Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner

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Wile E. Coyote
Wile E Coyote.gif
Wile E. Coyote
First appearanceFast and Furry-ous (September 17, 1949)
Last appearanceThe Looney Tunes Show (May 3, 2011-present)
Created byChuck Jones
Voiced bySilent (1949-1952)
Mel Blanc (1952–1989, only in Wile E. and Bugs Bunny shorts, and Adventures of the Road Runner),
Joe Alaskey (Tiny Toon Adventures, webtoon),
Dee Bradley Baker (Duck Dodgers),
Maurice LaMarche (Looney Tunes: Cartoon Conductor)
Information
AliasesThe Coyote
SpeciesCoyote
GenderMale
 
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Wile E. Coyote
Wile E Coyote.gif
Wile E. Coyote
First appearanceFast and Furry-ous (September 17, 1949)
Last appearanceThe Looney Tunes Show (May 3, 2011-present)
Created byChuck Jones
Voiced bySilent (1949-1952)
Mel Blanc (1952–1989, only in Wile E. and Bugs Bunny shorts, and Adventures of the Road Runner),
Joe Alaskey (Tiny Toon Adventures, webtoon),
Dee Bradley Baker (Duck Dodgers),
Maurice LaMarche (Looney Tunes: Cartoon Conductor)
Information
AliasesThe Coyote
SpeciesCoyote
GenderMale
The Road Runner
Roadrunner.gif
The Road Runner
First appearanceFast and Furry-ous (September 17, 1949)
Last appearanceThe Looney Tunes Show (May 3, 2011-present)
Created byChuck Jones, Michael Maltese
Voiced byPaul Julian (1949–1994),
Mel Blanc (Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales, Bugs Bunny's Bustin' Out All Over) ,
Dee Bradley Baker,
Frank Welker (1990-present, Tiny Toon Adventures, Baby Looney Tunes, Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal, The Looney Tunes Show)
Information
SpeciesRoadrunner
GenderMale

Wile E. Coyote (also known simply as "The Coyote") and The Road Runner are a duo of cartoon characters from a series of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons. The characters (a coyote and Greater Roadrunner) were created by animation director Chuck Jones in 1948 for Warner Bros., while the template for their adventures was the work of writer Michael Maltese. The characters star in a long-running series of theatrical cartoon shorts (the first 16 of which were written by Maltese) and occasional made-for-television cartoons.

In each episode, instead of animal senses and cunning, Wile E. Coyote uses absurdly complex contraptions (sometimes in the manner of Rube Goldberg) and elaborate plans to pursue his quarry. It was originally meant to parody chase cartoons, like Tom and Jerry but it became popular, much to Jones' chagrin.

The Coyote appears separately as an occasional antagonist of Bugs Bunny in five shorts from 1952 to 1963: Operation: Rabbit, To Hare Is Human, Rabbit's Feat, Compressed Hare, and Hare-Breadth Hurry. While he is generally silent in the Coyote-Road Runner shorts, he speaks with a refined accent in these solo outings (except for Hare-Breadth Hurry), introducing himself as "Wile E. Coyote — super genius", voiced with an upper-class, cultured English accent by Mel Blanc.[1] The Road Runner vocalizes only with a signature sound, "Beep, Beep", recorded by Paul Julian, and an occasional "popping-cork" tongue noise.[2]

To date, 48 cartoons have been made featuring these characters (including the three CGI shorts), the majority by Chuck Jones.

Contents

Creation

Jones based the Coyote on Mark Twain's book Roughing It,[3] in which Twain described the coyote as "a long, slim, sick and sorry-looking skeleton" that is "a living, breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry." Jones said he created the Coyote-Road Runner cartoons as a parody of traditional "cat and mouse" cartoons such as Tom and Jerry, which series Jones would work on as a director later in his career.[4]

The Coyote's name of Wile E. is a play on the word "wily." The "E" was said to stand for Ethelbert in one issue of a Looney Tunes comic book, but its writer hadn't intended it to be canon.[5] The Coyote's surname is routinely pronounced with a long "e" (/kˈt/ ky-OH-tee), but in one cartoon short, To Hare Is Human, Wile is heard pronouncing it with a diphthong (/kˈt/ ky-OH-tay). Early model sheets for the character prior to his initial appearance (in Fast and Furry-ous) identified him as "Don Coyote", a play on Don Quixote.[6]

List of cartoons

The series consists of:

