You know, when I was a kid, it never occurred to me that Fred’s steamroller-esque car would be impossible to steer, making the crude wooden tiller mostly decorative. Additionally, back ten, it didn’t seem all that odd that Pebbles might be hanging over one deadly rolling stone, and Bam Bam would ride on the roof. All I knew was it looked uncomfortable as hell, and boy could that surrey top hold a lot of weight!
Cartoon cars- they’ve been a staple of animated fare for decades, and some have stood out as particularly cool and distinctive. Whether it was the baling wire and bubble gum patchwork of Tom Slick’s Thunderbolt Grease-Slapper, or the jaw-dropping prowess of Speed’s Mach V, they always seemed to get the job done.
Some animated cars are really animated, and become anthropomorphized characters in their own. Speed Buggy, and, most notably, the entire cast of Cars embody this. Others, such as the Mystery Machine, the Wacky Racers or the Jetson’s bubble-topped flying car, serve only as transport for their owners, despite being boldly emblematic of the series.
Sponge Bob’s boat-car, the Homermobile, Roger Rabbit’s friend Benny the Cab- there’s a lot from which to choose. And one of my favorites isn’t even a car, but the trailer from the short Mickey’s Trailer, which at a pull of a lever (why don’t we have levers anymore? Stupid digital age) would transform from tiny tow-behind to commodious home away from home. Of course with both Donald and Goofy along, things soon get off the hook.
What’s interesting is that many of these vehicles, whether crudely drawn, or the steely output of a rendering farm, were likely one of our first introduction to cars and driving, making them aspirational objects for the pre-pubescent yearning for the day when we could take a turn behind the wheel. And after leaping cars, talking cars, and transforming cars, the real thing could have been a letdown, had it not been so freeing and fabulously fun in its own right.
So which cartoon car draws your greatest admiration?
Image sources: [feministatsea, edrants]