Director: Brian Fee
Year Released: 2017
Famous speedster Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson), getting up there in years, finds he can no longer dominate the race track when surrounded by flashier 'rookies,' particularly cocky Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer), so he goes back to retrain and improve himself, with the assistance of Cruz (Cristela Alonzo) and the sponsorship of billionaire Sterling (Nathan Fillion). This has the Pixar crew in pensive mode, pondering the aging process on an athlete's body (in this case, it's a vehicle), and while their visuals are still sleek, the story is pandering (women can race too, guys!) and cloying, going so far as to sample the late Paul Newman's voice from previous recording sessions. It does have a fun little moment at a demolition derby-type event (Miss Fritter is a pissed-off school bus!), but then it quickly retreats to the familiar. The practical side of me kept wondering why they didn't just pop open McQueen's hood and install a state-of-the-art engine, but then I guess you wouldn't have much of a movie, would you?