News, Pixar

First ‘Cars 3’ Teaser Trailer Takes an Unexpected Direction!

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Wow. Uh…I never really thought that this day would come. Could it be…that I’m actually excited for Cars 3?

Yep, the third film in a not-so-loved franchise from the typically top-mark Pixar Animation Studios  is now a movie that I’m…well, I won’t say “excited for,” but I will say that I now have a genuine interest in.

Why is that? Well, that’s because the studio has dropped its first teaser for the film today.

Before we get into the minutia of this teaser and what it means for the movie itself, I’ll give you guys a minute just to experience that teaser:

Quite different from what you guys were expecting, right?

Where we could have gotten a typical music-filled, colorfully buoyant teaser for a movie that not very many people are looking forward too, what we get instead is a dark, gritty, and overall somber look at what appears to be Lightning McQueen’s final moments as a racing champion. This is cleverly lamp-shaded by a line of dialogue from a race commentator: “McQueen is fading! Fading fast!” This is right before we see McQueen swerve out into a brutal car crash.

In a rarity for animated trailers, I was (and still am) genuinely conflicted about how I feel about this trailer in relation to the past two films in the Cars franchise. As it stands, only one arguably decent movie was made (Cars), while the rest were just garbage (Cars 2, Planes movies). So the existence of a Cars 3 only annoyed me a little. But that was only because it didn’t even have my curiosity. But now, I have to admit that it does have my attention (to some degree).

Mind you, Pixar wouldn’t be the first studio to drop a teaser that skewed older than teasers for other animated features. Think back to when How to Train Your Dragon 2‘s first teaser trailer dropped:

At the time, there was nothing else quite like it for teaser trailers to animated movies. Only difference here is that for How to Train Your Dragon 2, everyone lost their minds in complete agreement that it was the most awesome teaser for an animated movie ever, while Cars 3 is being met with wildly differing opinions across the board.

Like I said, the teaser trailer has my attention. But if it’s indicative at all of the general tone and direction of the film itself, than Cars 3 now has my full, undivided attention!

The film is being directed by Brian Fee from a screenplay by Robert L. Baird and Daniel Gerson (in what will be his final, credited screenplay). Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, and Cheech Marin will reprise their roles as Lightning McQueen, Mater, Sally Carrera, and Ramone.

Cars 3 races into theaters on June 16, 2017.

What do you think? What is your reaction to this surprisingly dark teaser for Cars 3?

Edited by: Hannah Wilkes

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About Brandon Smith

Brandon is your average nerd with a love for nerdy things (games, comics, anime/manga, etc.). He also loves reading and writing and plans to be an author someday. For now, he writes with passion and curiosity about the world of animation. He lives with his family in North Carolina and is currently attending college.

  • Phin68

    ?

    As I know many of you all are, this teaser caught me completely off guard. Seems like Pixar is trying to right the wrongs of Cars 2, while still delivering the bold storytelling the studio is so well-known for. Bravo.

    • Manuel Orozco

      I smell a Toy Story 3 like direction

      • brandon

        Toy Story 3 was darker that its previous films, but I don’t think it was THIS dark!

        Yeah, It’ll be interesting to see.

        • Manuel Orozco

          I think so. Maybe this will give the franchise a popularity boost

    • The biggest issue with Cars 2 is that nothing was gained from it. No one learned anything, and you can take it out, with the continuity still intact.

      • Manuel Orozco

        True nothing much changed since then. So I won’t be surprised if mentioning of the previous installment’s events are kept at a minimum.

  • I really appreciate that Cars 3 is looking more serious and taking things to the next level, but I just cannot get into Cars. Maybe this third one will be the one that’s the best but until we get more stuff I’m still a bit skeptic. But I did like the intensity of the couple last seconds of this teaser, did not see that coming for sure.

    • Ryan Prieto

      Agreed;) I have to say this was a perfect move on Pixar’s part, to really build enthusiasm. Can’t praise it enough. Despite what may happen in the future, they have me for now. Granted I watch and enjoy every Pixar film… so grain of salt and all that jazz.

      • Manuel Orozco

        I watch and enjoy every Pixar movie too. Well except I haven’t seen Finding Dory yet but I will over the holidays.

  • Manuel Orozco

    This teaser was surprisingly intense in a good way! It really shows the more emotional tone we are getting as Lightning struggles to face the future and look into Doc’s memory for guidance. It’s even hard to believe that ten years have now passed since the original Cars was released.

  • TripleStrykeLover

    Well, it looks like Pixar has their next Toy Story 3, it would be great to see Cars 3 very serious.

    • Manuel Orozco

      I’m feeling the same way

  • Nope, didn’t like either of the cars movies. Plus I’ve got bad memories associated with speeding cars so I just don’t want anything to do with it. I think it’s awful if this series influences more people to get into driving fast. Just my opinion though..

    • Dave 52

      Okay, how is Cars 3 of all things going to influence peoplw to drive faster than the ususal speed limit? The cars are on a race track therefore you are supposed to drive as fast as you can on a race track and not on an actual driving lane. I think some people are smart enough to tell the difference between driving on the street, racing on a speedway, and a movie about talking cars that surprisingly taking a darker turn.

