Executive Producer John Lasseter has teased that the film is a very emotional story, and a little bit more akin to Cars (2006).
In June 2017, Entertainment Weekly reported that during the voice-actor recording process for Cars (2006), Director John Lasseter spent a lot of time in the recording booth with Paul Newman, who often regaled him with stories about his life and his many years as a race car driver. Lasseter said, "In a way, he mentored me in racing, because car racing was his true life's passion, and I made sure that whenever he came into the recording booth, we were recording everything. In-between takes, he would tell me stories about great races, and you could hear the passion in his voice." These recordings eventually became what made it possible for Newman's character in Cars, Doc Hudson, to reappear in this movie, even though this movie was released over eight years after Newman's death. Lasseter explained, "as we started Cars 3, we went back to every recording we did on Cars 1 and catalogued and listened to it all, and ended up with a lot of material that we could use. Lines that were cut from the original film and never used, as well as some of those pieces from in-between takes."
One of the new racers is number 31, and is sponsored by Triple Dent gum, which was in the gum commercial that annoyed Anger from Inside Out (2015).
Lightning's friends are named Bobby Swift and Cal Weathers, which seem to be a nod to Ricky Bobby and Cal Naughton, Jr. from Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), which was released in the same year that the first Cars (2006) came out.
Little to no references are made to the events of Cars 2 (2011). The only parts to carry over, include Doc Hudson's death, his medical office being converted into a museum, Lightning McQueen's newly installed headlights, the cameo of Jeff Gorvette, a picture of Miles Axlerod in Sterling's office, and a television screen showing John and Nancy, the two cars in Paris, kissing.
Smokey (Chris Cooper) refers to Doc Hudson as "Hud", Paul Newman (Doc Hudson) starred in Hud (1963) in the title role.
Director Brian Fee has mentioned that the film is a love letter to racing, and the American way, and is inspired by the Americana you see travelling through the South where every small town has a dirt track.
The film's premise mirrors the first film, in that Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is now an old racer (like The King) and Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) is a young rookie about to overtake him (just as McQueen had done in the first film).
Fillmore's license plate is 51237, which was the late George Carlin's birth date, who voiced Fillmore in the first movie. It is also (appropriately) the ZIP code for George, Iowa.
The credits include many posters and signs from throughout the movie. This includes BnL, a company seen in WALL·E (2008).
All three Cars films were released the same year as a Pirates of the Caribbean film. Cars (2006) came out the same year as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006), Cars 2 (2011) was released the same year as Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), and Cars 3 (2017) was released the same year as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017).
One of the locations, through which Mack drives, is Arlo's family farm from The Good Dinosaur (2015).
This movie features McQueen with his signature Cars look, and brings back familiar characters from the original's Radiator Springs, including Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), girlfriend Sally Carrera (Bonnie Hunt), and auto-body shop owner Ramone (Cheech Marin).
The sound of the portable treadmill booting up is the same sound made by Apple Macintosh computers. This is also the same sound WALL·E (2008) made when he booted up.
The original Fabulous Hudson Hornet was driven by Herb Thomas. In the movie, Thomasville Motor Speedway is a nod to this fact. Also, Herb Thomas' crew chief was Henry "Smokey" Yunick, after whom the movie character Doc Hudson's crew chief "Smokey" is named.
This movie's teaser trailer suggests that this film has a much darker tone than its predecessors. As a result, a controversy began whether or not to allow young McQueen fans to watch this film. However, it left Cars critics unexpectedly anticipating this film.
On Sterling's (Nathan Fillion's) door to his office, "A113" is printed on the glass. A number commonly seen in Pixar films.
Jackson Storm is seen racing at the Buy n Large raceway in the Next Generation Extended Look. Buy n Large originated in WALL·E (2008), another Pixar film, making this the second Pixar film to reference it, the first being Toy Story 3 (2010). Coincidentally, both are threequels.
This is the third film of the Cars film franchise, which is the second Pixar franchise to have a third installment, the other being the Toy Story film franchise.
The song Mater sings to himself is called "Put It in the Bag (The Humphrey Hop)" from the obscure Disney short cartoon series, "Humphrey the Bear".
Seventh film where Pixar's Bob Peterson voices a Character after Monsters, Inc. (2001) and Monsters University (2013) as Roz, Finding Nemo (2003) and Finding Dory (2016) as Mr. Ray, Up (2009) as Dug and Alpha, and Toy Story 3 (2010) as the Sunnyside Daycare's Janitor. In this movie, he voices Chick Hicks, after Michael Keaton was unavailable to reprise his role.
The last Pixar Film worked on by Daniel Gerson, who passed away during production over a year before the film's release.
At the Detroit Auto Show, Pixar had revealed a life-size McQueen to promote the movie.
