Sep 7, 2017

Parenting Lessons I Learnt from Cars 3 + GIVEAWAY!


That is the mantra at Pixar Animation Studios, where they tell stories in ways nobody else can. From Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Inside Out, to the impending release of Coco this November, Pixar has the knack of coming out with heartfelt stories that resonate with both adults and kids.

But what really goes into a Pixar film? That was what I got to find out when I visited Pixar Animation Studios back in May, where I sat down with some pretty important people responsible for Cars 3.

No, not Bing Bong.

We are all familiar with Lightning McQueen. But in Cars 3, he is not a rookie anymore. Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast cars, the legendary Lightning McQueen finds himself pushed out of the sport he loves. "He's struggling with the kind of issues athletes face later in their careers," said producer Kevin Reher. "Do you go out on top or fight till the end?"

According to director Brian Fee, while Lightning is still the same confident, determined and fun-loving race car, his confidence is being tested by new rookies on the track. "When we first met Lightning, he was a young rookie - a superhero," said Fee. "He had his whole life ahead of him. And while he has done well since we last saw him - winning five Piston Cups, he is not a young hotshot racer anymore."

Director Brian Fee (left) & Producer Kevin Reher (right), Cars 3

For Cars 3, the filmmakers consulted National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) veterans. "We did a lot of research," said Fee. "We looked at athletes in other sports but really focused on NASCAR drivers. They start at such an early age and their lives are centered around driving. We even talked to a sports psychologist who explained that many of these drivers don't know anything else."

Neither can Lightning McQueen. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez, with her own plan to win. Cruz is a talented trainer and is all about technology who knows how to create winners on simulated racetracks. But Lightning is old-school, and realises he might have to travel with Cruz on a different road to success.

Lightning decides to return to his roots - recalling the wisdom imparted on him by his beloved mentor, the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet. Ultimately, he turns to his coach's coach - Smokey, who was there during Doc's heyday - for guidance and inspiration, and eventually realises the power of mentorship. The filmmakers looked to their own lives to tell a story too. "If you are really trying to share an idea with an audience as a filmmaker, you have to feel it," said Fee. "So being a parent became my main resource to find and understand the emotion in the film."

"Like a lot of us, I struggled to find enough time to explore my passion projects - we all have responsibilities at work and at home that don't leave enough spare time," continued Fee. "then one day, I spent a couple of hours painting a simple picture to teach my daughters about art. Something changed after that. I found the experience so much more rewarding than I ever imagined. That's what we are trying to communicate in this movie with the relationship between Lightning and Doc."

The nod to Doc and his impact on Lightning's career is part of what brings audiences back to the feeling of the original 'Cars'. "Audiences connected with the first 'Cars' film in a very special way," said Jay Ward, creative director for the 'Cars' franchise. "They saw the heart in Radiator Springs; they felt the emotion in the relationship between the characters."


I caught a 40-minute preview of Cars 3 when I was at Pixar Animation Studios and I loved what I saw. And I think my excitement spilled over to the monkies too, because they were all hyped up when we finally attended the Singapore Premiere of Cars 3.

And the TL;DR review? All of us loved it! In fact, I found Cars 3 to be so so so much better than its previous 2 instalments.

At its core, Cars 3 is about finding fulfilment in what one does, day in and day out. But more than that, the characters learn key life lessons with plenty of positive messages that parents can turn into learning moments with the kids: the importance of mentorship; the idea that that no matter how old you are, you always have more to learn; and nothing should stop you from reaching for your dreams regardless of gender or appearance.

I particularly loved Cruz's - who is Ale's fave character by the way - story. Training others isn’t the career she dreamed of as she too had wanted to be a racer. But along the way, she gave up the opportunity to fulfil her big dream because “The other racers looked nothing like me. It made me feel like it was a world in which I didn’t belong.” Cruz’s story emphasizes the way that women, particularly young women, internalise external messages about not only what they can and can’t do, but who they can or can’t be.

So yes, Cars 3 sure has plenty of positivity and motivation for not just little boys but for little girls as well!