      • Just my experience of seeing my dad start speeding on the roads after watching action movies. And hearing the street racers at night.

        • racy1285

          Pretty irresponsible blaming your dads issues on movies he watches. Billions of people watch Fast Furious movies I dont see them all driving like maniacs on the road. Its the same as blaming gun violence on movies. Even though people have been killing each other with guns long before movies were invented.

          • I’m not blaming, I know there’s lots of combined reasons my dad can’t control himself. I just stated an observation. I *have* seen people ‘driving like maniacs’ multiple times. I think it’s irresponsible to assume that just because things don’t influence most people, that can’t have a negative effect on *some* people. We’re a very complicated species. I may have a personal aversion to cars but I’m not gonna go protesting for a ban on movies with cars so relax. I was just voicing my point of view on why I’m personally not interested in seeing the Pixar movie. Go watch it all you want.

          • racy1285

            Lol i didnt say anything about caring about why you aren’t interested in watching Cars. I could care less if you watch the movie or not.

            Oh what a surprise so have I and Im willing to bet so has everyone commenting here who has ever drove a car. Its not some unforeseen event you just discovered, relax Ms.

            What your saying is irresponsible since you are giving people cheap excuses for the stupid and terrible things they do. There is no statistic what so ever that movies with racing cars causes “some” people to drive like maniacs not a singe one.

            Lol its not complicated at all. There are idiots in this world that think they can do whatever they want with a car. Just like they are idiots who think they can do whatever they want with guns. Its that simple.

          • Manuel Orozco

            I’m afraid to drive a car

          • Manuel Orozco

            I like the Fast & Furious movies

  • As someone who likes the Cars franchise (the Pixar made films mind you), yeah, this looks pretty intense… Pixar’s Unforgiven maybe?

  • I have been following the production of this film pretty closely, so none of this was really surprising like it was for many others. The crash is so graphic, and to see all of the little pieces has me stunned. Looking at the films of next year (which is not very impressive), Cars 3 definitely has a chance. People need to give it a chance.

    • Manuel Orozco

      They are other movies in looking forward to but I’m on your side.

    • Dave 52

      There are multiple animated films to look for in 2017. LEGO Batman, LEGO Ninjago, Smurfs: The Lost Villiage, Coco, just to name a few. Not that sure about the others but like any other film they do have the potential to be good.

      • Manuel Orozco

        If you haven’t seen the new Smurfs trailer this morning, I highly recommend you guys check it out.

      • I am personally neutral to the LEGO franchise, and I have heard mixed things on Smurfs. I am looking forward to Coco too, but there is not much information out there at this time.

        • Manuel Orozco

          The Smurfs Lost Village is the animated film I’m looking forward to the most in the new year

    • Jeremiah

      Honestly, except for The MLP movie, I’m by far away excited for it the most.

    • Manuel Orozco

      I plan on giving it a chance as well.

  • Dave 52

    That. Was. Dark. I was honestly not expecting that, not even from Pixar! Wow, if this is the direction the film itself is taking this could be pretty emotional.

  • They’ve got my attention, but it’s a little weird doing a dramatic story like this with anthropomorphic cars (although you could argue it’s no weirder than doing it with toys or fish). Still don’t know if I want to see it. Might go just because it doesn’t feel right skipping a Pixar movie.

    • Manuel Orozco

      Trust me, most of the time I do skip Pixar features in theatres. In the end, I mostly watch them when they are available on DVD Netflix. The last time I saw a Pixar film in theatres was Cars 2 five years ago.

  • aLeC m.

    Why is the teaser so embarrassingly short?

    • brandon

      Maybe it’s because it’s…a teaser and not a full trailer?

      • aLeC m.

        Okay, but even with a teaser, I need more than a clip( which has no context by the way!) of lighting mcqueen crashing. Seeing lighting mcqueen crash is surprising, but there should of had a bit more footage so that the clip actually some context!

        • brandon

          I’m afraid you are in a minority in terms of people who think that way. Much of today’s generation has been groomed to be super spoilier-adverse. Thus, most trailers and even some teasers get flack for showing too much and ‘giving away’ the whole movie.

          Again, I’ll use HTTYD 2 as an example. The first teaser trailer was met with unanimous praise, while subsequent trailers got blasted for revealing what they thought was a spoilier mom (the reveal of Valka as Hiccup’s mom).

          Some of it is justified, some of it is not. But that’s just how our society is nowadays.

          • aLeC m.

            No, This feels more like a brief clip than an actual teaser trailer. Showing me a very small amount of footage, with no context, is not enough to get sense what the film is going to be like. A clip of lighting mcqueen crashing could mean something totally different than in the actual movie. Taking what seems like 20 seconds of footage and extending it out to be full lenght teaser seems like a lazy way to get people talking about a franchise that pixar probably knows most people don’t like. That’s why I think this tralier is just okay, they should of at least should mcqueen in a hostipal or maybe added a couple of seconds of mcqueen dealing with the crash to have it feel like a real teaser. The teaser for HTTYD 2 had mutiple things happen and it still managed to keep the plot a secret. The Cars 3 teaser is literally just mcqueen crashing, that’s it. If I had to describe the Cars 3 teaser to a friend, the only description I could give him is: “mcqueen crashes”. But with the HTTYD 2 teaser, I could actually talk about a lenght about what happened in the teaser. Seeing mcqueen crash is cool, but should of added a little more than what is probably 20 seconds of footage made to look cool through some basic trailer editing techniques.

