Whenever a Disney/Pixar film is about to be released, even if said film is more dark and/or serious, the teaser for it is always light and comedic in tone. Not this time.
There’s a distinct lack of music, instead relying on a heartbeat and the sound of the cars revving and the crowds. The colours are muted. We focus on the wheels of the cars; we can’t see their faces. There’s a conspicuous shot of one car in particular that’s speeding ahead. We see that Lightning McQueen is in the lead, but is looking rather dirty and worn out. And then there’s the dramatic crash, and it looks BAD. Again, we can’t see his face, but we hear his heavy breathing, and how he’s falling apart. Then it fades to black, with the emblazoned words “FROM THIS MOMENT EVERYTHING WILL CHANGE”. Then there’s a beat, and we see the franchise logo and release date.
Ho. Ly. SHIT.
This is a masterpiece of trailer editing. In less than a minute we are treated to an intense, dramatic, compelling glimpse at the story, and just how bad the situation looks for the characters. It grabs your attention and gets you interested in what’s going to happen.
What makes this stand out is that it’s fucking Cars. Cars! The Pixar franchise that gets derided all the time for being more about profit than storytelling. And here it is, turning everything on its head.
So what does this mean? I can’t imagine that they’re actually going to kill Lightning McQueen off (he’s too profitable), but I think what’s going to happen is that he’s going to be seriously disabled/incapacitated. In that he won’t be able to race anymore. That would actually be a really compelling storyline, as well as an important one to help people cope with serious injuries and traumatic experiences.
I really do hope this movie is going to deliver after such an awesome teaser. I’m definitely intrigued for what’s in store for this franchise!