Cars 3 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, the movie came with a terrific visual presentation.
At all times, sharpness excelled. The film offered tight, concise imagery without a hint of softness along the way.
I saw no signs of jagged edges or shimmer, and edge haloes also failed to appear. In addition, source flaws never created distractions.
Colors offered peppy material, as the movie’s bright, varied palette came across with punch. Blacks seemed deep and dense, while shadows were smooth and clear. This turned into a top-notch image.
In addition, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack added pizzazz to the proceedings. As expected, the racing scenes offered the greatest sense of activity and involvement, as those used the vehicles to swarm and move around the room in an engulfing manner.
Other scenes created a good sense of the story as well. Most of the sequences focused on environmental information, but they still worked well and delivered a nice experience.
Audio quality succeeded as well, with natural, concise dialogue. Music seemed full and rich, while effects appeared accurate and distinctive, with nice low-end response. The soundtrack suited the film and added excitement.
On Disc One, we open with an audio commentary from director Brian Fee, producer Kevin Reher, co-producer Andrea Warren, and creative director Jay Ward. All four sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, design and animation, research, hidden elements, music, editing, and connected domains.
Pixar commentaries usually work well, and this one continues that trend. It provides a rich, introspective look at the film that offers a nice range of insights.
A short that ran ahead of Cars 3 theatrically, Lou goes for six minutes, 43 seconds. It shows how the contents of a school’s lost and found come to life and teach a bully a lesson. Lou breaks no new ground but it offers charm and sentiment.
A new “mini-movie” called Miss Fritter’s Racing Skoool goes for two minutes, 48 seconds. It shows a TV commercial for the titular “skoool” and offers mild entertainment – though they couldn’t get Owen Wilson to come back for the 15 seconds of recording time to reprise his role as Lightning, so we get a soundalike.
Disc One shows two featurettes. Ready for the Race fills five minutes, 40 seconds and shows some of the real-life driving that inspired the film. It seems pretty fluffy.
With The Yellow Car That Could, we locate a seven-minute, 46-second piece with notes from Fee, story artist Louise Smythe, story supervisor Scott Morse, writers Kiel Murray and Bob Peterson, directing animator Jude Brownbill, and actor Cristela Alonzo. They look at the design and execution of the Cruz character. Though this becomes a little self-congratulatory, it still provides a nice array of notes.
Disc One opens with ads for Coco and Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. Sneak Peeks adds promos for Descendants 2, and Disneynature: Dolphins.
Now we head to Disc Two, where we launch with five featurettes under “Behind the Scenes”. Generations: The Story of Cars 3 runs 11 minutes, 20 seconds and includes Fee, Morse, Reher, Smythe, Ward, Warren, writers Bob Peterson and Kiel Murray, and editor Jason Hudak,
“Generations” digs into sequel-related challenges as well as a variety of story and character areas. Despite its brevity, “Generations” proves to be unusually tight and introspective.
Next comes Let’s. Get. Crazy. It goes for seven minutes, 41 seconds and features Fee, Warren, Morse, production designer Bill Cone, director of photography Jeremy Laskey, layout artist Mike Leonard, racer Earl Cox Jr., crowds animation supervisor Becki Rocha Tower, directing animator Royce Wesley, effects artist Michael Hall, and actor Lea DeLaria.
“Crazy” examines the movie’s demolition derby sequence. It’s more hyperbole-filled than “Generations”, but it still delivers a decent mix of notes.
During the five-minute, 21-second Cars to Die(cast) For, we hear from Fee, Ward, production designer Jay Shuster, consumer products manager Mandy Freund, consumer products creative director Jen Tan, creative art director Bob Pauley, “Take 5 a Day” website founder Ken Chang, assistant production accountant Emily Engie, simulation lead Jacob Brooks, and consumer products designer Christopher Meeker.
We get a look at the Cars series of die-cast toys here. Some of this feels like an advertisement, but the show offers enough personalized insights to merit a look.
Legendary fills 11 minutes, 22 seconds with notes from Fee, Morse, Ward, Washington, Murray, Shuster, motor sports journalist Deb Williams, NASCAR historians Ken Martin and Buz McKim, Wendell Scott Foundation CEO Warrick Scott, NASCAR driver Louise Smith, and actors Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Margo Martindale. “Legendary” looks at the roots of NASCAR and its influence on the movie. The show delivers a fair collection of basics.
“Behind the Scenes” finishes with World’s Fastest Billboard. The five-minute, 30-second piece brings comments from Fee, Ward, Cone, Shuster, Foster, graphic designers Paul Conrad, Josh Holtsclaw and Laura Meyer, and motion graphics designer Catherine Kelly.
Here we see examples of the “car-ified” designs for the movie. Essentially it gives us Easter eggs we might otherwise miss, so it’s a fun reel.
Under Fly-Throughs, we get three clips: “Thomasville” (1:10). “Florida International Speedway” (0:37), and “Rust-Eze Racing Center” (0:56). They give us views of various locations and provide mildly interesting footage.
Three more snippets appear under My First Car: “A Green Car On the Red Carpet” (1:53), “Old Blue” (1:21) and “Still in the Family” (2:16). In these, we hear from actor Kerry Washington, graphic designer Craig Foster, and technical resident Valeria Barra, respectively.
As expected, each one discusses his/her first car. They offer some gently engaging memories.
Five Deleted Scenes fill a total of 26 minutes, 17 seconds. That time includes a 55-second introduction from Fee, and the director also offers lead-ins to each individual scene. He offers good insights about the material.
As for the scenes themselves, they offer a mix of discarded storylines. As Fee explains, a lot of these fell victim to changes in narrative/character choices and wouldn’t fit the film as it developed. Still, they’re enjoyable to see.
Within Trailers, we get five promos: two North American, one Japanese, one “international”, and one “global”. Since it’s in German, I’m not sure why the last one is called “global” – maybe someone meant “German” and autocorrect called it “global”.
In addition, Promos breaks into two areas. “Cars D’oeuvres” runs four minutes, 27 seconds and offers a slew of brief movie character interstitials. I don’t know where these appeared – Disney Channel? - but they’re moderately fun.
“Car Reveals” splits into three characters, each of which shows glimpses of the vehicles involved. They’re not especially interesting, but in terms of completism, I’m glad they’re here.
A third disc presents a DVD copy of Cars 3. It includes the commentary and Lou but lacks the other extras.
As the franchise’s third entry, Cars 3 feels a bit flat and without real purpose. While it still keeps us moderately entertained, the film simply lacks great wit or spirit. The Blu-ray boasts excellent visuals and audio along with a pretty good roster of supplements. Cars 3 becomes decent but lackluster animated fare.