#Release dateTitleDurationCreditsPseudo-Latin names givenAcme Corporation devices used
Story/writingDirectionFor the Road RunnerFor the Coyote
11949·9·17Fast and Furry-ous6:55Michael MalteseChuck JonesAccelleratii incredibusCarnivorous vulgarisACME Super Outfit
21951·5·24Beep, Beep6:45Michael MalteseChuck JonesAccelerati incredibilusCarnivorous vulgarisACME Rocket-Powered Roller Skates; aspirin, matches,
31952·8·23Going! Going! Gosh!6:25Michael MalteseChuck JonesAcceleratti incredibilisCarnivorous vulgarisan anvil, a weather balloon, a street cleaner's bin, and a fan
41953·9·19Zipping Along6:55Michael MalteseChuck JonesVelocitus tremenjusRoad-Runnerus digestusGiant Kite Kit, Bomb, Detonator, Nitroglycerin
51954·8·14Stop! Look! And Hasten!7:00Michael MalteseChuck JonesHot-roddicus supersonicusEatibus anythingusBird Seed, Triple Strength Fortified Leg Muscle Vitamins
61955·4·30Ready, Set, Zoom!6:55Michael MalteseChuck JonesSpeedipus RexFamishus-FamishusGlue,
71955·12·10Guided Muscle6:40Michael MalteseChuck JonesVelocitus delectiblusEatibus almost anythingus
81956·5·5Gee Whiz-z-z-z-z-z-z6:35Michael MalteseChuck JonesDelicius-deliciusEatius birdius
91956·11·10There They Go-Go-Go!6:35Michael MalteseChuck JonesDig-outius tid-bittiusFamishius fantasticus
101957·1·26Scrambled Aches6:50Michael MalteseChuck JonesTastyus supersonicusEternalii famishiis
111957·9·14Zoom and Bored6:15Michael MalteseChuck JonesBirdibus zippibusFamishus vulgarus
121958·4·12Whoa, Be-Gone!6:10Michael MalteseChuck JonesBirdius high-balliusFamishius vulgaris ingeniusi
131958·10·11Hook, Line and Stinker5:55Michael MalteseChuck JonesBurnius-roadibusFamishius-famishius
141958·12·6Hip Hip-Hurry!6:00Michael MalteseChuck Jonesdigoutius-unbelieveabliieatius-slobbius
151959·5·9Hot-Rod and Reel!6:25Michael MalteseChuck JonesSuper-sonicus-tastiusFamishius-famishius
161959·10·10Wild About Hurry6:45Michael MalteseChuck JonesBatoutaheliusHardheadipus oedipus
171960·1·9Fastest with the Mostest7:20NoneChuck JonesVelocitus incalcubliiCarnivorous slobbius
181960·10·8Hopalong Casualty6:05Chuck JonesChuck Jonesspeedipus-rexHard-headipus ravenus
191961·1·21Zip 'N Snort5:50Chuck JonesChuck Jonesdigoutius-hot-rodisevereadii eatibus
201961·6·3Lickety-Splat6:20Chuck JonesChuck Jones,
Abe Levitow
Fastius tasty-usApetitius giganticus
211961·11·11Beep Prepared6:00John Dunn,
Chuck Jones
Chuck Jones,
Maurice Noble
Tid-bittius velocitusHungrii flea-bagius
Film1962·6·2Adventures of the Road Runner26:00John Dunn,
Chuck Jones,
Michael Maltese
Chuck JonesSuper-Sonnicus IdioticusDesertous-operativus Idioticus
221962·6·30Zoom at the Top6:30Chuck JonesChuck Jones,
Maurice Noble
disappearialis quickiusoverconfidentii vulgaris
231963·12·28To Beep or Not to Beep16:35John Dunn,
Chuck Jones
Chuck Jones,
Maurice Noble
NoneNone
241964·6·6War and Pieces6:40John DunnChuck Jones,
Maurice Noble
Burn-em upus asphaltusCaninus nervous rex
251965·1·1Zip Zip Hooray!16:15John DunnChuck JonesSuper-Sonnicus IdioticusNone
261965·2·1Road Runner a Go-Go16:05John DunnChuck JonesNoneNone
271965·2·27The Wild Chase6:30NoneFriz Freleng,
Hawley Pratt
NoneNone
281965·7·31Rushing Roulette6:20David DetiegeRobert McKimsonNoneNone
291965·8·21Run, Run, Sweet Road Runner6:00Rudy LarrivaRudy LarrivaNoneNone
301965·9·18Tired and Feathered6:20Rudy LarrivaRudy LarrivaNoneNone
311965·10·9Boulder Wham!6:30Len JansonRudy LarrivaNoneNone
321965·10·30Just Plane Beep6:45Don JurwichRudy LarrivaNoneNone
331965·11·13Hairied and Hurried6:45Nick BennionRudy LarrivaNoneNone
341965·12·11Highway Runnery6:45Al BertinoRudy LarrivaNoneNone
351965·12·25Chaser on the Rocks6:45Tom DagenaisRudy LarrivaNoneNone
361966·1·8Shot and Bothered6:30Nick BennionRudy LarrivaNoneNone
371966·1·29Out and Out Rout6:00Dale HaleRudy LarrivaNoneNone
381966·2·19The Solid Tin Coyote6:15Don JurwichRudy LarrivaNoneNone
391966·3·12Clippety Clobbered6:15Tom DagenaisRudy LarrivaNoneNone
401966·11·5Sugar and Spies6:20Tom DagenaisRobert McKimsonNoneNone
411979·11·27Freeze Frame6:05Chuck Jones
(no on-screen credits)
Chuck Jones
(no on-screen credits)
Semper food-ellusGrotesques appetitus
421980·5·21Soup or Sonic9:10Chuck JonesChuck Jones,
Phil Monroe
Ultra-sonicus ad infinitumNemesis ridiculii
431994·12·21Chariots of Fur27:00Chuck JonesChuck JonesBoulevardius-burnupiusDogius ignoramii
442000·12·30Little Go Beep7:55Kathleen Helppie-Shipley,
Earl Kress
Spike BrandtMorselus babyfatius tastiusPoor schnookius
452003·11·1The Whizzard of Ow7:00Chris KellyBret HaalandGeococcyx californianus3Canis latrans3
Film2003·11·14Looney Tunes: Back in Action91:00Larry DoyleJoe DanteNoneDesertus operatus idioticus
462010·7·30Coyote Falls22:59Tom Sheppard[8]Matthew O'CallaghanNoneNone
472010·9·24Fur of Flying23:03[9]Tom SheppardMatthew O'Callaghan[9]NoneNone
482010·12·17Rabid Rider23:07Tom SheppardMatthew O'CallaghanNoneNone
492012Untitled Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner Short Film5:38Tom SheppardMatthew O'CallaghanNoneNone

