The final chapter of the trilogy has saved the best for last and will at least deflect the most serious concerns of those who think this series has taken too many extra laps.
Onscreen and in the audience, youth will be served.
It's a reasonably diverting, somewhat sluggish attempt to reinstall the "heart" of the first installment.
It's all well and good for the under-12s, but this movie never packs the kind of emotional punch we know Pixar is capable of.
We get a lot of repetitive racetrack scenes - only a demolition derby stands out for the inventiveness of its animation - and a familiar message about believing in yourself.
"Cars 3" hums along the track, and while its heart and humor could use minor tune-ups, it does enough visually to earn a checkered flag and keep this franchise from the scrapheap - for now, at least.
Pixar's level of ambition has always gone beyond producing movies strictly for children, which makes the retread aspects of something like Cars 3 feel a bit more deflating.
It's surprising that the slick-looking Cars 3 picks up steam in the emotional big-picture department.
Cars 3 happily gets back to where it belongs, not just to home turf Radiator Springs (for a brief spell) but also to the storytelling essentials of making us care about anthropomorphic automobiles.