Book Review: “The Art of Cars 3” is a Terrific Companion Piece to the Disney-Pixar Film

Hi everyone!

The Art of Cars 3 from Chronicle Books recently released, we received it along with The Color of Pixar to review this week. I have long been a fan of the “Art of” books, the last one I purchased was The Art of Moana, and I wrote a review of it here. Other favorites include The Art of Tangled and The Art of Ratatouille, but there are so many excellent books in the series now. The Art of Cars 3 is another winner for anyone who enjoys concept art from animated films and especially for those who love Disney-Pixar’s Cars 3. I really enjoy this book, which is handsomely presented with a beautiful, high quality animated cover and 128 pages of Cars 3 artwork.

Just as with The Color of Pixar, John Lasseter writes a foreword. He talks about creating Cars 3, how Lightning McQueen goes from new race car to being a veteran in the field of racers. And he talks about how it can take 4-5+ years to create an animated film, so Pixar doesn’t make a movie unless they are excited about it.

The preface is by director Brian Fee, who tells a touching story about passing along his love for drawing to his young daughter even when he didn’t realize at first that she was listening.

Following that, there is an introduction by production designers Bill Cone and Jay Shuster that really sets the stage for the book itself, including about a field trip they took to the Daytona 500 and other racing facilities.

There is a lot of terrific concept art inside The Art of Cars 3 – even a fun caricature of Richard Petty by story supervisor Scott Morse, who had dinner with Petty as part of a research trip.

Like other “Art of” books, there is a plethora of art, from concept to realized. There are notes on how cars were created, like Jackson Storm was designed to scare Lightning Mcqueen with his “low profile/wide stance”. There are a couple of pages that storyboard McQueen’s big crash, and about the reaction they wanted from the audience. There are a number of pages dedicated to Cruz, how they designed her and how her story came about. She and her design were an evolving process, moreso than it seems any other character was.

The Art of Cars 3 also includes more information about the different cars themselves, and about locations and how they were chosen/designed. Like in North Carolina, their travels led to the “ruins of the Occoneechee Speedway, one of NASCAR’s first two tracks in their inaugural 1949 season” as well as the North Wilkesboro Speedway – both were used to help design Doc Hudson’s home track. And as we get toward the end of the book, there is concept art of deleted scenes.

The Art of Cars 3 is a terrific companion piece to the film.

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