The first film in the Cars franchise to not be directed by John Lasseter, since he chose to direct Toy Story 4 (2019) instead, though he was replaced by Josh Cooley part way through that film's production.
It is the third installment in the Cars film franchise, and was directed by Brian Fee, a Storyboard Artist on Cars (2006) and Cars 2 (2011).
Features more than sixty-five different individual racers, more than both of the previous Cars films combined, as Cars (2006) had thirty-six, and Cars 2 (2011) had eleven.
Cinderella's carriage can be seen in Sterling's office on the shelf, at the Rust-eze training center.
This is only the twelfth non-documentary theatrically released film of the 2010s to have a G-Rating by the MPAA. The other films being Toy Story 3 (2010), Ramona and Beezus (2010), Gnomeo & Juliet (2011), Rio (2011), Cars 2 (2011), Winnie the Pooh (2011), Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (2011), Monsters University (2013), Rio 2 (2014), and The Peanuts Movie (2015).
A tie-in video game accompanied the film's release. It was developed by Avalanche Software, which was shut down by Disney in 2016, but was acquired and revived by Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment. This makes this movie the first Pixar film to have a video game adaption since Brave (2012).
Pixar's first follow-up film to have a returning villain outside a cameo, being Chick Hicks, the main antagonist of the first film, having redeemed himself.
Lea DeLaria (Miss Fritter) has a first line of dialogue, being the single word "boo", likely a reference to her character's name on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black (2013).
Pixar's third follow-up film to have a different director from the previous films in the franchise, after Toy Story 3 (2010) and Monsters University (2013).
The Luxo, Jr. ball is found on the hood of one of the Crazy-8 racers in the demolition derby.
Sterling's office door at the Rust-eze Racing Center says "A113", which was the number at Cal Arts.
Some characters from Cars (2006) returned, such as Tex, The King, Albert Hinkey, and Bob Cutlass.
Bonnie Hunt's seventh Pixar film after A Bug's Life (1998), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Cars (2006), Toy Story 3 (2010), Cars 2 (2011), and Monsters University (2013).
Doc's hometown is Thomasville, Georgia. Paul Newman, who supplied the voice of Doc Hudson, was married to Joanne Woodward until his death. She was born in Thomasville, Georgia.
In a direct quote from Jeff Gordon, he will be returning to Cars 3 (2017) as Jeff Gorvette.
The name of the bus character is "Miss Fritter", a likely reference to the teacher Miss Frizzle from the PBS animated series The Magic School Bus (1994).
Some of the next generation racers names are puns on the cast members' names. For example, Chase Racelott is voiced by Chase Elliot.
Three-time Formula 1 racing champion, Lewis Hamilton cameos as the voice of Hamilton, Cruz Ramirez's onboard computer. He previously voiced himself as WGP racer "Lewis" in Cars 2 (2011).
A sign is seen advertising the Sleep-Well Motel. This is a reference to the Sleep-Well Motel from Toy Story of Terror (2013).
A sign can be seen in the background advertising "Wild Bill's Racing Cones". This is a reference to Pixar worker, Bill Cone.
The third Pixar film to include "Thus Spake Zarathustra", after Toy Story 2 (1999) and WALL·E (2008).
Bubba Wheelhouse, Danny Swervez, Jackson Storm, Ryan Inside Laney, Chase Racelott, Tim Treadless, Ed Truncan, Herb Curbler, and H.J. Hollis are the only next generation racers confirmed to be released as diecasts by Mattel. The next generation Easy Idle and Re-volting racers will also be released, but they're exclusive to multi packs only sold on Amazon.
EASTER EGG: The Pizza Planet truck is seen sitting in the grass in the Cinemark connections trailer.
Took just a month to gross more than two hundred million dollars. It ended up grossing just over three hundred seventy-four million dollars worldwide.
"Thus Spake Zarathustra" from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) can be heard in the demolition derby.
Not only did "A113" appear on Sterling's office door, but it also appears on Shannon Spokes' right side and Mater's license plate.
Paul Dooley''s fourth film to involve racing, after Cars (2006), Cars 2 (2011), and Turbo (2013).
Richard Anthony "Cheech" Marin's sixth animated Disney film, after Oliver and Company (1988), The Lion King (1994), The Lion King 1 1/2 (2004), and the previous Cars films.
Miss Fritter's racing number is 58. This is a shadow to the year the actress for Miss Fritter was born, 1958.
All three Cars movies were released in June. Cars (2006) was released on June 9, 2006. Cars 2 (2011) was released on June 24, 2011, and this movie was released on June 16, 2017.
During the end credits, a sticker appears reading "I love both kinds of music, country and western", This is a quote from The Blues Brothers (1980).
