Pixar going in a darker direction with Cars 3

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When Disney/Pixar released the teaser for Cars 3, they clearly decided to go in a slightly different direction than the bubbly optimism from the first two movies…


I was pretty stunned watching it.  The teaser promises “From this moment, everything will change."  They sure weren't kidding. 

Now, I will acknowledge that there have been plenty of dark moments in Disney movies past.   I saw commentary mocking people upset by the trailer, “Bambi's mom shot, Tarzan's parents killed by leopard, Mufasa murdered by his brother, Nemo's mom eaten by a barracuda, but yes a car flipping is too dark for a kids movie.”  And don’t get me started on Old Yeller.  Thing is, those were all parts of a movie.  This teaser is literally 40 seconds of watching a beloved child icon seeming brutally smashed to bits without any explanation.  I can see it as being kind of traumatic for a child who was settling in theaters getting ready to see MOANA.  Which, by the way, isn't me saying it should not have happened.  I was just surprised by it

All that said, there is a lot of potential here for a very unique children’s movie.  I can't help but think of DAYS OF THUNDER with the cocky race star forced to recover from pretty horrific injuries.  Pixar for the most part puts out movies that I love, so I am not writing off Cars 3 (though I do want to go on record and say that I hated Cars 2).  Hopefully as we get closer to the June 16 release date we will have a better sense of what this is all about.  But I do appreciate the bold new direction Pixar is setting off on here.  We will see if it pays off.