There’s no doubt that Pixar is behind some of the best films over the last two decades. We’ve laughed at, cried with, and worried for all manner of anthropomorphic creatures over the years, loving Pixar more and more with each film they create. It’s crazy to think that it’s been nearly 22 years since the studio became a household name. In keeping with the Pixar tradition of bringing life to inanimate objects, that means that the first iteration of Toy Story could now legally drink and that Monsters Inc. could even have a driver’s license by now. In other “oh man, I’m old” facts, it’s been over 10 years since Cars came into our lives and we’re about to get another in the series this summer. And since things are bound to change in the span of two decades, it seems Pixar may be growing up a bit if the new trailer for Cars 3 is any indication.
The teaser trailers that have been released so far have a definite darker tone than what we’re used to with Pixar films. Most have involved a brutal car wreck involving main character Lightning McQueen. Wrecks, damage, and repairs are nothing new to the Cars world but seeing it in such hyper-realistic detail paired with the ominous slow-mo and subdued color palette makes me think that we might be in for a decidedly more grown-up story than we’ve seen before. This, however, might be a really great move for the franchise.
Having a movie that ups the ante on consequences might be a good thing for young audiences. While we may try to guard kids from the harsher realities of the world, they do (and have to) learn about loss at some point. Books, TV, and films play a big part in teaching those lessons. Research has shown that children begin to become aware of loss and death at around four years old so, having a beloved character go through that instead of a family member may be a better way to learn and deal with it as Pixar’s audiences grow up.
As fans know, Pixar has dealt with the idea of loss before. Some of their best films are memorable precisely because of the realistic topics they cover. So far, Pixar has dealt in loss is a number of ways: scaring the crap out of us in one film, showing sacrifice in another and, in the case of one movie, absolutely breaking our hearts within the first five minutes.
What are your thoughts on Cars 3 so far? Do you think I should probably get a life and not wax-poetic so much about animated movies? Let’s discuss in the comments below!