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New trailers: somehow Cars 3 had the darkest trailer of the week

Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

Thanksgiving weekend is a really good one for the movies, particularly animated ones. Frozen, Toy Story 2, and Tangled are the three biggest, five-day Thanksgiving weekend movie openings in history. And this year, Disney’s Moana stands to uphold that tradition.

But for another animated film in the news this week, releasing a trailer over Thanksgiving is the best it could manage. And what a trailer it was.

No one expects Pixar’s Cars 3: Final Destination to be the studio’s finest work. But its first official trailer took people by surprise with its weird mix of death and terror in a NASCAR-like setting. And it left me with so many questions. Is this movie for kids? Is it for adults? And why are the good people at Pixar still making Cars movies, anyway?

Or course, Cars 3 wasn’t the only trailer out this week. Here’s a roundup:

Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors (November 30)

I, for one, am a fan of NBC’s insistence in giving us the Dolly Parton origin story. Last year, NBC aired Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors, an autobiographical look at the beginnings of the country singer’s career and life. This year, the network is following up with Christmas of Many Colors, the next chapter in young Dolly’s life. And the best part is that Parton herself will actually make an appearance, playing a prostitute whom Dolly idolizes. Happy Holidays and bless us all.

The Last Face (January 11, 2017)

The Last Face, directed by Sean Penn, is about an international relief aid director played by Charlize Theron who meets a doctor played by Javier Bardem in war-torn Liberia. The film centers on tough questions about humanitarianism in places that feel hopeless and dangerous; it’s also the last project that Theron and Penn, who are now exes, worked on together before the former allegedly ghosted the latter.

Silence (January 2017)

Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver have teamed up with legendary director Martin Scorsese to give us Silence, a movie about two Jesuit priests who travel to 17th-century Japan despite the country banning their religion. To be honest, this trip seems like not the brightest of ideas, and this movie probably won’t be the happiest of tales. But it does look very intense — that’s got to count for something.

Girls (February 12, 2017)

The final season of Lena Dunham’s HBO series Girls is upon us. Since the show’s debut in 2012, it’s been weird watching it unfold and get more self-aware. Girls turned out to be a chronicle of what happens as four young women who live New York City slowly vaporize each of their friendships with one another. And this trailer contains traces of that sentiment, from a joke about the women’s friendships to how comically awful Marnie has become. While it’s unclear whether Girls’ final season will be good or bad, it might be worth watching just to see how Dunham wraps everything up.

Smurfs: The Lost Village (April 7, 2017)

Not unlike the cars in Cars 3, it appears the Smurfs are facing an existential crisis of their own. In Smurfs: The Lost Village, the Smurfs try to find out if they’re the only Smurfs in the universe, or if there are other Smurfs out there somewhere, a question that prompts them to risk their lives and traverse to a faraway village in hopes of finding more blue-skinned brethren.

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