Lightning McQueen 30 for 30 video

The time has come for Lightning McQueen to prove whether he still has some race left in him in Pixar Animation’s sequel, Cars 3. The next chapter in the racer’s story sees his career on the verge of ending as Jackson Storm and a whole crew of high-tech race cars enter the fray, leaving him as the resident old man on the track.

Now ESPN has chronicled Lightning McQueen’s career in a documentary short called 95: The Untold Story of Lightning McQueen, inspired by their acclaimed 30 for 30 series.

Watch the Lightning McQueen 30 for 30 video below. Read More »

cars 3

Cars 3 isn’t your typical children’s animated movie. Not that we expect the typical from Pixar, but the Cars franchise has been more geared (pun intended) towards younger audiences. At the core of the film is Owen Wilson‘s character Lightning McQueen, who is faced with the possible end of his career. The new generation of racers are faster and smarter, and while McQueen attempts to make a comeback, he must come to terms with, well, being old. These are some heavy topics for a G-rated animated movie.

Speaking with director Brian Fee and producer Kevin Reher, I learned that the idea came from conversations with racing star Jeff Gordon and a very emotional moment director Fee had with his daughters.
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cars 3 easter eggs

There are many things we love about Pixar movies. We love their emotional beats, their characters, the worlds they create, and the way they make us reevaluate our world and lives.

But I also love searching for those Easter eggs. When talking with director Brian Fee about the studio’s latest film, I was able to get him to reveal some of the more obscure Cars 3 easter eggs you should look out for.

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Cars 3

The Cars movies have been the redheaded stepchildren of the Pixar filmography for just over a decade. While the films are a merchandising cash cow, the 2006 original and 2011 sequel are among Pixar’s weakest creative efforts, the latter being their outright worst. A more positive spin on Cars 3 might suggest that the studio has something to prove, that they wanted this movie to exist for reasons aside from selling toys. The good news is that Cars 3 is mercifully a step up from Cars 2; the less surprising news is that it’s not quite as good as the original.

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Cars 3

There are some people who seem to think it’s ridiculous to think about the universe of Pixar’s animated franchise Cars beyond its surface-level existence of a world where automobiles can talk just like animals have in countless Disney movies before. But there’s just something about the logistics of the Cars universe that raises a myriad of questions, and that can be frustrating, especially when Pixar goes out of their way to not answer them unless it’s important to the story or characters.

For anyone who thinks those asking the tough questions about the Cars universe are thinking way too hard about this concept, it must be pointed out that even the actors and actresses who lend their voices to the sentient vehicles in this weekend’s Cars 3 have their own questions about the world of Cars.

Watch as the voice cast poses their own Pixar Cars universe questions after the jump. Read More »

The Most Underrated Moments in Pixar History

The 12 Most Underrated Pixar Moments

Whenever there’s a conversation about the work of Pixar, it tends to shift into emotional reactions their films produce. And when you’ve been having these conversations for as long as I have, you tend to notice that the same specific moments are always brought up. These would likely include the emotional rollercoaster that begins Up, the intense start to Finding Nemo, or the edge-of-your-seat climax of Toy Story 3. But with such a rich catalog of feature films (and shorts), there are many funny, lovely, and truly bizarre moments within the company’s history that seem to never get the spotlight they deserve.

So with the release of Cars 3 this week, it seems only right that a new list of moments needed to be created. Some of these are funny and others might make you cry, but as with anything related to the house that made Buzz and Woody, there’s a lot of mushy feelings involved. So sit back, grab onto your Luxo Jr. ball, and let’s take a look into some of the more underrated Pixar moments.

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paul newman cars 3

Before seeing Cars 3, I had heard that the filmmakers decided to bring Paul Newman‘s character Doc Hudson back as a tribute to the late great actor. What I didn’t anticipate is how much of the core of the story is built around Doc Hudson – it’s not just a brief mention or appearance. So when talking with Cars 3 director Brian Fee and producer Kevin Reher at the junket, I asked how much of the story was conceived around the idea of bringing Newman, who died in 2008, back to the screen.

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/Answers: The Best Movie Vehicles

best movie vehicles

Every week in /Answers, we attempt to answer a new pop culture-related question. This week’s edition, tying in with the release of Cars 3, asks “What is your favorite vehicle from the movies?” As always, we have submissions from the /Film writing crew and podcast team. This week, we are also joined by Cars 3 director Brian Fee and writers Kiel Murray, Scott Morse, Bob Peterson, and Mike Rich.

If you’d like to share your pick for your favorite movie vehicle, please send your thoughts to slashfilmpitches@gmail.com for a chance to be featured on the site. Find our choices below!

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Cars 3

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, and opinionated about something that makes us very happy…or fills us with indescribable rage. In this edition: why the world of Pixar’s Cars series, and the fan theories it inspires, are so frustrating.)

With a new Cars movie racing into theaters this week (Do you get it? “Racing”? Because Lightning McQueen is a race car; it’s funny because he races, just like the movie is racing into theaters), it’s time once again to revive that dormant question that has persisted for just over a decade. How exactly does the so-called “world of Cars” work? There are few answers within the movies themselves, so a few ideas have sprung up online. Have the cars adopted the personalities of their last human drivers? Did sentient cars take over the world, sending humans off on a massive intergalactic cruise ship for centuries? Did humans literally turn into cars? These theories have all gained a level of traction (Do you get it? Traction! I made another car-based pun!), while also remaining utterly ridiculous.

To be fair, I have previously written about my distaste for cinematic fan theories, few of which are more well-known than the Pixar Theory. But today, I come not to bury the Pixar Theory, or any of those other Cars-related theories; I come to empathize with them. I do genuinely think that each of the theories mentioned in the previous paragraph are utterly silly, and that a glut of such theorizing can do great harm to film discourse at large. But specific to the fan theories zooming around Cars (“Zooming”! I made another pun!), which will inevitably kick up again after Cars 3 opens this Friday, there’s a big question worth exploring: why do people feel the urge to crack the code of whatever’s going on in the Cars movies? While some other big mainstream films can inspire fan theories, such as Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, why is it that the Cars movies have led to all manner of conspiracy-style ideas?

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Cars Honest Trailer

With the release of Cars 3 just a few days away, it should come as no surprise that Honest Trailers has decided to take a look back at the frequently panned film that started it all.

Cars is easily the movie that is given the most grief since it doesn’t quite measure up to the quality that Pixar Animation has delivered over the years. However, Cars 2 is even worse, and it’s the latter movie that takes the brunt of the insults thrown around, as well it should.

Watch the Cars Honest Trailer after the jump. Read More »