Ok, hear me out. I belive we need smaller and biger categories.
Firstly, I belive categories like, "Characters", "Places and Locations" ect, should contain all characters/places and not categories, firstly becouse lots of them appear in more than one thing (and some in kinds of things that doesn't have specific category), and becouse simply they are specific elements of the universe, that deserve one big place to include them.
And about smaller categories, they are verry useful, becouse they show small group of things that are connected to eachover, like "police officers and security", "medics", "Leak Less" ect. Also, I want to say I understand that many kids makes lots of categories that are really useless (lets say for example "red cars") but we shouldn't delete actually useful categories in the way. And since we are on the topic, I don't really like the nationality categories. I don't personally like that world is putting people into the categories base on their place of origin and also from the point of cartoon, there's no big reason to actually add those, since beside occasionally some car having flag of the country on World Grand Prix, most background characters aren't confirmed to have any nationality, nor nether of those have much impact to anything.
And also, I personally think we could go for more Wikipedia or Wookiepedia-like article construction that:
briefly depicts said character in encyclopedic style, showing characters profession ect
history that tells the history of character is style of biography rather than what happened in each movie (In cars 3 character stood in the background in that one scene and was compliantly forgettable). So it should show characters life story starting of his backstory presented in Car Finder/Meet the Cars and other sources, then event that were shown in the movies. We also could have sections like "Non-canonical appearances" (or "Appearances in video games/Cars Toons/comics" that presents non-canonical appearances of the character.
it should depict character look as and vehicle model as different section rather than right after his name. Its not that important to be put right after first sentence of the character and it looks more professional when it has its own section.
Official bios would look better if it actually mention source at the back of it rather that mention it in references.
Next to appearances we could list "Sources" as a section to mention encyclopedic/biographic sources that characters appears in that don't actually present the story but gave as information about characters (for example "Car Finder" or "Meet the Cars"). This is how Wikipedia and Wookieepidia do it and in my opinion it works better. Firstly becouse it point that that character appeared in that, and secondly because it allows to post information said in that without putting references all over the place.
So, those are a few things that in my opinion could be changed about how we structure the articles. What do you think.
I actually agree about the nationality categories. I said before that it might be best to only add a category if their official bio or whatever specifically states where they're from, but the problem is that it would be tempting for people who casually read the wiki to think "hey, I saw that guy in Japan!" and just add it like that. It would be annoying to deal with, as it sadly already is.
Categories in general have always been a pain on this wiki. The hard truth is that categories in particular stick out to the young, inexperienced Wiki user because they appeal to the fundamental concept of organization that sites like this are known for. That, coupled with how Wikia/Fandom lets you add categories at the click of a button without even opening the editor, makes it difficult to manage, especially on a kids-brand focused wiki where younger people haven't learned the larger purpose of editing. (I say this as someone who once thought like that many years ago.)
Regarding subcategories, I don't understand what's wrong with the system I've already tried to implement. Using your own example of Wikipedia, there is not a "Songs" category housing every commercial song ever released. Use this page for example -- it's tagged with cats like "2019 singles" which are a sub of 2010s singles, and so on. The whole idea is if you go to Category:Characters and have to wade through 1000 different pages to find what you're looking for, it completely defeats the purpose. Categorization is meant to be specific so that new users can easily find whatever they're searching for.
Now, about the character article format: I actually agree with you. Years ago I took influence from the Mario Wiki because both Mario and Cars are large franchises with a loose canon, and their structure puts more a focus on "what does this character do in x game/film" rather than "what is this characters' overall story arc", because Cars is not really meant to have a deep canon or anything like that.
However, as time went on, I realized that the formatting became awkward on shorter pages, mainly because of the limitations Wikia puts on image galleries, tables, and such. The Mario Wiki uses a more traditional WikiMedia site structure, whereas we're forced into using a (in my opinion) clunky interface and overly large font sizes. Every time Wikia changes their interface, our page structures become more and more awkward.
At one point I actually debated switching over to Wookiepedia's format (around the time I started doing the same with the Monsters, Inc. Wiki), since most other TV/film series wikis use a variation of that style. I just never bothered because I had put so much time into the other one, and I didn't want to go through the process of overhauling it again, especially given how infrequently I've been here. Frankly, the site's younger audience has made it an absolute nightmare to make large changes like that, as I learned while messing with the categories. I spend an entire day making changes, next morning I wake up and there's a storm of people who've changed it back and added "Male/female characters" to every page. It's maddening, and extremely demotivating. I understand that's the nature of a Wiki, but things haven't always been like this, and I find myself missing the days before Cars 3 came out. (sorry if that offends anyone, but I'm sure there are others who share that sentiment?)
So to that I say, if you're willing to spend time adjusting every character article, I 100% support switching our format to that. I don't mind helping out with that.
This is quite the long winded response, but I wanted to address everything and explain my reasong for why I've made things the way they are. I'd be happy to clarify anything if needed.
Thank you. I'm more than happy hearing your approval of the changes :)
Also, I understand your reasoning about the categories and how hard it is to deal with bunch of young editors making mess with them. Despite that I still relive that bigger categories such as "Racing cars" ect should be left alone because you simply can't put all characters into separate categories such as "Piston Cup racers" since not all characters were confirmed to take part in any racing competitions.
I have just found out that books like Cars Origins ("Chasing Storm", "Cruz Control" and "Struck by Lightning") and probably other books as well, contain backstories of the characters (plus planty of original new characters). I think it would be nice to implement informations from them into this wiki.
Jeff Gorvette, Tony Gaswart, Matt Carseth, Kevin Carvick, Rusty Wheelhouse, Darrell Draggered and Dale Carrett himself could be missing the 2005 Dinoco 400 due to there haulers being lazey, or 36 racers competing the Dinoco 400 could be refrenced to 36 races of the 2005 NASCAR Season.