Pixar Reveals 'Cars 3' Plot Details And Art Featuring A New Character

Pixar wasn't exactly feelin' the love from audiences after 2011's espionage-fueled Cars 2, a film many saw as the unfortunate sequel-ization of the vaunted animator. The film wasn't well received, and was their first not to be nominated for any Oscars. But man, it made a killing in merchandising sales, leading to a successful Planes spinoff and confirmation that Cars 3 would be racing into theaters at some point. We haven't heard much about it up until now, but director Brian Fee has revealed to USA Today some key plot details and concept art that reveals a new racer.

Owen Wilson is back voicing Lightning McQueen, who at this point in time is considered a veteran of the racing circuit. No longer the hot-shot upstart we saw in Cars, Lightning finds he's a bit behind the times, so he enlists help in the form of a young Hispanic female racer named Cruz Ramirez. Fee says...

“Cruz Ramirez is trying to figure out how this old dog can learn some new tricks..Think of where he’d be in his career now in real time. (McQueen) is not an old man, but he's one of the older cars on the circuit with new rookies coming in. People start to wonder and ask when he might retire.”

One of those rookies is Storm Jackson, who soundly defeats Lightning which causes greater clamor for him to retire from the circuit.

“Jackson Storm is the face of these rookies who have come onto the scene. And McQueen is in a position where his entire racing generation is being pushed out.  But it’s too early to be shown the door right now.”

Lightning will get his chance at redemption in the fictional Florida 500, with Ramirez helping to close the technical gap.  So this will be a smaller, simpler story similar to the original, rather than the globe-hopping sequel. Fee promises the film will stay in America as Lightning and Ramirez travel the countryside visiting various historical race sites. You can also expect to see (and hear) familiar characters such as Larry the Cable as Lightning's pal Mater, Bonnie Hunt as girlfriend Sally Carrera, and Cheech Marin as Ramone. Fee adds...

“This movie is a love letter to racing and the American way. We’re inspired by the Americana you see traveling through the South where every small town has a dirt track.”

Cars 3 hits theaters on June 16th 2017.