/Answers: The Best Movie Vehicles

best movie vehicles

Every week in /Answers, we attempt to answer a new pop culture-related question. This week’s edition, tying in with the release of Cars 3, asks “What is your favorite vehicle from the movies?” As always, we have submissions from the /Film writing crew and podcast team. This week, we are also joined by Cars 3 director Brian Fee and writers Kiel Murray, Scott Morse, Bob Peterson, and Mike Rich.

If you’d like to share your pick for your favorite movie vehicle, please send your thoughts to slashfilmpitches@gmail.com for a chance to be featured on the site. Find our choices below!

Cars 3 Director Brian Fee: The Speeder Bike from Return of the Jedi

[My favorite movie vehicle is] the speeder bike in Return of the Jedi because I lit up when I was a kid, that whole scene lit me up. There was something about that design. It’s kind of like a motorcycle, but it flies. The way you would ride it, they freak you out with the way they sped up the film and take you through the trees. It stuck with me forever. I remember being in college and getting a toy of it. I built a model of it. I had a large version of the model that I built. Just looking at the silhouette of it against the wall would just bring a smile to my face. It was all how I felt initially when I first saw it as a kid, that’s always what it was tapping into.

Cars 3 Writing Team: A Bunch of Classics and a Hunk of Junk

Kiel Murray: What’s Michael Arndt’s movie? Little Miss Sunshine. For me it’s the bus, because we had that bus. We had an orange bus growing up.

Scott Morse: I’ve got two, they’re both from George Lucas movies, surprise-surprise. One is Milner’s coupe from American Graffiti and the other one would be the Millennium Falcon.

Kiel Murray: The Back to the Future car is a good one too.

Bob Peterson: I guess Herbie the Love Bug because it brings so many nostalgic thoughts about going to the movies with my family back in the ’60s and ’70s. Filled with love.

Kiel Murray: What was the flying one?

All other writers: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

Bob Peterson: I had such a crush on a girl in my neighborhood who looked like that girl.

Mike Rich: Yeah, all of those!

peter sciretta and the back to the future time machine

Peter Sciretta: DeLorean Time Machine in Back to the Future

Back to the Future has been my favorite movie since childhood and part of the reason that film captured my imagination as a child was, yes, time travel, but also that cool-looking stainless steel gullwing door car that looked like it came from the future. I love almost everything about the design of the car. To me, it’s not just a vehicle, but another character in the story.

The photo above is me in the late 90’s, standing in front of the now non-existent Back to the Future: The Ride at Universal Studios Orlando. The one on the right is from last year’s 2015 celebration, where I was able to attend the “Fish Under the Sea Dance” in the actual filming location from the movie.

For years, I thought the car was created for the movie. So when I found out it was a real car, I told myself I’d buy one someday. I have a reluctant admission for you: I never actually got my drivers license. San Francisco has a wonderful public transportation system and I thought I’d get one when I moved to Los Angeles, but the combination of working from home and ride sharing has made it unnecessary. I’ve never been much of a car guy – maybe it’s because I don’t drive. However, I’ve always wanted a Delorean, even if it would be so impractical in this age (that said, they are now converting them into all electrical vehicles).

Hoai-Tran Bui: The Batmobile in The Dark Knight

The evolution of the Batmobile is one of my favorite things about Batman’s long cinematic history. Up until Batman Begins, the Batmobile was always like an emo James Bond Aston Martin on steroids — sleek, gadget-filled, and cool. But then Christopher Nolan and production designer Nathan Crowley kicked it up a notch by turning the Batmobile into a bonafide tank. The Tumbler, as it was called, was clunky and massive. At first I wasn’t fond of it — I missed the neo-Gothic days of Tim Burton. But I gradually warmed to this unwieldy monster and the way it was a bald-faced display of the brooding masculinity that was The Dark Knight trilogy.

It was almost endearing, the way the Tumblr basically screamed, “Look how awesome I am! I’m a tank! I can shoot down bridges! I can leap tall buildings! TAKE THAT SUPERMAN.” Maybe that’s just me, but it was exemplified in the scene in The Dark Knight when the Tumbler self-destructs and becomes a kick-ass motorcycle. It was equal turns ridiculous and awe-inspiring. The scene had the joy of an 8-year-old boy who brilliantly thought up the idea of a tank that turns into a motorcycle and the production value of a billion-dollar blockbuster. It may sound like I’m making fun of Nolan and the Batmobile, but I promise you it’s quite the opposite. I think it’s one of the overlooked fun aspects of the movie, and a wonderful exercise in a very serious movie not taking itself too seriously.

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