Cars 3 - Movie Content Review

Cars 3 - Content Review - Picture of Lightning McQueen and Cruz

Sometimes a few spoilers are necessary to properly discuss the content of the movie

In Cars 3 the next generation of rookies have become too fast for Lightning McQueen and he is given an ultimatum: climb back to the top or retire.  He's assigned a personal trainer named Cruz, and together they embark on a road trip to help Lightning become competitive again.

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Watch Cars 3 on Prime Video


Lightning tends to be a bit desperate and selfish as he feels the pressure to perform.  This leads to a lot of poorly planned decisions (mostly chasing some kind of new mental perspective via a combination of nostalgia and life experiences).  It also causes stress between himself and Cruz, and eventually leads to him deeply hurting Cruz's feelings.  In the end he apologizes to Cruz, mends their relationship, and ultimately becomes her coach as she takes his place in the race.  While it's mostly just story and I don't think children will take away any core message simply from watching; you could use the movie as a starting point for talking with your children about rash decisions, selfishness, and how to treat others.


Cars 3 - Language Table - Picture of Lightning McQueen with angry looking face


There is no swearing in this movie.

Cars 3 - Fears Table - Picture of Lightning McQueen scared in a demolition derby


Lightning and Cruz accidentally enter a demolition derby where a few pyrotechnics are set off as they get chased by a crazy school bus.  They also drive at night through a forest; but it's presented as a fun challenge rather than scary.  Lightning is in a terrible accident, but time quickly flashes forward to when he is fully recovered.

There are no storms, clowns, strong villains, kidnappings, or home break-ins.

Cars 3 - Family & Relationships Table - Picture of Lightning McQueen's friends, including Mater

Family & Relationships

A major component of the story is that Lightning's mentor, Doc Hudson, has died.  It's mentioned several times over the course of the movie; however, phrases like "gone" and "not here anymore" are used instead of outright saying he has died.

Lightning's rival, Storm, speaks with a lot of subtle and sarcastic insults (mostly in reference to Lightning's age) that Lightning clarifies for the viewer.  

Lightning originally views Cruz as an annoyance, but that eventually degrades to the point that they have an argument and he hurts her feelings.  He later mends the relationship by apologizing and eventually becoming her coach.

There is no divorce, sexual content, sneaking out, bullying, or running away.

Cars 3 - Other Content Table - Picture of Mater making a silly face

Other Content

While there's no magic, all the vehicles do have faces and talk.

Cars 3 - Content Review - Picture of Lightning McQueen and Doc Hudson aka the Hudson Hornet


Cars 3 is a fun movie, especially for kids interested in racing or cars.  There's little to object to, but there's also little additional value on top of the entertainment.


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