What is the name of the animated short film (pre 1985) that shows an alien's view of earth and they think cars are the main life form?
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I believe you are talking about the 1966 animated short film, "What on Earth!". It's presented as a mockumentary by the Film Board of Mars (Actually the National Film Board of Canada), and mistakes cars as the dominant life form on Earth.
It was nominated for an Academy Award, and can be seen on the NFB website.