1Part of the animated film Adventures of the Road-Runner

2These cartoons were shown with a feature-length film. Chariots of Fur was shown with Richie Rich, Coyote Falls was shown with Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore,[7] Fur of Flying was shown with Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole,[10] Rabid Rider was shown with Yogi Bear.

3Actual Latin name of the Greater Roadrunner and Coyote respectively

In Stop! Look! And Hasten!, Wile E. follows the instructions in a manual titled How to Build a Burmese Tiger Trap. Hearing the trap activated, he leaps in and immediately withdraws, panicked, because instead of the Road Runner he has caught an actual Burmese tiger, who is identified as such and given the pseudo-Latin name "surprisibus! surprisibus!".

In Soup or Sonic, the "beep, beep" of the Road Runner is also given the pseudo-Latin name "beepus-beepus". It might also be noted that in this cartoon, Wile E. finally "catches" the Road Runner; however, he has been shrunk down to minute size and is dwarfed by the Road Runner. Recovering from the shock, he then turns to the viewer and holds up a sign reading: "Okay wise guys, you always wanted me to catch him. Now what do I do?"

Scenery

The desert scenery in the first two Road Runner cartoons, Fast and Furry-ous (1949) and Beep, Beep (mid 1950), was designed by Robert Gribbroek and was quite realistic. In most later cartoons the scenery was designed by Maurice Noble and was far more abstract. Several different styles were used. In The Wild Chase (1964), featuring a race between the Road Runner and Speedy Gonzales, it is stated that the Road Runner is from Texas, insofar as the race announcer calls him the "Texas Road Burner." That suggests that most of the Wile E. and Road Runner cartoons could take place in Texas. However, in To Beep or Not to Beep, the catapult is constructed by the Road-Runner Manufacturing Company, which has locations in Taos, Phoenix, Santa Fe, and Flagstaff, suggesting that it takes place in or near the Four Corners (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado) region, specifically Monument Valley.

