Cars 3 took the series back to its roots and was a return to form. This time, we take on Lightning McQueen as an aging athlete and racing’s origins in the South. The film’s release on Blu-ray set is a nice bundle of everything we’ve come to expect from Pixar releases: lots of behind-the-scenes footage, director’s commentary, and lots of quirky worthwhile extras.
Bonus Features ✮✮✮1/2
One of the misses with the bonus features is that they are split across two discs. Despite the features being decent, it would have been preferable to have them contained on one disc for the fan or enthusiast who wants to watch all the bonus features in one go.
- Theatrical Short: “Lou” (6:43)– This is the short which played before Cars 3 in theatres and tells the story of a “toy-stealing bully ruins recess for a playground full of kids, only one thing stands in his way: the ‘Lost and Found’ box.” It’s sweet, fun, and filled with lots of Pixar heart.
- Miss Fritter’s Racing Skoool (2:48)– This all-new short is a “commercial” for Miss Fritter’s Racing School which is aimed at cars looking to get back in the groove of driving.
- Ready for the Race (5:41) – Hosted by Disney Channel’s Olivia Rodrigo and 19-year-old NASCAR Racer William Byron, this bonus feature explores the training facility at Hendrick Motorsports, which the Pixar team used as research for Cars 3. Byron talks about his experience being a racer and what it takes to compete on the highest level.
- Cruz Ramirez: The Yellow Car That Could (7:46) – Cruz Ramierez’s voice actress Cristela Alonzo and other Pixar animators share their behind-the-scenes experiences creating this new, exciting well-rounded female character. I thought this was one of the best featurettes because Cruz was created completed from scratch and we get to see all the various iterations of the character until they finally settled on her final form.
- Director’s Commentary – Director’s commentaries make my heart happy and this one featuringBrian Fee (Director), Kevin Reher (Producer), Andrea Warren (Co-Producer) and Jay Ward (Creative Director) is no different! After you watch the film, the first feature you should watch should be this.
- Behind-the-scenes videos: Here is a five-part bonus feature which shows the making of Cars 3.
- Generations: The Story of “Cars 3” (11:17) – Since this was the third installment of Lightning McQueen’s saga, it seemed the next natural story to tell was that of an aging athlete. Join members of the story team as they talk about the complete overhaul they had to do with Lightning’s story and the film’s unique ending.
- Let’s. Get. Crazy. (7:40) – Miss Fritter’s actress Lea DeLaria hosts this featurette, which goes through the research the Pixar team did to research demolition derbies for the Crazy 9 race. Hear vignettes from various members of the Pixar team are funny and interesting and you’ll definitely learn a thing or two about the crazy world of demolition derbies, while also learning about the animation process to translate it to the big screen.
- Cars To Die(cast) For (5:21)– John Lasseter is all about his toys, so it’s fun to see this bonus feature where we get to look at a variety of toys created for the film.
- Legendary (11:21) – One part documentary and one part real-life racing history, this bonus feature follows the Pixar research team as they go to the South to discover the world of racing. You get to learn about early racing legends like Wendell Scott and Louise Smith and the challenges they faced racing in the early 1900s.
- World’s Fastest Billboard (5:30) –
- A discussion of logos and make-believe brands in the film: fictionalized products that are placed throughout the film and how they all relate to the franchise’s car-centric world.
- Fly Throughs – This neat little featurette allows us to “fly through” various sets seen in Cars 3, including Thomasville (1:10), Florida International Speedway (0:37), and Rust-Eze Racing Center (0:56). This gives you a eye in the sky view of the sets and a way to see aspects of the sets that we may not have gotten to see in the final film.
- My First Car – In these three animated clips (“A Green Car on the Red Carpet with Kerry Washington,” “Old Blue,” and “Still in the Family.”), listen to members of the Cars 3 cast and crew share stories of their first car. It seems most Pixar releases always have little vignettes like these from the cast and crew that don’t necessarily relate to the movie, but relate to working at the studio or the theme of the movie, but they are always fun to watch.
- Deleted Scenes – Each deleted scene is set up with an introduction as to why it was removed from the film. Deleted scenes include “The Boogie Woogie,” “The Jars of Dirt,” “Lugnut,” “The Bolt,” and “More Than New Paint.”
- Trailers – A collection of promotional trailers for Cars 3. Not anything special, but nice to have them catalogued here.
- Promos – As with the trailers above, this is a collection of promotional videos that were created for Cars 3.
Overall, the Cars 3 Blu-ray is a solid effort from Pixar. Perhaps there could have been a few more behind the scenes videos, featuring interviews with more of the cast, but that’s really just nitpicking at this point. The Cars 3 Blu-ray has all the basics and necessities to rev your engine.