What If Lightning McQueen Had Won in Cars 3? (Blu-Ray review)

Would the story be better if Lightning McQueen had won?

One of the best parts of owning a film you love are the extras and Cars 3 comes home with a lot of them!  There are so many bonus features they had to include them on another disc.  In “Generations: The Story of ‘Cars 3′” and in the deleted scenes, director Brian Fee guides us through the story decisions that evolved into what you see on the big screen.  Would Cars 3 be more like Rocky where its more about the journey than about the triumph?  Would it be more like For Love of the Game where McQueen would have one more heyday?  Or would it be more like The Karate Kid where McQueen becomes the mentor to a new, younger car?  How about a little bit of all three?

  • Excerpt of the deleted scene “More Than New Paint” from the home release of Cars 3

Originally, the film was about McQueen making one last comeback and winning the last race, and he did it wearing Doc’s old colors. The deleted scene “More Than New Paint” showed how that transition might have happened and in that iteration both Cruz and McQueen raced against each other.  Mr. Sterling also comes across as a money-grubbing opportunist instead of a concerned fan.  “I think as we continued to watch it,” Co-Producer Andrea Warren commented on the Blu-Ray, “it felt like something was missing.” The team at Pixar noticed that people were mostly reacting to the relationship between Lightning and Cruz and Writer Kiel Murray said the first big challenge was to commit to “Okay, it’s not a comeback movie.” Once they did that, they focused on this idea where the film starts as a comeback film and becomes a mentor / student film.

CARS 3 (Pictured) – Concept art for Jackson Storm by Production Designer Jay Shuster. ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

The deleted scenes were great and showed more than just cut footage but alternate ways of looking at the movie.  Five different scenes are on the home release.  Some were about the development of Cruz’ character, some were about the development of the story, and some were just fun little slices that didn’t quite fit. Another favorite of mine was “Cars to Die(cast) For” which showed the backstory and interesting facts about the development of the Mattel die-cast automobiles.  With over 1,000 different ones made, you have to wonder how they decide which ones to make and how they name them.  You find out in this short film some of the process behind it all.  It’s a lot of fun and many of the staff at Pixar end up getting “car-ified.”  I also loved “World’s Fastest Billboard,” an in-depth look at the detail behind the graphic design in the Cars world. Some of the ads, stickers, and product names are clever and hilarious.  Jay Ward, the Cars Franchise Executive Director talks about the “car-ifying” process as seeing the world “through the lens of a car.”  Vinyl Toupee – toupee in a can?  Carmaste for a yoga place?  Carbucha?  There’s even a little homage to The Incredibles as the cars use Insuricare, the place Bob works.

If the movie just isn’t enough animation for you, there are tons of great extras for that, too.  Of course, the animated short “Lou” that was shown in theaters with Cars 3 is one of the features, but there’s a new one called “Miss Fritter’s Racing Skoool” that features everyone’s favorite bus from the Thunder Hollow Crazy 8’s race.  Part Cars informercial and part just plain funny and cute, this “mini-movie” as it’s described is a great addition.  If you watch the film on Movies Anywhere, you’ll find three additional “Cars Toon” shorts not on Blu-Ray or DVD – “Radiator Springs 500 1/2,” “Rescue Squad Mater,” and “Monster Truck Mater.”

Cover for the 4K Ultra HD release of Cars 3

Of course there’s a commentary track on the film, but tons of other features, too.  “Legendary” is retrospective about some racing legends, specifically Louise Smith and Wendell Scott and how they faced their own difficulties of the day.  “Cruz Ramirez: The Yellow Car That Could” was about the development of Cruz’ character and gives you a behind-the-scenes feel for her evolution.  There are tons of other extras, too.  Some will be hits and some will be misses depending on what you like in your extras.  Personally, I wasn’t a fan of “My First Car” which was just a retrospective on the first car some of the staff members at Pixar owned.  But with so many features appealing to different audiences, you’re almost sure to find a lot that’s worthwhile about the home release!  Plus, of course, a REALLY great movie.

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