In Going! Going! Gosh! (late 1951) through Guided Muscle (late 1954) the scenery was "semi-realistic" with an offwhite sky (possibly suggesting overcast/cloudy weather condition). Gravity-defying rock formations appeared in Ready, Set, Zoom! (early 1954). A bright yellow sky made its debut in Gee Whiz-z-z-z-z-z-z (early 1955) but was not used consistently until There They Go-Go-Go!, later in the same year.

Zoom and Bored (late 1956) introduced a major change in background style. Sharp, top-heavy rock formations became more prominent, and warm colors (yellow, orange, and red) were favored. Bushes were crescent-shaped. Except for Whoa, Be-Gone! (early 1957), whose scenery design harked back to Guided Muscle in certain aspects (such as off-white sky), this style of scenery was retained as far as Fastest with the Mostest (early 1959). Hopalong Casualty (mid–1959) changed the color scheme, with the sky reverting to blue, and some rocks becoming off-white, while the bright yellow desert sand color is retained, along with the 'sharp' style of rock formations pioneered by Zoom and Bored. The crescent shapes used for bushes starting with Zoom and Bored were retained, and also applied to clouds. In the last scene of War and Pieces (1963), Wile E. Coyote's rocket blasts him through the center of the Earth to China, which is portrayed with abstract Oriental backgrounds.

The Format Films cartoons used a style of scenery similar to Hopalong Casualty and its successors, albeit less detailed and with small puffy clouds rather than crescent-shaped ones.

Freeze Frame, a made-for-television short originally shown as part of the 1979 CBS special Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales, depicts the Road Runner taking a turn that leads the chase into mountains and across a wintry landscape of ice and snow.

Acme Corporation

Wile E. Coyote often obtains complex and ludicrous devices from a mail-order company, the fictitious Acme Corporation, which he hopes will help him catch the Road Runner. The devices invariably fail in improbable and spectacular ways. Whether this is result of operator error or faulty merchandise is debatable. The coyote usually ends up burnt to a crisp, squashed flat, or at the bottom of a canyon (some shorts show him suffering a combination of these fates). Occasionally Acme products do work quite well (e.g. the Dehydrated Boulders, Bat-Man Outfit, Rocket Sled, Jet Powered Roller Skates, or Earthquake Pills). In this case their success often works against the coyote. For example, the Dehydrated Boulder, upon hydration, becomes so large when it crushes him, or the Coyote finding out that the Earthquake Pills bottle label's fine print states that the pills aren’t effective on road runners, right after he swallows the whole bottle, thinking they're ineffective. Other times he uses items that are implausible, such as a superhero outfit, thinking he could fly wearing it (he cannot).

How the coyote acquires these products without money is not explained until the 2003 movie Looney Tunes: Back in Action, in which he is shown to be an employee of Acme. In a Tiny Toon Adventures episode, Wile E. makes mention of his protégé Calamity Coyote possessing an unlimited Acme credit card account, which might serve as another possible explanation. Wile E. being a "beta tester" for Acme has been another suggested explanation. Wile E. also uses war equipment such as cannons, rocket launchers, grenades, and bayonets which are "generic", not Acme products. In a Cartoon Network commercial promoting Looney Tunes, they ask the Coyote why he insists on purchasing products from the Acme Corporation when all previous contraptions have backfired on him, to which the Coyote responds with a wooden sign (right after another item blows up in his face): "Good line of Credit."

The company name was likely chosen for its irony (acme means the highest point, as of achievement or development). Also, a company named ACME would have shown up in the first part of a telephone directory. Some people have said ACME comes from the common expansion A (or American) Company that Makes (or Making) Everything, a backronym of the word. The origin of the name might also be related to the Acme company that built a fine line of animation stands and optical printers; however, the most likely explanation is the Sears house brand called Acme that appeared in their ubiquitous early 1900s mail-order catalogues.

In one Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote short film, "Ajax" was used instead of Acme. In another short, the names "A-1" and "Ace" are used.

