to their auto racing roots, the important parts of the plot were something else entirely. Lightning didn't even try to win the race at the end of Cars, having learned that it's more important to help a friend (he headed back in the final lap to nudge a respected veteran across the finish line, allowing the bad guy to win). In Cars 2, the final race was interrupted by hijinks, and ultimately re-run in Radiator Springs, but the audience never saw how it ended because the starting flag came just moments before the movie's end.
Whether or not Lightning McQueen wins the final race in this movie, this feels like the first time that the result of the race will actually be thematically significant.prevnext
There's a voice talking to Lightning, and it's not clear who it is...
Before Cruz Ramirez comes in and starts detailing her strategy to whip him back into shape after his accident, Lightning hears an older, male voice telling him that he'll never be the same as he was before the accident.0comments
It isn't clear who that is, although it sounds a bit like it might be somebody tryign to approximate Paul Newman's Doc Hudson, Lightning's mentor from Cars. Newman's passing shortly after that film's release meant that Doc's death was hinted at (although never referenced outright) in Cars 2 and he hasn't appeared in other related media since the first movie.
It seems unlikely the studio would reverse course on that, which begs the question: who's talking to Lightning?prev