Disney and Pixar are always at the cusp of social trends, and that may never be truer than with with Cars 3 as the studios grapple with their own transference from old to new. The movie is being described as 'mobile millennials vs. mid-size cars with midlife crises'. And today, we get a look at two of the new Millennial characters in this impending sequel. And if there is one thing you should know about these twenty somethings. They loathe being labeled a Millennial.
Entertainment Weekly is the first to introduce new villain Jackson Storm and exuberant hero Cruz Ramirez, who is taking over for Lightening McQueen on the race track. We get a good look at these speedsters and their racing stats with new images and character profile videos. They follow the cryptic trailer tease that dropped in November. And trailer two is zooming around the corner soon.
Cars 3 will see pro racer Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) have to face his own mortality. And he will seriously reexamine his time spent on the track. The movie is being directed by first-time director Brian Fee. He says this about McQueen's big screen return.
"McQueen is not the young hotshot anymore, the kid he was back then in Cars 1. He's in the middle of his life, and as an athlete, that's getting up there. You have your whole life ahead of you, yet your career is starting to show its age. He's looking in the mirror and realizing, 'I'm 40 years old,' and dealing with the fact that the thing that you love more than anything else, you might not be able to do forever."
Armie Hammer is playing Millennial villain Jackson Storm. He's faster than McQueen. Sleeker. Newer. Fee says this about introducing the new nemesis for his fallen hero.
"Jackson was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Everything comes easy to him, and everything about him says he's faster, so much so that we've designed him so that even when he's standing next to McQueen, McQueen looks old."
It has been a decade since Lightning McQueen was first introduced in Cars. And Jackson's technologic upgrades reflect that passing era in real time. Jackson represents the extreme entitlement that many associate with the Millennials. The director goes onto say this.
"He thinks the world is his. He's taking over. He's owed it. In a very broad term, I think of old football players with those little leather skull caps, and you think of football players now with all their armor, hitting so hard. It's not the same game. What they did was not anything like what we do now. And that's Jackson: He thinks the future of racing and the high-tech ways they train and what they can do means they're taking the sport to a new level, and the older guys had their day, and it's done, and they have no place in the future of racing."
There is a glimmer of hope. And not all Millennials are painted in such a terrible light. Meet Cruz Ramirez, voiced by Cristela Alonzo, who will be fighting for the redemption of 20 year olds everywhere, and aims to restore Lightning's honor. She is a lifelong fan of McQueen, and is described as optimistic, sunny, fierce, and friendly. Fee says this about his new leading lady who will leave the guys in the dust.
"Whereas others like Jackson would look at McQueen and dump him, Cruz isn't like that at all. She's the most optimistic person in the world and wants to do anything to help."
Cars 3 is being described as very emotional by Pixar head honcho John Lasseter, and Fee calls it 'the most human' of the three movies in the franchise thus far. Though, whether or not McQueen will actually go to that big junkyard in the sky by the time the dust clears is not being revealed at this time. Though Pixar is making clear that it won't shy away from some of those darker, more human elements. But Fee does go onto say that the end of Cars 3 is only the beginning for McQueen, and this popular series of animated movies.