Laws and rules

As in other cartoons, the Road Runner and the coyote follow the laws of cartoon physics. For example, the Road Runner has the ability to enter the painted image of a cave, while the coyote cannot (unless there is an opening through which he can fall). Sometimes, however, this is reversed, and the Road Runner can burst through a painting of a broken bridge and continue on his way, while the Coyote will instead enter the mirage painting and fall down the precipice of the cliff where the bridge is out. Sometimes the coyote is allowed to hang in midair until he realizes that he is about to plummet into a chasm (a process occasionally referred to elsewhere as Road-Runnering or Wile E. Coyote moment). The coyote can overtake rocks (or cannons) which fall earlier than he does, and end up being squashed by them. If a chase sequence happens upon a cliff, the Road Runner is not affected by gravity, whereas the Coyote will realize his error eventually and fall to the ground below. A chase sequence that happens upon railroad tracks will always result in the Coyote being run over by a train. If the Coyote uses an explosive (for instance, dynamite) that is triggered by a mechanism that is supposed to force the explosive in a forward motion toward its target, the actual mechanism itself will always shoot forward, leaving the explosive behind to detonate in the Coyote's face. Similarly, a complex apparatus that is supposed to propel an object like a boulder or steel ball forward, or trigger a trap, will not work on the Road Runner, but always will on the Coyote. For instance, the Road Runner can jump up and down on the trigger of a large animal trap and eat bird seed off from it, going completely unharmed and not setting off the trap; when the Coyote places the tiniest droplet of oil on the trigger, the trap snaps shut on him without fail. At certain times, the Coyote may don an exquisite Acme costume or propulsion device that briefly allows him to catch up to the Road Runner. This will always result in him losing track of his proximity to large cliffs or walls, and the Road Runner will dart around an extremely sharp turn on a cliff, but the Coyote will rocket right over the edge and fall to the ground.

In Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times Of An Animated Cartoonist,[11] it is claimed that Chuck Jones and the artists behind the Road Runner and Wile E. cartoons adhered to some simple but strict rules:

  1. The Road Runner cannot harm the Coyote except by going "meep, meep."
  2. No outside force can harm the Coyote — only his own ineptitude or the failure of Acme products. Trains and trucks were the exception from time to time.
  3. The Coyote could stop anytime — if he were not a fanatic. (Repeat: "A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim." — George Santayana).
  4. No dialogue ever, except "meep, meep" and yowling in pain.
  5. The Road Runner must stay on the road — for no other reason than that he's a roadrunner. This rule was broken in Beep, Beep, in a sequence where Wile E. chased the Road Runner into a cactus mine.
  6. All action must be confined to the natural environment of the two characters — the southwest American desert.
  7. All tools, weapons, or mechanical conveniences must be obtained from the Acme Corporation. There were sometimes exceptions when the Coyote obtained other items from the desert such as boulders to use in his attempts.
  8. Whenever possible, make gravity the Coyote's greatest enemy (e.g., falling off a cliff).
  9. The Coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures.
  10. The audience's sympathy must remain with the Coyote.
  11. The Coyote is not allowed to catch or eat the Road Runner. (The robot that the Coyote created in The Solid Tin Coyote caught the Road Runner so this does not break this rule. The Coyote does catch the Road Runner in Soup or Sonic but is too small to eat him.)

In an interview[2] years after the series was made, writer Michael Maltese said he had never heard of the "Rules."

Later cartoons

The original Chuck Jones productions ended in 1963 after Jack Warner closed the Warner Bros. animation studio. War and Pieces, the last Road Runner short directed by Jones, was released in mid-1964. By that time, David DePatie and veteran director Friz Freleng had formed DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, moved into the facility just emptied by Warner, and signed a license with Warner Bros. to produce cartoons for the big studio to distribute.

Their first cartoon to feature the Road Runner was The Wild Chase, directed by Freleng in 1965. The premise was a race between the bird and "the fastest mouse in all of Mexico," Speedy Gonzales, with the Coyote and Sylvester the Cat each trying to make a meal out of his usual target. Much of the material was animation rotoscoped from earlier Runner and Gonzales shorts, with the other characters added in.

In total, DePatie-Freleng produced 14 Road Runner cartoons, two of which were directed by Robert McKimson (Rushing Roulette, 1965, and Sugar and Spies, 1966). Due to cuts in the number of frames used per second in animated features, many of these final Road Runner features were cheap looking and jerky. Also, the music was very different and of poorer quality than the older features. That was disappointing to fans of the original shorts, and many felt it was the final death knell for animation.

The remaining eleven were subcontracted to Format Films and directed under ex-Warner Bros. animator Rudy Larriva. The "Larriva Eleven", as the series was later called, lacked the fast-paced action of the Chuck Jones originals and was poorly received by critics. In Of Mice and Magic, Leonard Maltin calls the series "witless in every sense of the word." In addition, except for the planet Earth scene at the tail end of "Highway Runnery", there was only one clip of the Coyote's fall to the ground, used over and over again. These cartoons can easily be distinguished from Chuck Jones' cartoons, because they feature the modern "Abstract WB" Looney Tunes opening and closing sequences, and they use the same music cues over and over again in the cartoons, composed by William Lava. Only one of those eleven cartoons — "Run, Run, Sweet Road Runner" — had music that was actually scored instead of the same music cues. Another clear clue is that Jones' previously described "Laws" for the characters were not followed with any significant fidelity, nor were there Latin phrases used when introducing the characters.