          • brandon

            Well, like I said, you are in a minority. Teasers hardly (if ever) give you anything in the way of actual footage. In philosophy, they are solely for the purpose of giving audiences a feel for the movie. That’s what the teaser for Cars 3 did. You don’t need footage in order to know that this film will be a major tonal and thematic departure from previous films.

            But don’t worry, I’m sure a full bells-and-whistles trailer will grace the internet in a few months.

          • aLeC m.

            You think that I want the whole film revealed to me, but I don’t! In fact, I tend to avoid trailers that come out before the teaser releases. But this teaser is nothing more than a clip. It’s not a teaser, it is literally just a clip! In teaser, even if it’s short, it builds to something, there’s some sort progession of action that happens in almost every teaser. This is literally just Lighting mcqueen crashing!

          • brandon

            Right, you an I have very different views of what a teaser is supposed to be. That’s fine, but my advise: just wait for a full trailer.

          • Manuel Orozco

            And I’ll be waiting

          • Manuel Orozco

            I actually didn’t mind that Valka being revealed early to be Hiccup’s mother. The teaser for HTTYD 2 did it’s task for me of getting excited for what was to come.

  • As someone who does not really care for Cars, (Though I am one of those weirdos who happened to actually enjoy Cars 2) I am now actually intrigued. I was not looking forward to this at all, and thought they should end the series on (in my opinion) a high note. While I still think that this probably did not need to be made, this teaser has me cautiously optimistic. I’d love for Pixar to prove me and the other naysayers wrong!

  • Jessica

    I absolutely adore the first Cars movie. I love the little town of Radiator Springs, I love all of the characters who live there, and I love Lightning McQueen and the racing aspect. Cars 2 had good things in it, but the story wasn’t quite there. However, I am super pumped for this film, and I love the direction they’re going in! Looks like Lightning is about to have an experience similar to the crash Doc Hudson had when he was a racer. It’s even more poignant that this is happening to McQueen now that Doc has passed on and won’t be there to help him through it.

    • Manuel Orozco

      I have to agree it’s more emotional Lightning won’t be getting help from Doc ten years after he made Hudson Hornet a household name again off the track. May Paul Newman rest peacefully

  • Renard N. Bansale

    Cars is one of my comfort Pixar films. Cars 2 is an enjoyable spy adventure that I constantly have to defend from haters.

    But this….damn, this is one serious teaser.

  • Jeremiah

    Cars 3… Bring it! Prove em wrong, Pixar! This looks awesome!

  • Ryan Prieto

    I would really like to know where this is going. I love to speculate on these types of things. I could see the story being about a battered McQueen, as the come back kid after a horrible wreck. Or a story revolving around the concept of what happens when you are no longer able to do what you are known for, where he will end up being a enriched character/teacher at the end.

    • Manuel Orozco

      My most likely guess will be that Lightning will retire in the end and settle down back in Radiator Springs.

    • racy1285

      I cant help but be reminded of that Tom Cruise Nascar film “Days of Thunder” watching this trailer. Maybe that film will take the same route that film took when it comes to racing.

  • Well now. That was certainly a shock. Is this to make up for the disaster that was Cars 2?

    • Manuel Orozco

      My most likely guess will be yes

    • racy1285

      I didnt think Cars 2 was that bad. It showed me that John Lasseter really needs and wants to direct a James Bond film one of these days, and Mater should stick to being a supporting player. Other than that it was ok.

      • Manuel Orozco

        I deeply appreciate Mr. Lasseter’s passion

  • Harith Sami

    Pixar has totally killed it with this trailer………literally.

  • I’m not really sure how to react. Overall I’m optimistic about the movie (as I was before), but man… pixar sure dropped a mic with this.

  • Yeah definitely not what I was expecting…

  • Greg Wilde

    I don’t get all the hate for Cars. The Planes movies aside, I found both Cars 1 and 2 to be enjoyable escapist fluff. Not groundbreaking but not meant to be. What’s not to like? Lighten up, not everything can be or should be Kubo, and when we stop deifying Pixar we can enjoy their simpler films like these.

    • I personally liked Cars 1 more than everyone else. It’s escapist and had a familiar, but good story. However, Cars 2 did suck. Mater was not a good main character and the story was sloppy and all over the place. Sure, if it were made by another studio then it would be ok, but this was a Pixar movie. They have high standards.

    • Manuel Orozco

      I didn’t see Planes Fire & Rescue. Other than that, I agree the Cars franchise doesn’t have to live up to Toy Story or the other great Pixar movies to standout in the crowd. I didn’t see Kubo and the Two Strings either but I do plan to rent it.