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The Story Behind the Story of Cars 3 – Meeting the Writers – #Cars3Event

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Cars 3 Story

At Pixar, it’s all about the story. Everything revolves around the story. The story is KING! Getting the story right is one of the most important aspects of what the creative minds at Pixar do. How to bring the story to life and make sure your audience feels the emotions of the characters. With Cars 3, much of the story needed to focus on how to have the audience relate to the cars as characters with emotions first and as vehicles second.

To explore the challenges and successes of how the writers of Cars 3 approached the third Cars installment and continued Lightning McQueen’s story, Pixar brought together writer Kiel Murray, writer Bob Peterson, writer Mike Rich, and story supervisor Scott Morse. On my recent trip to San Francisco, I was lucky enough to listen to them talk about the journey that brought Cars 3 to life.

Cars 3 Story

The “Cars 3” writers (left to right) Mike Rich, Bob Peterson and Kiel Murray and Story Supervisor Scott Morse (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

Creating a Pixar story is always a collaborative effort. The Cars 3 team included a couple veterans and a rookie working together to fill the story with the emotion that is needed to bring the story to life. Not only was it important to bring the emotion of Lightning McQueen and the other characters alive through their story for the audience, it was just as important to give the other departments of Pixar (i.e. Animation, Lighting, etc.) a good story so that they can do their job too.

As all things Pixar – Mike Rich and Scott Morse started by researching. They traveled to overgrown dirt tracks in the South to get a feel for where the characters needed to go and how the story should feel. Peterson and Murray came on to add to the story and push Lightning McQueen into the character they needed him to be. Since the writers include both former athletes and sports fan, they knew the story had to include an important aspect: as an athlete ages, they lose their edge and they have to begin to replace youthful exuberance with a carefully-honed strategy. Lightning McQueen is struggling with deciding if he should go out on top or fight till the end. Lightning needed someone to get him back in the game so they created Cruz Ramirez, a tech trainer at the newly revamped Ruse-Eze Racing Center.

I love the direction that Cars 3 takes us and I believe the reason Cars 3 will work so well and be a huge hit is because it just isn’t your typical Car movie full of action. It also has emotion and heart that comes from the writers. Comes from the research, time and commitment they put into the story. The camaraderie of the characters mirrors the camaraderie of the writing team. They were so much fun to sit and listen to. 

Cars 3 will be roaring into theaters on June 16. Don’t miss it. I know you will love it!


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CARS 3 opens in theaters everywhere on June 16th!

I was provided an all expense trip to San Francisco by Disney. All opinions are my own.