Was released in stores on November 7, 2017, the same day that Cars (2006) was released in stores eleven years prior.
This is the first Pixar movie where Bob Peterson voices a character from a previous movie that wasn't voiced by him (In this case, Chick Hicks, who was voiced by Michael Keaton in the first film).
In the new clip with the Next Gen Racers, Storm says "Good luck out there champ. You're gonna need it." This is a possible reference to Toy Story 3 (2010), when the Army soldiers left, and Sarge said "Good luck folks", and then another solider said "You're gonna need it."
When the treadmill, Cruz brings to Fireball Beach with her, finishes opening, it plays the sound from WALL-E (2008) when WALL-E has to go to work.
This is the fourth Pixar film where a character is voiced by a new actor, which applies to Chick Hicks. The first was Slinky and Andy (younger at the start of the film) in Toy Story 3 (2010), the second was Fillmore in Cars 2 (2011), and third time was Squirt, and Jacques in Finding Dory (2016).
Despite somewhat different appearances, the cars that race for Trunk Fresh, Shiny Wax, Bumper Save, Sputter Stop, Spare O Mint, Lil Torquey Pistons, and No Stall at the beginning of the movie are the same cars that raced for them in Cars (2006).
Guido Quaroni's fourth Pixar film, after Monsters, Inc. (2001) and the previous Cars films.
One of the signs Miss Fritter has, is the same West Cutting Boulevard sign that Andy has in Toy Story 3 (2010). Also, West Cutting Boulevard is the street Pixar is on.
This movie is tied with Monsters vs. Aliens (2009), Up (2009), A Christmas Carol (2009), Inside Out (2015), and The Good Dinosaur (2015) as the eighth most expensive animated film, with a budget of one hundred seventy-five million dollars.
Only fourteen Next Generation Racers have their names confirmed. The other twenty-one are unnamed.
There are six new sponsors for the race cars in this movie, SynerG, Combustr, IGNTTR, Blinkr, Triple Dent, and Carbon Cyber. In addition, six sponsors from Cars, (2006) Shifty Drug, Fiber Fuel, Sidewall Shine, Retread, Tach-O-Mint, and the unamed sponsor for Junior aren't sponsoring any cars in this movie.
Though this movie is not confirmed to be the last film in the franchise, all three films in the franchise were released between the gap of the first and second films in The Incredibles (2004) franchise.
Just like Cars 2 (2011), Lloyd Sherr plays the voice of Fillmore, because of George Carlin's death in 2008.
In the clip with where Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) meet Miss Fritter (Lea DeLaria), you might have seen the Pizza Planet truck zoom by on the track, but on a part that wasn't in the clip, one of the Crazy-8 racers smashes into the Pizza Planet truck, and it's rocket flies into the stands.
Until it grossed three hundred forty-three million dollars worldwide on September 3, 2017, enough to outgross The Good Dinosaur (2015), this was Pixar's lowest grossing film.
Released two weeks after DreamWorks Animation's Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017), and two weeks before Illumination's Despicable Me 3 (2017).
The second Cars film where Mack calls McQueen "boss", after the first film. He didn't do so though in Cars 2 (2011) because of his minor role.
Is the first Cars film to not release the same year as a film in Warner Brothers' Happy Feet film franchise, of which Cars (2006) was released the same year as Happy Feet (2006), and Cars 2 (2011) released the same year as Happy Feet Two (2011).
Tom Magliozzi passed away in 2014. Instead of hiring a sound-alike, filmmakers reviewed old transcripts from Car Talk to find lines that would serve Rusty. Car Talk was a weekly NPR radio show co-hosted by Tom and Ray Magliozzi (where they were known as "Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers"). "Don't drive like my brother" was the catchphrase from the close of their radio show.
The sign for Smokey's garage has the slogan "Best Dang Garage In Town". Smokey Yunick's garage used the slogan "Best Damn Garage In Town".
Multiple cars that bear sponsors from the first film, use different numbers. In Cars, the Re-volting racer used the number 84. In this movie, the Re-volting racers use the number 48. In Cars, the Vitoline racer used the number 61. In this movie, the Vitoline racers use the number 24. In Cars, the Octane Gain racer used the number 58. In this movie, the Octane Gain racers use the number 19. In Cars, the Easy Idle racer used the number 51. In this movie, the Easy Idle racers use the number 15. In Cars, the Transberry Juice racer used the number 63. In this movie, the Transberry Juice racers use the number 6.
In the movie, the ViewZeen car's number is 39. Which is probably a reference to the old Disney short, Donald's Lucky Day (1939).
In this film, the Nitroade car's number is 28, which is probably referring to 1928, the year Disney made their first film, Steamboat Willie (1928).