The latest 30-second TV spot for Pixar’s Cars 3 seems to continue the serious tone that has been noticeable since the very first teaser. After the smash-hit of Finding Dory from last year, 2017 sees the studio attempt to dominate the box office with two offerings. Coco will be released in November, but the latest entry in the Cars franchise is reaching cinemas on June 16.
Cars 3 is the directing debut for the Pixar storyboard artist Brian Fee, who also worked on the previous two Cars films. But fans expecting another light and frothy caper, similar to the spy spoof of Cars 2, were surprised when the first teaser appeared and seemed so dark and serious in tone. A photorealistic crash depicted a badly broken Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson again) tumbling through the air, and a statement that “from this moment, everything will change.”
Subsequent trailers emphasised the return of the more comic characters like Mater the tow truck (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy), and a rivalry with new champion Jackson Storm (voiced by Armie Hammer). However, Pixar’s own Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter, had already stated that it would be a very emotional story and a return to the redemption theme of the first film, rather than the straight forward romp of the second.
The official synopsis of Cars 3 runs:
Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) 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, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo) with her own plan to win, plus 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!
The latest TV spot just released by Disney/Pixar is called “Thomasville,” which refers to The Thomasville Speedway and is the abandoned Piston Cup race track where Cruz Ramirez helps train McQueen during his recovery after his accident. The footage also shows Sterling (played by Nathan Fillion) Lightning’s manager who tries to get him to recognise the fact that his “racing days are coming to an end” and that he should think about a legacy rather than winning more races. There are also glimpses of another Piston Cup race, and Thomasville in all its Speedway glory. Presumably this will be one of the last pieces of footage before Cars 3 is released, and the TV spot succeeds in whetting the appetite for what could be McQueen’s last appearance.