Top 10 Film Creatures Used as Transportation
Trains, planes, automobiles, horses and the occasional camel or elephant are the typical modes of transportation for the heroes and heroines of most Hollywood Blockbuster movies. But in the last few years as fantasy and sci-fi have become more widely embraced, the modes of transportation for characters have changed dramatically.
Especially in the last few months, I’ve found myself in the movie theaters turning to the person next to me and jealously exclaiming – I want to ride “insert awesome creature here.” Here are my top 10 personal favorite creatures used as transportation in film.
10. TaunTaun – a kangaroo, llama like creature from Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back. Native to the ice cold planet Hoth. They may smell bad, but they’ll keep you warm and cozy when you use their guts for a sleeping bag. And while you may not be able to ride one in real life, you can actually buy a TaunTaun sleeping bag, and be the envy of your friends at all the nerd parties.
9. The Great Eagles – the second coolest creatures in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. They appear a few different times – once to rescue Gandalf from the Orthanc Tower in Isengaard and next to rally during the climactic battle for Middle Earth, fighting off the Nazgul. They also fly into Mordor to pick up the fatigued Frodo and Sam as Mt. Doom explodes all around them.
8. lorek Byrnison – the talking polar “ice” bear from The Golden Compass movie. He acts as a guardian and protector of the main character Lyra, but also his own back-story, which yields some wicked cool bear-on-bear fight action. As opposed to bear-on-man action, which is what would happen if you attempted to ride a bear in real life.
7. Buckbeak the Hippogriff – appears in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The creature itself is a bit of a bitch to manage, but if the end result is a fun flight around Hogwarts, and a rescue later on in the film, than HP is willing to risk it. Buckbeak also has a warm spot in my heart as he was nearly the victim of a beheading.
6. Fell Beast – evil dragon creatures from the Lord of the Rings that are controlled by the Nazguls. They look bad-ass with their giant wing-span and have a cool scream to inspire fear in the hearts of weaker men. Unfortunately, that seems to be their favorite snack, so they would probably make you the neighborhood pariah when folks started going missing.
5. The Frumious Bandersnatch – featured in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. He originally starts out as an enemy to Alice, and in the process of trying to eat her – loses an eye to the Dormouse, which she keeps. Later in the film Alice needs to befriend him in order to retrieve a magical object, and offers up the eye as a trade. For this kind gesture, she also gets to ride him over to the White Queen’s castle. The Bandersnatch is awesome because he’s a feral beast with a kind heart. Another cool animal ridden by Alice in this film is Bayard the Bloodhound. This brought up awesome memories of watching David the Gnome ride Swift the Fox.
4. Toruk Makto – Another dragon type creature from the film Avatar. The Toruk aka “Last Shadow” is especially cool since only five other Na’avi have managed to tame one to ride in the history of Pandora. Jake Sully has got mad skillz. Plus the Toruk is all colorful and shit. They have a life bond similar to the Mountain Banshee creatures that the other Na’avi ride. Another cool animal ridden in this film is the Direhorse, which are connected to their riders through antennae attached to a long braid of hair, and all the motor commands are communicated this way.
3. Pegasus – this black beauty is featured heavily in the 2010 Clash of the Titans (it was white in the 80s version). The Pegasus is another creature that swoops in to save the day, helping the hero Perseus fly out of the Underworld after defeating Medusa. The Pegasus also accompanies him along in battling the Kraken as it attacks Argos. We’re never really sure why the Pegasus seems to favor Perseus – but lord knows if I were a winged horse creature, I wouldn’t mind Sam Worthington riding me. Another cool creature tamed and ridden in this film: Giant Scorpions.
2. Aslan – the talking lion in Chronicles of Narnia. Aslan is the King, and has all these Jesus Christ parallels going on. Shortly after his resurrection, Lucy and Susan get to ride him to the battle fields. Normally I wouldn’t be on board with anything Liam Neeson related, but Aslan has always been one of my favorite wise old characters in film. He only voiced the character, so I didn’t have to stare at his nasty face. And who hasn’t imagined riding a divinely powered lion into battle?
1. Falkor – The Luckdragon from The NeverEnding Story. This is 1 part nostalgia, and 3 parts awesome. A softy furry dragon who looks more like a dog, with insanely boggling eyes and a mad-hatter laugh which causes his pink tongue to wag from his mouth. While his shiny back scales always creeped me out, his friendly voice and love of children (as well as a good scratch behind the ear) are enough to secure him the #1 spot. Plus – the scene where Falkor helps Bastian finally get one-over on the bullies is something straight out of all my childhood fantasies.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, only my film favorites. Feel free to post yours in the comment section below.