The veteran versus the new in "Cars 3".
Possibly the last installment of this Pixar franchise for children and existential dread for adults (if you think too hard), or at least for Lightning McQueen, "Cars 3" still centers on some of the most recognizable characters from the series so far. There are a few new wheels to take over the torch from Lightning McQueen and to continue the legacy that is the sad tradition of Pixar's "Cars" franchise.
Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen
So to remind us of the veteran hands and introduce the young blood that are entering the race, here is a crash course of the voices behind the characters of "Cars 3".
After becoming a seven-time Piston Cup winner, Lightning McQueen has become the greatest racer that has ever lived like his predecessor before him, Doc Hudson. When a young upstart emerges and leaves Lightning in the dust, McQueen must find it in himself to decide if it is time for him to make his last lap on the race track or adapt to the new generation of racers to show that he's still the champion. Reprising his third appearance in the series, Owen Wilson once again provides the voice for Lightning McQueen, ready to be the fastest car of the world.
Cristela Alonzo as Cruz Ramirez
After surviving a near fatal crash, Lightning is brought to the Rust-eze Racing Center to tune up for his final race. There he meets the sunny but fierce Cruz who has been assigned to be his coach for the race. The yellow Ferrari may be star struck to train her idol, but she has unaccomplished dreams as she wastes her talents on the race tracks of Rust-eze. Cruz is voiced by self-made Mexican-American comedian Cristela Alonzo.
Armie Hammer as Jackson Storm
Sleek, selfish and sarcastic, Jackson Storm wants nothing more than to show the world that a new generation of racers have arrived and are here to stay. Making it his mission to defeat Lightning and show that he no longer has a place in the new world of racing, Jackson may have underestimated the great champ or those around him. Bringing his smug charm with an accent, Armie Hammer voices the role of the antagonist.
Larry the Cable Guy as Mater
Best friend and lifelong support of Lightning since they first met, rusty and crusty Mater remains as the lovable sidekick that provides all the comedic and morale support that a champ would ever need. While the tow truck will not be going on any wild adventures as he did in "Cars 2", Mater does provide sound advice for McQueen to inspire him for his final race. Mater is once again voiced by Larry the Cable Guy.
Bonnie Hunt as Sally Carrera
After seeing Lightning nearly losing his life, Sally makes sure that she is always at Lightning's corner throughout his rehabilitation to his race. The love of Lightning's life, Bonnie Hunt, a veteran who has voiced for seven Pixar animations in "A Bug's Life", "Monsters Inc", "Cars", "Toy Story", "Cars 2" and "Monsters University", provides her caring voice as Sally and will have a closer appearance than she did in "Cars 2".
Chris Cooper as Smokey
When Lightning is making very little progress on his time to beat Jackson Storm, Lightning has to find someone that would be able to provide him with the right training in the old-fashioned way. Smokey was the trainer of Lightning's mentor and idol, the late Doc Hudson, and he would need more than fair convincing to train Lightning McQueen if he wants to find a way to beat the far superior Jackson Storm. Chris Cooper voices the old mentor, showing that the way to outrun a faster opponent is to outsmart them.
Nathan Fillion as Sterling
The new owner of the Rust-eze Racing Center, Sterling may be a fan of Lightning McQueen, but he firmly believes that the days of the great champion are numbered. Suggesting that McQueen should retire and enjoy the rest of his days as a legend outside the race tracks, Lightning's stubbornness to not leave the race track without one last kachow has Sterling willing to make a bet to end Lightning's racing career. Sterling will be voiced by comedian Nathan Fillion, who previously voiced for "Monsters University".
Paul Newman as Doc Hudson
The former mentor and rival to Lightning McQueen that Lightning had to overcome. Although Paul Newman died in 2008, he will be having new lines in "Cars 3". These were recorded during "Cars" in 2006, and when he was telling stories about his own personal experience with racing between takes, John Lasseter made sure that the booth was still recording. These stories, alongside those that were cut from "Cars" became the basis for the story and will be used in "Cars 3".
Cinema Online, 28 August 2017