Wile E. Coyote and Bugs Bunny

Wile E. Coyote has also unsuccessfully attempted to catch and eat Bugs Bunny in another series of cartoons. In these cartoons, the coyote takes on the guise of a self-described "super genius" and speaks with a smooth, generic upper-class accent provided by Mel Blanc. While he is incredibly intelligent, he is limited by technology and his own short-sighted arrogance, and is thus often easily outsmarted, a somewhat physical symbolism of "street smarts" besting "book smarts".

In one short (Hare-Breadth Hurry, 1963), Bugs Bunny — with the help of "speed pills" — even stands in for Road Runner, who has "sprained a giblet", and carries out the duties of outsmarting the hungry scavenger. That is the only Bugs Bunny/Wile E. Coyote short in which the coyote does not speak. As usual Wile E. Coyote ends up falling down a canyon. In a later, made-for-TV short, which had a young Elmer Fudd chasing a young Bugs Bunny, Elmer also falls down a canyon. On the way down he is overtaken by Wile E. Coyote who shows a sign telling Elmer to get out of the way for someone who is more experienced in falling.

Other appearances

In the 1962 pilot for a proposed television series (but instead released as a theatrical short titled Adventures of the Road-Runner — later edited and split into three short subjects called To Beep or Not to Beep, Zip Zip Hooray! and Road Runner a Go-Go), Wile E. lectures two young TV-watching children about the edible parts of a Road Runner, attempting to explain his somewhat irrational obsession with catching it.

Chuck Jones' 1979 movie The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie features Jones' characters, including Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner. However, whereas most of the featured cartoons are single cartoons or sometimes isolated clips, the footage of Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner is taken from several different cartoons and compiled to run as one extended sequence.

Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner have cameo roles in Robert Zemeckis' Who Framed Roger Rabbit during the final scene in Marvin Acme's factory with several other Looney Tunes characters. This is one of several anachronisms in the movie, which is set two years before Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner debuted.

Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner appear as members of the Tune Squad team in Space Jam. There, Wile E. rigs one of the basketball hoops with dynamite to prevent one of the Monstars from scoring a slam dunk. And during practice before Lola Bunny shows up, Wile E. Coyote gets his hands on a basketball, but the Road Runner steals the ball from him, and heads into a painted image. But Wile E. doesn't know it's a painted image, and he runs right into it.

Wile E. Coyote appears as an employee of the Acme Corporation in Looney Tunes: Back in Action. There, his role is similar to that of Mustafa from the Austin Powers movies.

Wile E. Coyote also makes a brief cameo in Tweety's High-Flying Adventure, being held by the neck by the Tasmanian Devil holding up a sign that says "Mother" before they both fall in the sea.

Wile E. is an employee at Daffy Duck's store, in the film Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas. He is seen staring hungrily at a vending machine but Daffy doesn't allow him to eat during work. The Road Runner also appeared as an employe as a delivery boy.

Wile. E Coyote made a short appearance in 'What's New Scooby Doo?' where he flew past the gang's van on a rocket heading after Road Runner. His looks were changed slightly (he had blue eyes and apparently no ears) in this scene, however, Road Runner's were the same.

In 2012, both Wile E Coyote and Road Runner appeared in a Geico commercial, in which the wandering gecko tries to make heads or tails of where he is. While he's doing so, he nearly gets crushed with a piano. Just after this happens, Road Runner runs up to him, says his trademark phrase, "Beep beep!" and goes on his way, leaving the gecko wondering what "beep beep" meant. Then, Wile, chasing the Road Runner, runs up, sees the gecko and imagines him as his dinner, but while he's doing so, he gets driven into the ground by a falling Acme safe. The commercial ends with the gecko concluding, "What a strange place."

Spin-offs

In another series of Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoons, Chuck Jones used the character design (model sheets and personality) of Wile E. Coyote as "Ralph Wolf". In this series, Ralph continually attempts to steal sheep from a flock being guarded by the eternally vigilant Sam Sheepdog. As with the Road Runner series, Ralph Wolf uses all sorts of wild inventions and schemes to steal the sheep, but he is continually foiled by the sheepdog. In a move seen by many as a self-referential gag, Ralph Wolf continually tries to steal the sheep not because he is a fanatic (as Wile E. Coyote was), but because it is his job. In every cartoon, he and the sheepdog punch a timeclock, exchange pleasantries, go to work, take a lunch break, and clock out to go home for the day, all according to a factory-like blowing whistle. The most prominent difference between the coyote and the wolf, aside from their locales, is that Wile E. has a black nose and Ralph has a red nose.

