There are lots of animated films being rolled out every week in the theatres and it’s getting harder to stand out from the clutter. Cars 3 is the latest 3D computer-animated comedy film produced by Pixar Animation for Walt Disney Pictures. It is the third installment in the Cars film franchise, and sequel to Cars 2 (2011).

Directed by Brian Fee in his directorial debut, it stars Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy, Tony Shalhoub, Guido Quaroni, John Ratzenberger, Cheech Marin, Michael Wallis, Paul Dooley, Jenifer Lewis and Katherine Helmond, reprising their voice roles from the first two films, along with Cristela Alonzo, Chris Cooper, Armie Hammer, Nathan Fillion, Kerry Washington and Lea DeLaria, who voice new characters.

In the film, Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation that he is still the best race car in the world and along the way, tells a poignant story.

I watched the preview last week with my son Asher. He had not seen the earlier two films while I only have vague recollection of the previous two films which were average at best.

I walked into the cinema not really expecting much, but I walked out touched and inspired by the film. This third installment is much better than a previous two.

In a nutshell, Lightning McQueen has to come to accept that younger and better engineered race cars are now clocking much faster timing than him. What does an athlete do when you realise you are past your prime? Thus he went on a journey of self-discovery and training, finding a protege along the way who eventually replaced him as the successor.

What did the film teach me?

Sometimes, it’s not just about personal glory, but if you can help others to reach their dream or goal, it can be equally fulfilling.

With my son sitting beside me, my role as a daddy is to mentor and guide him to achieve what he wants in life. While there are some dreams and aspirations which I have not achieved personally, it is now for me to ensure Asher is able to reach his.

With the SEA Games ongoing, the narrative in Cars 3 reminds me of the Schooling family and Joseph Schooling’s amazing gold medal win at last year’s summer Olympics, defeating his childhood idol and swimming legend, Michael Phelps. The medal win would not have been possible if not for Colin and May Schooling’s perseverance and strong belief in the ability of their son to shine in the world stage. No dream is too big. You just need to work hard towards it.

Cars 3 will be released in Singapore cinemas from 31 August. Be sure to catch it if you need a mood uplift or an inspirational push. Enjoy the ride!