As with every sequel, comparisons are made to the original film which launched the franchise. Thus, the question on people’s minds tend to be “is Cars 3 as good as part 1?” To which I would offer this simple reply: yes and no.
The first Cars film by Pixar was a retelling of a classic tale: city boy gets trapped in the country to discover grass roots have value which apply to the modern technological world. Call it a cartoon version of Doc Hollywood. Yet, the character arc of Lightning McQueen was very solid with a full swing: from arrogant to compassionate, from selfish to sacrificial.
In Cars 3, the character arcs are more subtle and less dynamic – resulting in a little less emotional storytelling. Yet, Cars 3 is less Doc Hollywood and more Rocky 4: placing new technology directly against the old fashioned. Pixar, being the geniuses they are, also add a great twist to this age-old tale of old vs new by embracing and balancing both. In so doing, Cars 3 may be less emotional than 1, but has a more full story than the two predecessors.
The 3D is basically irrelevant to this film, so don’t bother paying the extra bucks. That being said, the 3D does have this to offer: because it is so simple, if you’re one who tends to get tired or get headaches from 3D, this one shouldn’t place such a strain on your senses as other films might.
Cars 3 is a great film. The animation is solid (though not a as creative as Inside Out or Wall-E), and the story is fantastic (though not as emotionally vibrant as Toy Story 3). Cars 3 may not be Pixar’s best offering, but a very solid and worthy one none-the-less. I give it 4 out of five stars. As for family friendly, Cars 3 G rating is not pushed in any way, so it has a perfect A+ for all ages (though some will find McQueen’s crash to be very intense).