For some Pixar fans, the Cars series represents a fork in the road; the moment when Pixar ended its “run of greatness” and “lost its way” after a decade-long string of critical and commercial hits. Writers hold up this franchise as evidence of a corruption in the beloved animation studio’s “soul”; many believe it’s responsible for Pixar’s “first bad movie.”
Who knew automated vehicles were also subject to the scrutiny that comes with aging? They may not have to worry about wrinkles, greying hair, or sagging skin, but when cars reach a certain age, it’s straight to the junkyard. (This incites a whole other philosophical discussion around the Cars characters and whether or not they are sentient beings – is their consciousness the engine or the frame, the ghost or the shell?) In Cars 3, racing champ Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is forced to retirement as a brand new racer enters the game.
As the previous teasers already implied, Cars 3 is going to be a little…darker than previous Cars movies. In Pixar’s third installment of the hit franchise, Owen Wilson’s legendary race car Lightning McQueen is forced into retirement following a traumatic crash, and with all the shiny, young new cars — like Jackson Storm — dominating the track, Lightning has a tough road ahead if he wants to remain relevant. That’s a pretty heavy-sounding plot, but as the full trailer for Cars 3 proves, it’s not all doom and gloom in Cars World.
Pixar’s 2016 was something of a mixed bag, having landed a true-blue blockbuster with Finding Dory but then missing out on the coveted Oscar nomination. They’ll get back in the saddle in 2017 with Coco, a vibrant fantasy about the power of music, family, and remembrance of those lost to us. In the film, a lonely young boy finds a link to the past through an enchanted stringed instrument and sets off on an incredible journey with an animal companion, encountering all manner of dreamlike wonders (along with a monster or two) on the way. It bears mentioning at this point that this film is, in fact, not Kubo and the Two Strings.
The development and production process for most animated films is often long, leaving us waiting for years between the initial announcement and the finished product. Pixar’s next original film (and the only one on their schedule that isn’t a sequel) is no exception. We first learned about Coco back in 2012, and now, four years later, with a fall 2017 release on the horizon, Pixar’s new film is officially on a roll — Gael Garcia Bernal and Benjamin Bratt have joined the voice cast, and the studio has revealed some intriguing plot details, along with a new piece of concept art.
Way back in 2012 (or at least it feels way back), Netflix and Disney struck a deal for all of Disney’s movies — including Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm — to stream exclusively on Netflix Instant. According to the terms of their agreement, the deal wouldn’t kick in until 2016, which just so happens to be the year in which we are currently living. As announced today, Netflix will officially begin streaming Disney films in September, but that doesn’t mean the studio’s entire library will magically appear in your Instant browser.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Finding Nemo didn’t really need a sequel. It was a completely charming, yet contained adventure, wrapped up pretty neatly. But, it was a very, very successful Pixar movie and, these days, that means sequel. Of the first seven Pixar movies, only Finding Nemo and A Bug’s Life (which has seemed to be almost ret-conned out of existence in the Pixar universe) hadn’t yet had sequels, but that’s about to change next summer as Finding Dory opens in theaters.