Cars 3 is a combination of perfect visuals and stirring story, stamping its own legend and franchise with a gold seal as Lighting drives off into the sunset. I'm a fan of the series and I have a young boy, so I'm partial to the characters and my son has more than a few of them in Matchbox form. It's a wonderful world of humor and heart, of astonishing anthropomorphization that approaches real genius. Lighting, Doc, Mater; these cars will live on forever, and I'm aware how dramatic that sounds, but I believe it to be true; this is a trilogy that will stand up over time and that will keep a place of honor in the Disney/Pixar film vault. What's more, this third installment is the best yet by far, and has a real shot at taking home Best Animated Feature at this year's Academy Awards.
Our favorite, cocky racer, Lighting McQueen, is still going strong on the Piston Cup Circuit. He's a veteran by now, but still loves the thrill and the speed of the track more than anything, and can't imagine a day when he might step away. Well, the decision may not be his to make, because a new crop of rookie racers are hitting the blacktop, and they have skills that Lighting has never seen before. In comparison, he seems slow and sluggish, an old car who doesn't know that his best days are behind him. But Lighting doesn't know the word 'quit', and a new owner creates a facility to help the champ get back up to top speed. His trainer, Cruz, knows how to motivate competitors, but she may also need some motivation of her own, as she and Lighting travel the South looking for the magic that he may have lost, that he hopes to harness one last time.