CARS 3 (2017) SCORE: C

RATED: G LENGTH: 109 minutes


From the animated studios that brought us TOY STORY, FINDING NEMO, WALL-E and CARS — I had high expectations for CARS 3. After all, a decade of enhanced animation technology had passed. And indeed, what you see up on the screen is astonishing. Unfortunately, the magic ends there. I do not blame first time feature filmmaker Brian Fee. And I don’t blame the voices of Owen Wilson, Armie Hammer or Cristela Alonzo. But I do hold Kiel Murray, Bob Peterson and Mike Rich accountable for a final script that should have been limited to 90 minutes.

CARS 3 is just too long — for children and especially for adults. I can’t remember the last time that I was fighting to keep my eyes open when watching an animated feature. But I nearly fell asleep about two-thirds into CARS 3. If only the entire film had the excitement and pacing of the last fifteen minutes or so. Bottom line: all of us face the reality that we are growing older. Even Lightning McQueen faces a midlife crises and struggles to decide whether or not he should retire. TOY STORY, FINDING NEMO and WALL-E all at one time have included grown-up themes. I suspect that despite this creative hiccup, there will be another film. The CARS franchise has generated billions of dollars in retail sales. Like many of you, my absolute favorite ride at the California Adventure theme park at Disneyland is Radiator Springs Races. We can only hope that CARS 4 will be better.



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