Comic books

Wile E. was called Kelsey Coyote in his comic book debut, a Henery Hawk story in Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies #91 (May 1949). He only made a couple of other appearances at this time. The first appearance of the Road Runner in a comic book was in Bugs Bunny Vacation Funnies #8 (August 1958) published by Dell Comics. The feature is titled "Beep Beep the Road Runner" and the story "Desert Dessert". It presents itself as the first meeting between Beep Beep and Wile E. (whose mailbox reads "Wile E. Coyote, Inventor and Genius"), and introduces the Road Runner's wife, Matilda, and their three newly hatched sons. This story established the convention that the Road Runner family talked in rhyme in the comics.

Dell initially published a dedicated "Beep Beep the Road Runner" comic as part of Four Color Comics #918, 1008, and 1046 before launching a separate series for the character numbered #4–14 (1960–1962), with the three try-out issues counted as the first three numbers. After a hiatus, Gold Key Comics took over the character with issues #1–88 (1966–1984). During the 1960s, the artwork was done by Pete Alvarado and Phil DeLara; from 1966–1969, the Gold Key issues consisted of Dell reprints. Afterward, new stories began to appear, initially drawn by Alvarado and De Lara before Jack Manning became the main artist for the title. New and reprinted Beep Beep stories also appeared in Golden Comics Digest and Gold Key's revival of Looney Tunes in the 1970s. During this period, Wile E.'s middle name was revealed to be "Ethelbert"[5] in the story "The Greatest of E's" in issue #53 (cover-date September 1975) of Gold Key Comics' licensed comic book, Beep Beep the Road Runner.[12]

The Road Runner and Wile E. also make appearances in the DC Comics Looney Tunes title.

Television

The Road Runner and the Coyote appeared on Saturday mornings as the stars of their own TV series, The Road Runner Show, from September 1966 to September 1968, on CBS. At this time it was merged with The Bugs Bunny Show to become The Bugs Bunny and Road Runner Show, running from 1968 to 1985. The show was later seen on ABC until 2000, and on Global until 2001.

In the 1970s, Chuck Jones directed some Road Runner short films for the educational children's TV series The Electric Company. These short cartoons used the Coyote and the Road Runner to display words for children to read, but the cartoons themselves are a refreshing return to Jones' glory days.

In 1979, Freeze Frame, in which Jones moved the chase from the desert to snow covered mountains, was seen as part of Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales.

At the end of Bugs Bunny's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Bunny (the initial sequence of Chuck Jones' TV special, Bugs Bunny's Bustin' Out All Over), Bugs mentions to the audience that he and Elmer may have been the first pair of characters to have chase scenes in these cartoons, but then a pint-sized baby Wile E. Coyote (wearing a diaper and holding a small knife and fork) runs right in front of Bugs, chasing a gold-colored, mostly unhatched (except for the tail, which is sticking out) Road Runner egg, which is running rapidly while some high-pitched "beep, beep" noises can be heard. This was followed by the full-fledged Runner/Coyote short, Soup or Sonic. Earlier in that story, while kid Elmer was falling from a cliff, Wile E. Coyote's adult self tells him to move over and let falling to people who know how to do it and then he falls, followed by Elmer.

In the 1980s, ABC began showing many Warner Bros. shorts, but in highly edited form, because the unedited versions were supposedly too violent. Many scenes integral to the stories were taken out, including scenes in which Wile E. Coyote landed at the bottom of the canyon after having fallen from a cliff, or had a boulder or anvil actually make contact with him. In almost all WB animated features, scenes where a character's face was burnt and black, resembling blackface, were removed, as were animated characters smoking cigarettes, or even simulated cigarettes. Some cigar smoking scenes were left in. The unedited versions of these shorts (with the exception of ones with blackface) were not seen again until Cartoon Network, and later Boomerang, began showing them again in the 1990s and early 2000s. Since the release of the WB library of cartoons on DVD, Boomerang has stopped showing the cartoons, presumably to increase sales of the DVDs.

Though Wile E. Coyote isn't seen in Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue he is mentioned by Bugs Bunny saying that he borrowed his time machine.

