Having just got some [expensive yet essential] work done to my motor, I thought it would be a good time to look at some of the best cars ever to grace the animation stage. Here they are, presented in no particular order.
Who could forget this classic that brought down Powell Motors. A cautionary tale of the customer saying one thing and doing another. Also, how about that horn, eh?
The Gadget Mobile
Far and away the coolest car in TV history. It could transform! How is that not awesome!
For the connoisseurs among us, the Renault Alpine was the Porsche 911 for the more independently-minded rear-engine motorist. Hideaki Anno could have used any generic sports car, but instead he chose a car that most people would never figure out; a perfect fit for Misato.
Fred Flintstone’s Car
Don’t deny that you didn’t want to drive this thing at some point.
The Mystery Machine
The Mystery Machine equals the A-Team Van for van-ish coolness and unlike the latter, this one is still transporting the team around. Quite an achievement after 40+ years, no?
Pretty much obligatory I think.
Cruella Deville’s Car
This is the interesting choice because, number 1, it’s a Disney car, which are fairly rare in the features as they tend to be set in times when the horse was the dominant form of transport; and 2, it’s a rather quirky car. Despite taking place in 1960s Britain, it’s more akin to those from the 30s, or at best the post-war MGs. It also fits her personality with a low, aggressive stance and a quick pace.
According to this headline:
5-Year-Old Critics Agree: Movie ‘Cars’ Only Gets Better After 40th Viewing
You know, I do kinda miss that ability to watch a movie over and over and over again day in and day out without ever getting bored of it.
There was an important legal ruling last week that is certainly an important one in the world of animation, namely that Pixar did not rip-off the character of Lightning McQueen from some race driver named Mark Brill.
Why would any animator be concerned about a ruling between a hugely successful studio and a race driver that they never heard of before? Well, for one, Brill alleged that Pixar had blatantly plagiarised the design of his actual race car, and as a result, he felt entitled to damages resulting from misappropriation of his intellectual property (i.e., the car).
Thankfully, the lawsuit has been tossed out at the first hurdle and saves everyone a whole lot of consternation and energy as a result. The important point is that the court used a test devised for a lawsuit from the early 1990s, when Vanna White (of Wheel of Fortune fame) sued Samsung in the famous “robot with a blonde wig” lawsuit, where the court devised a method of determining whether or not the average person in the street could differentiate between the affected party and the resemblance.
In the Cars case, the court ruled that
a fictional, talking, driver-less red race car with the number 95 on it cannot be construed as a likeness of a driver of a similarly coloured/numbered race car
Once again, the case highlights the lengths that some people believe they can go to in order to protect their ‘likeness’. This is an important issue for animators where it is often common for them to lampoon and parody famous (or infamous) people. Being aware of the freedoms and limitations of doing so are well worth keeping in mind.