But more than that, the greatest lesson I learnt from Cars 3 was something related to parenting. Cruz was told by her parents from a young age that she was not suited for racing and being a trainer was probably best suited for her. I have to admit, I sometimes do helicopter my monkies... perhaps too much! I worry about them and am afraid that one day they will choose a career or hobby that will not be 'ideal'. Hence, I feel the need to protect them and persuade their decision to change. But as Cruz showed in the movie, your achievements are only hampered by the size of your dreams.

If you are looking for a fun and moving movie with life lessons to discuss with your kids post-movie, I cannot recommend Cars 3 enough.

Oh and whatever you do, DO NOT be late for the movie because there is a Pixar short film before Cars 3. Titled LOU, it is about a character composed of numerous lost and found items and deals with childhood bullying. I don't want to give anything away but let's just say the short will take you through every roller coaster emotion you have in less than ten minutes, as only Pixar can.

Thanks to Walt Disney Singapore, I have THREE Cars 3 hampers filled with Cars 3 merchandise to give away!

The 3 winners have been picked and each of you have won a Cars 3 Merchandise Hamper with the following items:

- 1 Disney/Pixar's Cars 3 Kid T Shirt worth S$60
- 1 Disney/Pixar's Cars 3 Polo Shirt worth S$80
- 1 Disney/Pixar's Cars 3 Jacket worth S$100
- 1 Disney/Pixar's Cars 3 Sticker Sheet worth S$20
- 1 Disney/Pixar's Cars 3 Lenticular Notebook worth S$25

A huge congratulations to:

1. Veron Shuen-Ho 
2. Rozana Abd Razak
3. Jennifer Png

Please email me at for prize collection details. Thanks!

Oh and by the way, the correct answers for the below photo is 1. AYD, 2. ASH and 3. ALE. :)

To participate, all you have to do is the following:

1. LIKE Walt Disney Singapore's Facebook page HERE.

2. Michael Daley, a story artist at Pixar Animation Studios, has transformed the monkies into Cars! See the picture below and guess which cars are Ash, Ayd and Ale.

Leave your answer either in the corresponding Facebook post HERE or in this blog post after you have done so.

(Don't worry, wrong answers will still be eligible for the giveaway)

SHARE this blog post of the giveaway on Facebook for a BONUS chance! Remember to set your profile to public so that I can see the shared post.

Giveaway ends on 17 Sep 2017, 2359 hours.


*Cars 3 opens in theatres on 31 August 2017

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Unknown said...

Liked and shared..

Unknown said...

1. Ayd
2. Ash
3. Ale

Unknown said...

1 Ash
2 Ale
3 Ayd


Unknown said...

Thank you Cheekiemonkies for this awesome giveaway!😊

LIKED Walt Disney Singapore's Facebook page

1. Blue is Ash,
2. Grey is Ayd and
3. Yellow is Ale.

🍀Hope to win!🍀

Joey said...

Number 1: Ayd
Number 2: Ash
Number 3: Ale

KISMET said...

Very cute drawing of your children:

Ash -Blue car
Ayd - Grey car
Ale - Yellow car (love those lashes)

Liked and Shared

Hope I can win the hamper for my son.

Unknown said...

Love the cute drawings... am picturing my 3 kids being transformed too ;-)
Here's my guess:
1) Blue - Ash
2) Grey - Ale
3) Yellow - Ayd

Unknown said...

Like and shared

1 Ash
2 Ale
3 Ayd

Hwee Ke said...


Cute cars! 1. Ash 2.Ayd 3.Alr

Hope to win for my cars fanatic boy!

Eunice Lek said...

Blue -Ash
Grey - Ale
Yellow -Ayd

All steps done.

Unknown said...

1. Ash
2. Aye
3. ALe

All steps done. Hope to win for my 3 monkeys :D

Michelle said...

1. Ash
2. Aye
3. Ale

Weiyi said...

I guess
Blue is Ash
Grey is Ady
Yellow is Ale

Thanks, hope i can win!

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