I'm so sorry to have been absent lately. I was trying to wrap up some screenwriting projects for a contest, and it was just hard to do both at once.
BUT, I'm gonna review Cars 3 today, hopefully get us on track with the goings on at the parks, and get you all prepped for the D23 Expo!
So, how is everyone doing? Good? Great....
Now, I'm going to try to be spoiler free as usual (if you prefer I provide spoilers, let me know in the comments section below).
Now, let's be honest, Cars isn't Pixar's most...beloved franchise. And I kind of get it. Talking cars. But, like Pixar, there is never any detail left untouched, and THAT'S what makes the difference.
And then Cars 2 happened. And I'd like to say I understand what Pixar was trying to do, but I can't fully justify it. I love Mater, don't get me wrong, but he can't carry a movie. Especially when you spend half the movie insulting him and the other half attempting to justify the insults.
Although, "Is the Popemobile Catholic?" will never NOT be funny....
Cars 3 was obviously intended to redeem the franchise, and I feel like it did that in spades. For one thing, the story isn't about Mater, it's about Lightning McQueen. Plain and simple, and getting back to that is important.
And Cars isn't a story ABOUT cars as much as it's about sports. The athlete just happens to be a car. Which is why it's so smart Cars 3 is essentially Rocky IV with cars. Not to mention, one of McQueen's friendly competitors is Carl Weathers, in reference to the actor who portrayed Apollo Creed. See? That Pixar, always thinkin'!
And to the point of friendly competitors, from the get go, what I loved about this movie was a sense of McQueen's own growth. Yeah, he's still speed, he still psyches himself up the same way before a race, but now his personal space is full of pictures of his friends from Radiator Springs, and even when he doesn't win, he's got friends ON the track to play pranks on (and get a few pranks in return). What kind of bothered me in Cars 2 was McQueen seemed to backslide a little bit...and that's not really his fault, I think the problem was you need conflict and to make Mater more sympathetic emotionally, McQueen's kind of got to be the bad guy. But here, he's learned it is more fun to race with friends. And that's such an emotional pull as his friends all start retiring because of new cars like Jackson Storm.
By the way, Jackson Storm is just....to put it nicely, he does his job well. I hate him. And I hope they don't bring HIM into the parks for a meet & greet, because I'll be tempted to kick him...right in the fender. You do NOT be mean to McQueen! You just don't!
Alright, sorry, got a little emotional.
According to Rottentomatoes.com, Cars 3 is considered 66% fresh, barely passing muster, and I feel like this is a mistake. Besides giving Lightning McQueen a nice deep story, the cinematography for the Cars movies has consistently been mind-blowing. There are plenty of shots in this film, with the cars facing away from the camera, you'd think it was a live action film.
One thing I want to make sure I mention is the demolition derby. Another strength of the series is its ability to pull from so many varied aspects of car culture. Radiator Springs, NASCAR racing, etc. Cars 3 was no exception.
Another strength of the series has been its diversity. It's such an odd place to find a nicely diverse cast, with Kerry Washington and comedian Cristela Alonzo in addition to Cheech Marin (crazy, huh??) and Jennifer Lewis already staples of the series, Cars seems to do a bit of a better job than a lot of popular franchises of transcending race and gender (there are plenty of tough, varied, complex female characters throughout the series) while not letting any of those current hot button issues take over the story.
So, that's about it. Go see and enjoy. Great job, boys and girls at Pixar!
Cruz Ramirez IS already showing up in Carsland. The Welcome Sign at the front of the land has been altered to welcome her. I haven't had a chance to get into the parks to see her. I'll be in the parks this week to get a look at the re-opened passageway between Frontierland and Fantasyland (thank GOD! My feet have been killing me!), so maybe I'll take a look and see if I can meet her....
Oh! Before I forget...as usual, Pixar paired with Cars 3 a LOVELY little short called "Lou". If this isn't their next Academy Award winner for best animated short, I'd truly be surprised. Especially since Disney decided to pair a Frozen related short to Coco in November.
I don't want to give much away, because it's hard to describe without doing so, but Pixar has a great talent for taking a "villain" and giving the villain an emotional journey.
So, we're going to be experiencing a few changes. In the next couple of weeks leading up to the Expo, we'll be switching over to our own Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds, so keep an eye out for that.
And speaking of the Expo, I WILL be there covering it as best I can on my short little legs, and I'll have buttons if you happen to find me. Another little project leading up to the Expo, I'm going to preview some designs and I'd like everyone's input.
Have a great week!