Disney-Pixar has released a new Cars 3 trailer. The upcoming sequel features Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) finding a way to get back on the track after losing to hotshot new racer, Jackson Storm (voiced by Armie Hammer).
Unlike the previous trailer, which was more about a heartwarming comeback, this new trailer is all over the place. It leans heavily into highlighting new rival Jackson Storm, but it also wants to have jokes about getting stuck in the sand and the paparazzi. On the one hand, Cars 3 looks like it has a very simple story—Lightning gets beat, works hard to get better, beats Jackson Storm in the end.
And yet I’m still at a loss on who this movie is for. Adam and I talked about this on our Summer Movie Preview episode of The Collider Podcast, and I remain perplexed about the audience for this movie. The original Cars was a smash hit, and found a special place in the hearts of 10-year-olds everywhere (the movie moved a ton of merchandise). And the sequel, for all of its faults, makes sense in terms of your audience is slightly older, so give them a spy movie but don’t ditch Mater being a goofball.
But now we’re over a decade since the first Cars movie, and that audience is old enough to drink. Meanwhile, you’re making a movie about the importance of legacy and not retiring because a younger generation is up and coming. Is that for kids? Is that for the original fans? Is it for a 60-year-old who wandered into the wrong theater?
Check out the new Cars 3 trailer below and see if you can make sense of it. The film opens June 16th and also features the voices of Cristela Alonzo as the friendly trainer Cruz Ramirez, with Bonnie Hunt, Tony Shalhoub, Paul Dooley, Cheech Marin, Katherine Helmond, Larry the Cable Guy, Angel Oquendo, and Darrell Waltrip.
Here’s the official synopsis for Cars 3:
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, 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.