Cars 3

‘Cars 3’ Trailer Shows That Pixar Is Stepping Up Its Game, Introducing First-Class Rival For Lightning McQueen

Cars 3 is escalating the popular franchise to a brand new level of excitement and intensity.

It is apparently clear that Pixar pulled all of the stops for the newest installment of the popular franchise – going far above and beyond where they have gone with the previous two films.

Disney Pixar released an extended look at Cars 3 on January 9. The clip, titled “Lightning Strikes,” shows an epic racetrack battle between Lightning McQueen and the character who is apparently going to be an epic rival for the favored hero. Within the first few seconds of the extended clip, it becomes crystal clear that this particular film is going to be based on a lot more than cheesy jokes and the budding friendship of Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater.

According to the synopsis outlined on IMDB, the intensity of the film’s story is more than likely centered around Lightnight’s journey towards proving he still has the skills to drop jaws and win races – even with a much younger and faster breeder of racecars rising to the occasion.

“Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation of racers that he’s still the best race car in the world.”

Even John Lasseter, the Chief Creative Officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, admitted that there is a “gritty quality” to Lightning McQueen and Cars 3 that apparently was not there before. According to Autoweek, Lasseter opened up about the heart of the story steering the wheel of Cars 3 – a story that transcends your basic animated film into the world of other epic sports films that have made their mark in the minds and hearts of moviegoers for years.

“It’s a story about an athlete who was so fantastic when he was young, he could do anything and winning came easy. Now, he’s becoming more of a veteran in the sport and there’s all these young rookies like he was coming in and they’re much faster than him.”

Lasseter expanded on the “gritty quality” of Cars 3 by highlighting the opening shot of the extended look – the beloved, heroic racecar Lightning McQueen flipping upside down after an epic crash. A shot of that climactic racecar flip was also captured as a promotional poster for the film – sparking numerous conversations among fans and critics on social media.

That “younger generation” of first-class racers seems to be led by Lightning McQueen’s #1 rival and one of the newest characters added to the Cars family: Jackson Storm. Storm is a high-tech, superfast race car that fits the criteria of many of the other self-centered, hot rod drivers in other popular racing movies that know they can outdo, outrun and outlast the championship veterans of the sport.

Voiced by Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.), Jackson Storm seems to be the perfect competitor to offer Lightning Queen (voiced again by actor Owen Wilson) a humbling yet enlightening challenge on the racetrack.

Longtime fans of the Cars franchise will be happy to know that quite a few of the original voice cast came back for the third installment – including Larry the Cable Guy as “Mater.” However, it is still crystal clear that Disney and Pixar were determined to add a little bit of the old with a whole lot of new in the potential blockbuster hit. Cars 3 is set to race into theaters on June 16, 2017.

[Featured Image by AP Photo/Carlos Osorio]