Cars 3 review: Kings of the road movie
Success and failure are two sides of the same shiny coin. To truly appreciate the exhilaration of winning, you also have to experience crushing disappointment and then muster the strength of character to try again, even if it ends in more pain.
As one turbo-charged character in director Brian Fee's well-oiled road movie proclaims: "You can use anything negative as fuel to push through to the positive".
The computer animation wizards at Disney Pixar have been blazing a trail to the positive since their wildly imaginative debut, Toy Story.
This second sequel to the 2006 coming-of-age comedy Cars is unlikely to tarnish the studio's golden lustre, continuing the misadventures of anthropomorphised vehicles, who orbit championship racing car Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson).
Themes of self-sacrifice and perseverance are pumped into the film's fuel tank, and are reflected in writer-director Dave Mullins' heartbreaking computer-animated short film, Lou, which precedes the main feature.
Cars 3 is the most poignant film in the series, striking a pleasing balance between heartfelt sentiment, belly laughs and dazzling artistry.
The quality of the animation is flawless, including pristine reflected surfaces in high-speed races and some cute visual gags.
Admittedly, director Fee and his team don't reinvent the steering wheel but they do manage to tinge even the most colour-saturated scenes with aching sadness and a wistful yearning for the simple pleasures of the past.