Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Animals Driving Cars: A Chronological Pictorial, Part 2

Continued from 
Part 1
The 60s also saw the start of the equality movement, with different varieties of  animals demanding the same opportunities that dogs and chimps received. Led by cats, mainly political and social activist Whitey Hoffman, the movement demanded equal chances at vehicular employment and equal wages. Seen above, Whitey defiantly drives through Houston, Texas, in protest of their laws denying felines the right to drive. Unfortunately, only a year after this photo was taken, Whitey was found dead in a hotel room, overdosed from a catnip ball heavily laced with PCP. Though Hoffman had indulged in recreational drugs before, supporters said Whitey had been clean for about six months and thus they suspected foul play.

The 70s saw a rise in films featuring animals driving automobiles, partially due to the act becoming so mainstream.  Genres, such as cat-ploitation films, starred little known feline actors in smaller, cult movie, cheaply produced then distributed to specific theaters where marketing would bring in the best bang for the buck. Here (click picture to see movie), actor Phineas T. Phillips portrays Tabby Jackson, a "bad-ass cat" who fights the drug trade by running over dealers on his neighborhood street corners. Phillips would go on to play more respected roles, such as "Jones" in Ridley Scott's Alien and "Milo" in The Adventures of Milo and Otis, neither of which had scenes with him driving.

The world of animal driving expanded in the 80s to include other capable species including pandas, flamingos and octopuses. Although this started purely for novelty circus acts, these forms of "domestic transportation" - as it was later termed - became more common with the rise of 80s comedies with talking animals. Above, Splash drives to the set of his hilarious hit TV show, "The Otter Guy." 
The rise in animal driving was not without its dark side though. Animals, now more mobile with automobiles, could use vehicles in nefarious acts of crime. Robberies, drug smuggling and even hit-and-runs became common among the animal set. Here, two deer have stolen a car to go joy-riding. They were easily apprehended however as police shined their spotlights on the deer, they froze, allowing the car to roll to a stop.

After regulation of the 90s, fewer and fewer creatures are seen driving on America's roads and highways today. Animals driving cars are now seen more as a novelty, especially on the World Wide Web. Most pictures of animals driving are now used as memes to fill Twitter feeds and silly blog pages. This has given rise to a new lucrative job market for creatures - animals who act like they are driving for pictures so people can comment on or label them for comedic effect.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief examination of the world of Animals Driving Cars. 
For more information, please check with this site. Enjoy your explorations!

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