Fans of the CARS franchise, start your engines: CARS 3 is on the horizon! This past Thursday, Disney Pixar released information about the cast and plot synopsis of the upcoming animated film, which features many returning favorites to the cast as well as some notable additions.
“We’re introducing some fun and really appealing characters in Cars 3,” said director Brian Fee (storyboard artist (Cars, Cars 2), “so we really wanted to find the right voices to help us breathe life into them. We hit a homerun with this group; I couldn’t be happier.”
The movie, produced by Kevin Reher (A Bug’s Life, La Luna short) and co-produced by Andrea Warren (LAVA short), sees Lightning McQueen (voiced by franchise staple Owen Wilson) back in pursuit of greatness among a new crop of blazing fast racers looking to sideline the legend. In his quest to get back on top, McQueen and a cast of friends and new acquaintances will work together to get the racer back in the game:
- Kerry Washington (ABC’s Scandal, HBO’s Confirmation) lends her voice to Natalie Certain, a highly respected statistical analyst who knows her numbers. Book-smart and mathematically gifted, Certain may earn top marks in her ability to evaluate a racer’s stats, but she could be underestimating the importance of determination.
- Nathan Fillion (ABC’s Castle, ABC’s Modern Family) voices Sterling, a brilliant businesscar who runs Rust-eze Racing Center—one of the most successful elite training facilities in the country. The always dapper Sterling comes across as unassuming and laid back, but business is business, and Sterling is driven to ensure all of his investments pay off.
- Lea DeLaria (Netflix’s Orange is the New Black) provides the voice of Miss Fritter, a local legend at the Thunder Hollow Speedway demolition derby. Fritter’s formidable school-bus size is intimidating, but it’s her smoke stacks of doom, razor-sharp stop sign and crazy collection of her victims’ license plates that usually steers her opponents in the other direction.
In addition to these newcomers, a real life racing hero was added to the CARS 3 cast. Three-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton was called on to voice Hamilton, a fully loaded, built-in voice command assistant to high-tech trainer Cruz Ramirez. When Lightning McQueen takes his training off road, Cruz enlists Hamilton’s help to keep the struggling racer on track.
Along with a star studded crop of newcomers, many of the familiar faces of this blockbuster franchise are returning. CARS 3 welcomes the gang from Radiator Springs back to the big screen, including Lightning McQueen’s best buddy Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy), and #95’s No. 1 fan Sally (voice of Bonnie Hunt). Friends supporting their hometown hero include Fillmore (voice of Lloyd Sherr), Sarge (voice of Paul Dooley), Lizzie (voice of Katherine Helmond), Ramon (voice of Cheech Marin), Sheriff (voice of Michael Wallis) and Flo (voice of Jenifer Lewis).
Loyal transporter Mack (voice of John Ratzenberger), big-hearted Italian Fiat 500 Luigi (voice of Tony Shalhoub) and charming little Italian forklift Guido (voice of Guido Quaroni) continue to support Lightning McQueen’s racing endeavors. World-renowned sports announcer Bob Cutlass (voice of Bob Costas) is still calling the races, and Chick Hicks (voice of Bob Peterson) is back—this time as a commentator on the Racing Sports Network. The lovable duo Dusty (voice of Ray Magliozzi) and Rusty (voice of Tom Magliozzi) return as Rust-eze’s chief proprietors—though they have big things in store for Lightning McQueen.
CARS 3 cruises into theaters June 16, 2017. Who are your favorites among the returning cast? Who are you most excited to see among the newcomers? Let us know in the comments below!