Disney’s Cars franchise is, like most of the properties under Pixar’s umbrella, a feel-good family affair. Goofy characters, fantastic animation, and a jovial mood permeate both Cars and Cars 2. Today,
Right from the start of the short, 49-second trailer it’s clear that there’s a more serious tone. On a familiar oval track, series poster boy Lighting McQueen leads a pack of racers, and though we’ve seen this kind of scene before — specifically in the original teaser trailer for the first Cars film — it all looks much more gritty and real.
A few jump cuts from different sections of the track are shown in rapid succession as the cars jostle for position, and then we see a closeup of McQueen just as his tires begin to fail. You hear the track announcer scream “McQueen is fading!” just as the screen fades, only to return with a slow motion shot of everyone’s favorite anthropomorphic stock car being shredded to pieces in a rather graphic crash.
The screen fades out once again, and this time an ominous message is offered: “From this moment, everything will change.”
Needless to say, this all seems quite a bit more mature than the Cars films of years past. Sure, Pixar movies have delved into serious topics in the past, but it’s usually a fleeting morsel of commentary in an otherwise upbeat package. If this trailer is any indication of what Cars 3 as a whole will be like, it’ll be an interesting pivot into new territory.