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Lightning McQueen faces obsolescence in the latest 'Cars 3' trailer

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The wildly popular Pixar franchise “Cars” is getting closer to its third installment’s June 6, 2017, release. As we saw with the ominous teaser trailer, “Cars 3” appears to be much darker than the previous two films.

The trailer above expands on Lightning McQueen’s descent into obscurity and obsolescence and, again, shows the harrowing wreck that is an essential plot point of the upcoming movie.

We also see the next-generation race car Jackson Storm training in a high-tech facility, a la Ivan Drago. The trailer also shows a seemingly recovering Lightning McQueen training on an isolated beach, like Rocky Balboa


Pixar's John Lasseter, winner of the 2017 Autoweek Car Culture award

John Lasseter: 2017 Autoweek Car Culture Award

Led by chief creative officer John Lasseter, Pixar Animation Studios has won 13 Academy Awards, nine Golden Globes and 11 Grammys. Those were nice enough, sure, but now, certainly the best of all, …

We know Lightning McQueen will eventually transcend his role as a champion racer and follow the path of the vintage Hudson Hornet race car from the original “Cars,” Doc Hudson — a character who shows up in the trailer. “Cars 4” might have an aging Lightning McQueen training an up-and-coming race car, which would be “Creed” in the “Rocky” universe.

It looks like the “Cars” franchise is angling to make up for the less successful “Cars 2.” With the heavy-handed nods to the “Rocky” series, this movie could be a fun experience for kids and adults alike –- unless it ends up being dark enough to require your kids, nieces or nephews to endure years of therapy to accept McQueen’s fate. We doubt it will, but we’ll let you know after we give it a look this summer.


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