The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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Ka-CHOW! A reflection on one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time

Evelyn+Pierce%2C+Graphics+Manager+%2F+The+Bucknellian
Evelyn Pierce, Graphics Manager / The Bucknellian

When you think of the greatest movie trilogies of all time, you may think of classic movies such as the “Star Wars” trilogy, the “Indiana Jones” trilogy, or the “Back to The Future” trilogy. However, while these are all amazing in their own right, they don’t hold a candle to the single greatest movie trilogy of all time: Pixar’s “Cars” trilogy.

Aaron: The point of movies is sheer entertainment. That’s it, at the bottom line. Movies are entertaining, Pixar is entertaining and racing is entertaining. Do you know what franchise has all three of these elements? “Cars”. No other movie franchise can say this at the end of the day.

While I could name all of the iconic moments in the “Cars” franchise, I’d like to outline my profound personal connection to this franchise. In my freshman year, some of my friends and I decided to rewatch all of the “Cars” movies – one of the best decisions of my life. It was such a great bonding experience with my friends that I will never forget. 

Another unforgettable “Cars” franchise experience for me was when I was on my way home for Spring Break freshman year on the (now defunct) BreakShuttle service. I decided to put on my headphones, close my eyes and tune out the world as I listened to Rascal Flatts’ “Life is a Highway” on a highway. This was one of the most transformative experiences of my entire twenty-one years of life. Listening to that song enabled me to imagine myself in Lightning McQueen’s shoes (tires?). At that moment, I thought to myself: “I am speed.”

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Esther: I love “Cars.” To me, the Pixar classic is not simply an entertaining journey, but an emotional one. The storyline from the first “Cars” to “Cars 3” displays one of the best character developments in cinematic history. Lightning McQueen enters the film as a “full of himself”, rookie race car with about as much talent as ego. However, McQueen must humble himself when Doc Hudson becomes his mentor. Later on, Doc acts as a mentor to Cruz Ramirez, who too evolved from Lightning McQueen’s trainer to a competing race car herself. It’s a very satisfying arc for the audience to experience and for young people to see as it brings such a meaningful moral to the story. I’m grateful that the creators at Pixar were able to explore the storyline of beloved characters like Doc Hudson, Lightning McQueen, and Mater.

Secondly, I want to add a somewhat controversial opinion; after the first “Cars,” “Cars 2” felt like whiplash. Sure, it was lovely to be able to discover Mater’s character, but it felt like a very strange sequel in how the initial main character and secondary character swap places and move far away from the original movie’s setting and character setup. Perhaps because of how different the two films were and the dramatic change in creative direction, it somehow subverts the high expectations that everyone had for the second movie. Most people feared that the second movie would be too similar or a repeat of the first, but fear not, it definitely wasn’t. “Cars” has a very beloved place in my heart because it shows us far more than cars and animation, but important themes of life, like friendship and humility. 

The “Cars” franchise is a monumental achievement not only in animation but in cinema at large. Very rarely do we get a franchise with such mass appeal that attracts people from every generation. With that, we here in Arts and Culture have one last thing to say before we say goodbye for the summer: Ka-CHOW!

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About the Contributors
Aaron Chin
Aaron Chin, Arts & Culture Co-Editor
Esther Zhao
Esther Zhao, Arts & Culture Co-Editor

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