Published On: Wed, Jun 14th, 2017

‘Cars 3’ Review: ‘Wonder Woman’ on four wheels

I am a total “Disney-phile”.  I’ve always loved the Mouse and his entire world.  But when I heard there was a third Cars movie hitting theaters, I have to admit that I wasn’t very excited….like not at all.  

As the lights dimmed in the theater, I was hoping I could stay awake or at least not embarrass myself by snoring too loudly.  But less than 2 hours later, I came out of the theater totally pumped and reminding myself to observe the speed limit on my drive home!  

What a complete and fabulous surprise!

The story centers around Lightning McQueen, again voiced by Owen Wilson, realizing that he is becoming outdated as newer, younger, more tech-driven cars join the racing circuit.  Try as he might, he just can’t drive as fast as they can with all the advanced technology used in their sleek aerodynamic designs.  

So, through a series of events, McQueen finds himself invited to a state-of-the-art training facility to give his career one last shot or have to accept retirement as his only option.  

Up to this point, the film is actually very sad with our beloved #95 trying to show the world that he’s still a racer with more to offer.  

But then, Cruz Ramirez (voiced by Cristela Alonzo)  enters as the high-energy, annoyingly-inspirational trainer and McQueen has someone onto whom he can focus his frustration.  Poor Cruz becomes his “sparring partner” when they go back a few generations and find his mentor’s (Doc Hudson – The Fabulous Hornet) trainer, Smokey.  

As McQueen learns that there’s more to life than racing (such as mentoring), he learns other techniques that help him race smarter instead of harder.  What he can’t do with his speed, he can do with other skills.  Throughout this unconventional training with Smokey, the little hot rod begins to see that his life is not over but different.

Sprinkled into this theme of accepting change, Disney included a very popular theme in many films this summer…”Girl Power”.  Move over Danica Patrick!  

There are a number of female racers in this production including demolition derby ladies.  By now, you have probably guessed that McQueen hands over the racing gloves to Cruz who pulls a miracle win out of her hat with moves no one had ever seen….at least not since the days of The Fabulous Hornet himself.

So, why was I so pumped as I left the theater?  Disney has a way of reaching into you and pulling on those inspirational heart strings.  The entire audience cheered and clapped twice before the movie ended!  That’s when I knew I wasn’t the only one feeling that surge of girl power.  

Cruz Ramirez was like watching Wonder Woman on four wheels!  

How could I not like it?

Add to this engaging story line some incredible 3D animation with scenery that looked so realistic that I kept sliding my 3D specs off my face to see the difference.  There are so many scenes that look like fine art!  And while I’m not a big fan of 3D (the effect is normally lost on me soon into a movie), this is absolutely worth experiencing in 3D.  

Take the kids (be prepared for a couple of pretty bad crash scenes for some of the characters) and be watch them jumping up and down in front of their seats as the excitement hits.  Cars 3 is a beautifully done family film that audiences of all ages will enjoy….even us Disney fanatics thought we’d prefer another princess movie.  Little did I know that a racing princess was just waiting to meet me.

Cars 3 – 4 out of 5 stars  (Wonder Women on 4 Wheels)

Review by Debbie Sage

The voice cast also includes Chris Cooper, Nathan Fillion, Dan Whitney, Armie Hammer, Ray Magliozzi, Tony Shalhoub, Bonnie Hunt, Lea DeLaria, Kerry Washington, Bob Costas, Margo Martindale, Darrell Waltrip, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Bob Peterson, Guido Quaroni, the late Tom Magliozzi, John Ratzenberger, Kyle Petty, Lewis Hamilton, Lloyd Sherr, Robert Glenn “Junior” Johnson, Ray Everhnam, Cheech Marin, Howard Augustine “Humpy” Wheeler Jr., Katherine Helmond, Paul Dooley, Jenifer Lewis, Shannon Spake, Maddy McGraw, Michael Wallis, Mike Joy,Jeff Gordon, Daniel Suárez, Ryan Blaney, Bubba Wallace, Chase Elliott, Richard Petty, Andra Day.

Director:                                   Brian Fee

Producer:                                 Kevin Reher

Co-Producer                             Andrea Warren

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