In Cars 3, Lightning Mcqueen is depicted as a veteran race car who tries to prove he is still the best racer in the world. He is old when compared to many characters.

Some cars even say that they have grown up watching him racing.

A retired race car Smokey says the dialogue:

You are old and not fast. You have to accept that.

He is shown older than many cars.

For human animated characters, some techniques like wrinkled skin, grey hair etc., can be used but such tricks are not be applicable to cars and vehicles.

Apart from dubbing voice, what are the other techniques followed by the animators and directors to show that Lightning McQueen has aged?

How can audience know that they are looking at an old car by looking at McQueen in Cars 3?

  • 1
    This sounds like homework. You're asking about something that you don't conclusively know the existence of yet. Therefore, the question implies that there is an answer to be found, without providing any proof as to the answer's existence, which is common in homework/exam questions.
    – Flater
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 10:37
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    @Flater Nah. It's not. I don't know where exactly it did sound you so.
    – A J
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 12:00
  • @Flater I actually edited the question after your comment to make it clear. I am looking for the ways which Cars animators used. I didn't say "please list all references to this from the entire movie". I don't study in an animation school or a film school. It just got popped up when I watched cars 3 movie. I didn't observe any age change in voice while watching it. This would be my question more accurately. "What are the ways to show a vehicle or a car old? Just by looking at Mcqueen, How can a movie watcher know he has aged since the first movie? "
    – Nog Shine
    Commented Jun 28, 2017 at 10:05

1 Answer 1


In Cars 3 the "new generation" cars are visually different from those of Lightning McQueen's generation. Their body paint is more shiny (with the inclusion of metal flakes that look like tiny sparks). Their shape is also different, their chassis are wider and lower (closer to the ground). Also, their "eyelids" are lowered more, letting visible less of their "eyes".

Apart from their appearance, the dialogues in the movie show that the new generation cars have arrogant personalities - a trait often attached to the over-confident and inexperienced youth. Mainly they are told to be training using advanced technologies, teaching world record speeds.

In opposition McQueen remains with the same appearance (although his new boss tries to have him adopt a "modern look" for a while), and is shown having difficulties to adopt and believe in the benefits of those new training technologies.

There is no noticeable difference in the animation of the old and new generation cars ; I would say the main distinctions are in the cars design and, above all, the characters behaviors and story context.

  • Thanks for the answer. If I was bot clear in the body, sorry for that. I wanted to know about the techniques followed to show variation between Lightning McQueen's appearance because the new cars have change in the design but McQueen's didn't change much. So, I wanted to know how to spot difference in his age when compared to previous movies.
    – Nog Shine
    Commented Jul 30, 2017 at 15:37

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