Parents' Guide to

Cars 3

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Some intense scenes in story of empowerment, mentorship.

Movie G 2017 109 minutes
Cars 3 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 30 parent reviews

age 5+

age 8+

Includes scene about Virtual Reality which may not be appropriate for the age group

So after watching this my 5 year old started asking us for a Virtual Reality Headset. When I asked him where he heard about them he said it was in this movie. After watching the scene it is a very short scene that shows cars wearing headsets over their windshields to train. For me I'm disappointed by this being in a children's movie considering VR companies say not to use them under the age of 13. I don't like the idea of such products being introduced to very young children and normalized. Admittedly most kids watching this likely won't pick up much on this scene, but mine did.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (30 ):
Kids say (86 ):

This "threequel" promotes the idea that girls can (and should!) do anything they set out to accomplish and that there's something special about the mentor/protégé bond. Although there's nothing particularly original about the plot (it's pretty obvious what will end up happening), Cars 3 is considerably better and milder than the overly violent Cars 2, and its two major themes -- about mentorship and fearlessness -- are touching and necessary for kids. In a culture that idolizes youth, it's lovely to see Lightning continuing to mourn the relationship he had with Doc Hudson. And then he, in turn, finds himself on the other end of a similar bond with Cruz, who might be a trainer but once dreamed of racing herself -- until she realized no one else at the races looked like her.

There's a surprising amount to unpack in this kid-friendly movie: It deals with friendship, ageism, sexism, and teacher-student relationships. All of the cast does a fine job, although Mater, Sally, and the Radiator Springs crew take a backseat to Alonzo's Cruz. Joining the fun are Kerry Washington as no-nonsense, data-driven racing analyst Natalie Certain, and a quartet of retired racers (including Chris Cooper as Smokey, Doc Hudson's one-time crew chief, and Margo Martindale as a pioneering "lady racer") who knew, mentored, and raced with Doc. All are welcome new characters. Ultimately, Cars 3 is about Lightning maturing into a racer who's dealing with being possibly past his prime. Driven by McQueen's memories of his relationship with Doc and his growing attachment to young Cruz, this Cars sequel is ultimately a little-kid-friendly winner.

Movie Details

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