If there's one blemish on Pixar's impressive slate of animated films, it has to be the Cars franchise. It's not downright terrible, but when put on the same pedestal as movies like Up, which will make you cry, and Wall-E, which will also make you cry, Cars seems more interested in selling merchandise. Hint: The merchandise is, in fact, cars.
So what do you do when you want to milk a franchise for all it's worth, but you're Pixar and you have a reputation to uphold? You swing for the fences and go really, really dark.
That seems to be the case for Cars 3, given the teaser trailer Pixar dropped Monday. The clip features said cars racing around an oval track. At the tail end of the race is our hero, Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson). He begins to skid and lose control (of himself? He's a car!) as he flips into the air with parts scattering.
Then, an ominous-as-all-hell tagline envelops the black screen: "From this moment, everything will change." Jesus.
Of course, we shouldn't expect Cars 3 to actually be this dark. Larry the Cable Guy should still be part of the voiceover cast as his true-to-life avatar: A rusty, broken-down pickup truck. But we'd welcome a change of pace from Pixar's worst franchise, even if it means scarring a few children along the way with Lightning McQueen's harrowing accident.
Watch the disturbing teaser below: