Why Is Pixar’s First Trailer for Cars 3 So Dark?

Uh, this is still a kids movie, right?

bySean Evans| PUBLISHED Nov 21, 2016 9:14 PM
Why Is Pixar’s First Trailer for Cars 3 So Dark?

Disney-Pixar flicks traditionally work on two fundamental levels. Little eyes are captivated by the fun, colorful, goofy characters who embark on larger-than-life adventures for ninety minutes. Meanwhile, parents are pleasantly surprised by, and subsequently invested in, the emotional depth of the narrative. Keep ‘em all happy and rake in the box office moula, right?

Which is why the newly released trailer for Cars 3 has us scratching our heads. A mere 49-seconds long, all the whimsy and fun from the prior two films in the Cars franchise has been sucked out. We’re left with a staggeringly realistic portrayal of a heated race which sees something catastrophic befall our (usually) charming protagonist, Lightning McQueen, voiced by Owen Wilson.

See the dramatic, eye-widening trailer for yourself below.

Even the ending chyron – “From this moment, everything will change,” – is damn ominous for what, historically, has been a set of lighthearted films. If you hop back to the official trailer for the original Cars, released back in 2009, you’ll see a race scene that’s brighter in hue, and features the iconic and expressive windshield eyes we’ve come to embrace from the franchise. The setting is the same; a race track. But Lightning McQueen coyly skirts around his competition in comical fashion, leaving you with a grin. This first Cars 3 trailer leaves you sporting a bit of a grimace.

Cars 3 hits theaters on June 16th, 2017.