Looking for the perfect family film for the Fourth of July week? Well, look no further. Cars 3 provides audiences of all ages a heartfelt story about moving forward and never giving up on your dreams.

Lightning McQueen is back and ready to take on yet another year of racing. Unfortunately for McQueen, the world of racing is changing as newly advanced racers, including up-and-coming star Jackson Storm, are stepping into the race track and giving the “old-timer” a run for his money.

Four months later after recovering from a tragic roll-over crash, McQueen is given another chance and sets out to prove, to a new generation of racers that he’s still the best race car in the world.

As the movie progresses, we see McQueen pass down Doc’s teachings to Cruz and later learn of her past as Cruz was once determined to become a racer but sadly felt she was never good enough and settled for a career in coaching instead.

As he sets his eyes on making a comeback, McQueen sets out not only to be the best but also an inspiration to others.

The film starts out on a tragic note with McQueen crashing and attempting to re-enter the racing world but slowly begins to transition into the lighthearted Pixar tone many fans are familiar with.

One aspect that made this film so touching were the throwbacks to the first film (Cars) as it paid homage to the late Paul Newman, who voiced McQueen’s mentor Doc Hudson, aka The Fabulous Hudson Hornet.

Although McQueen’s motives, in the beginning, were set on defeating Storm and regaining his title, it was Doc’s coaching and passion for racing that reminded him what it truly means to be a great racer.

As the movie progresses, we see McQueen pass down Doc’s teachings to Cruz and later learn of her past as Cruz was once determined to become a racer but sadly felt she was never good enough and settled for a career in coaching instead.

Although Cars 3 feels like a rehash of the first film at times, surprisingly the film had a poignant and touching plot regarding how to move forward when times get tough and being open to seek out advice, no matter how “outdated” it may seem.

Surprisingly the film had a poignant and touching plot regarding how to move forward when times get tough and being open to seek out advice, no matter how “outdated” it may seem.

Both McQueen and Cruz learn that although trends come and go in the racing world, they can either learn to embrace it or run from it or in this case drive away from it.

While the film did a good job bringing audiences back to the familiar feel of the first film, it also did a great job introducing new characters and locations as well.

One scene, in particular, was when McQueen and Cruz journey to Doc’s hometown of Thomasville, where they meet Doc’s old coach, Smokey and several of his old friends and seek out their advice.

There is also a short film titled “Lou” which plays before Cars 3 that depicted the topic of bullying very well.

The short follows the story of a Lou, a creature made from the assorted unclaimed items that live in the lost-and-found box, and a young boy named J.J. who bully’s the other kids by stealing their stuff. Lou sees this and makes it his mission to change the young bully’s ways.

Child bullies are often villainized in films and do not necessarily have a film dedicated to what makes them who they are and why. In this short, we see this young boy who in the end, not only changes his ways but allows the audience to get a glimpse of why J.J. behaves the way he does and is taught compassion for others.

Check out Disney and Disney Pixar’s additional shorts that have played before other films in theaters if given the chance. Surprisingly, the shorts are actually better than the film itself at times (I’m looking at you Cars 2).

Overall, Cars 3 was an enjoyable film and a fitting end to the Cars franchise as this film successfully made it to the final lap instead of crashing and burning.

Final Score: 7/10

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Monica graduated from California Baptist University earning her Bachelors of Arts degree in English and Journalism with experience in newspaper, magazine, and online writing. She is passionate about writing and hopes to inspire and encourage others through her words while applying her faith into every aspect of her work. Whether writing or talking to a stranger, she wants to allow the Holy Spirit to move her in every way possible. Get to know more about Monica on her blog at monicainessolano.wordpress.com.