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5 Conversations to Have with Your Kids After "Cars 3"

Families can talk about everything from perseverance to girl power to to the importance of mentorship.

Topics: Life Skills

Lightning McQueen, Mater, and the rest of the gang are back for Pixar's family-friendly "threequel," Cars 3. More diverse and uplifting (not to mention less violent) than the last installment, this film does have a couple intense scenes. But the characters also learn key life lessons, and there are positive messages about the importance of perseverance, communication, mentorship, and empowerment -- which means there's plenty for families to talk about after watching this Common Sense Seal-honored film. Try these discussion questions for kids:

  • Talk about the messages in Cars 3. Why is confidence a vital part of competition/sports? What does Sally mean when she tells Lightning, "Don't fear failure -- be afraid of not having the chance"? Why do you think Cruz feels that she doesn't belong in a race? Do you think the movie is trying to make a point about females competing alongside males? Why does Storm initially dismiss her as a competitor?
  • Which parts of the movie were scary? Why? How much scary stuff can young kids handle?
  • Which characters are role models? How do they demonstrate perseverance and communication? Why are those important character strengths?
  • Why is it so important to Lightning that he be the one to decide when he's done racing? What does he learn over the course of the movie? What do you think he'll do next?
  • Kids: What made you want to see this movie? Was it the story or the ads and product tie-ins? Do you want things more when Cars characters are on them? At what age do kids understand what marketing and advertising are?
Betsy Bozdech

Betsy's experiences working in online parenting and entertainment content were the perfect preparation for her role as Common Sense's editorial director. After earning bachelor's and master's degrees from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 1997, she began her editorial career at and then served as an editor at,, and AOL's Digital City before working as the site content manager at Netflix for three years -- and then joining Common Sense Media in 2006. She's a lifelong movie and TV fan (favorites include The Princess Bride, 30 Rock, Some Like It Hot, Saturday Night Live, and Star Wars) and is delighted to have a job that makes keeping up on celebrity and pop culture news a necessity -- which, in turn, helps give her (a little) cred with her two kids.

In her role at Common Sense, Betsy has had the privilege of moderating a Comic-Con panel, serving as a juror for the San Francisco Film Festival, touring the set of Imagination Movers, interviewing filmmakers like The Good Dinosaur's Peter Sohn, and much more. She is also a member of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists.

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