We may never escape this cash cow of a franchise.

I don’t think it’s controversial to say that the two Cars movies rank among the least liked when we talk about films made by Pixar. Of course, that sentiment comes from adults. Kids – especially younger kids – love the things. The merchandise sells like hot cakes, the home video releases do really well, and the box office take has averaged around $500 million worldwide through two installments. It’s no wonder that, regardless of the adult fanbase’s disdain for them, Pixar is intent on continuing to make them.

Today, the teaser trailer for Cars 3 dropped. It showcases a segment of a race in which Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) overtakes a few opponents and then crashes. Are we finally getting rid of our protagonist? The text then reads: “FROM THIS MOMENT EVERYTHING WILL CHANGE.”

Okay, that’s a good teaser. The problem? It’s almost impossible to believe it’s real. The animation style is completely different from previous Cars movies, Lightning’s design has changed, and the race looks more like a real-world NASCAR competition than anything this franchise has previously shown us. What does that mean? Either Pixar has changed course dramatically … or what they’re showing in the trailer is a dream. After all, if Lightning dreams of his own demise, chances are good that that, too, will change everything.

Cars 3 is scheduled to be released on June 16, 2017.

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