Wile E. and the Road Runner later appeared in several episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures. In this series, Wile E. (voiced in the Jim Reardon episode "Piece of Mind" by Joe Alaskey) was the dean of Acme Looniversity and the mentor of Calamity Coyote. The Road Runner's protégé in this series was Little Beeper. In the episode "Piece of Mind", Wile E. narrates the life story of Calamity while Calamity is falling from the top of a tall skyscraper. In the direct-to-video movie Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation, the Road Runner finally gets a taste of humiliation by getting run over by a mail truck that "brakes for coyotes."

The two were also seen in cameos in Animaniacs. They were together in two "Slappy Squirrel" cartoons: "Bumbie's Mom" and "Little Old Slappy from Pasadena". In the latter the Road Runner gets another taste of humiliation when he is outrun by Slappy's car, and holds up a sign saying "I quit" — immediately afterward, Buttons, who was launched into the air during a previous gag, lands squarely on top of him. Wile E. appears without the bird in a The Wizard of Oz parody, dressed in his batsuit from one short, in a twister (tornado) funnel in "Buttons in Ows".

In a Cartoon Network TV ad about The Acme Hour, Wile E. Coyote utilized a pair of jet roller skates to catch the Road Runner and (quite surprisingly) didn't fail. While he was cooking his prey, it was revealed that the roller skates came from a generic brand. The ad said that other brand isn't the same thing.[clarification needed][citation needed]

Wile E. and Road Runner appeared in their toddler versions in Baby Looney Tunes, only in songs. However, they both had made a cameo in the episode, "Are We There Yet?", where Road Runner was seen out the window of Floyd's car with Wile E. chasing him.

Wile E. Coyote had a cameo as the true identity of an alien hunter (a parody of Predator) in the Duck Dodgers episode "K-9 Quarry," voiced by Dee Bradley Baker. In that episode, he was hunting Martian Commander X-2 and K-9.

In Loonatics Unleashed, Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner's 28th century descendants are Tech E. Coyote and Rev Runner. Tech E. Coyote was the tech expert of the Loonatics (influenced by the past cartoons with many of the machines ordered by Wile E. from Acme), and has magnetic hands and the ability to molecularly regenerate himself (influenced by the many times in which Wile E. painfully failed to capture Roadrunner). Tech E. Coyote speaks, but does not have a British accent as Wile E. Coyote did. Rev Runner is also able to talk, though extremely rapidly, and can fly without the use of jet packs, which are used by other members of the Loonatics. He also has super speed, also a take off of Roadrunner. Ironically, the pair get on rather well, despite the number of gadgets Tech designs in order to stop Rev talking. Also they have their moments where they don't get along. When friendship is shown it is often only from Rev to Tech, not the other way around; this could however be attributed to the fact that Tech has only the bare minimum of social skills. They are both portrayed as smart, but Tech is the better inventor and at times Rev was shown doing stupid things. References to ancestor's past are seen in the episode "Family Business" where the other Runners are wary of Tech and Tech relives the famous falling gags done in Coyote/Runner shorts.

In the Cartoon Network TV series Class of 3000, Wile E. Coyote is seen constantly in one episode, using rocket shoes and howling like a real life coyote. His Latin name is "Jokis Callbackus".

In 2009, a group of EMRTC engineers attempt to recreate Wile E. Coyote's failed contraptions on a TruTV series Man vs. Cartoon.

In the What's New Scooby-Doo? episode "New Mexico, Old Monster" Scooby-Doo sees both Road Runner and Wile E. within their usual desert speed chase out the window of the Mystery Machine. After the usual failure by Wile E., it left Scooby to be saying "beep-beep".

In the Total Drama Island episode "Wawkanakwa Gone Wild" the duck Gwen meets parodies Roadrunner, such as the running and the tongue sticking.

Road Runner appears in an episode of the 1990 series Taz-Mania in which Taz grabs him by the leg & gets ready to eat him until the 2 gators are ready to capture Taz so he lets Road Runner go.

Road Runner and Wile E. feature in 3D computer animated cartoons or cartoon animation in Cartoon Network's new TV series The Looney Tunes Show.

3-D shorts

The characters are scheduled to appear in seven 3-D short attached to Warner Bros. features. Three have been screened with features, while the rest serve as segments of 2011's The Looney Tunes Show.

Video games

Several Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner-themed video games have been produced:

The arcade game was originally to have been a laserdisc-based title incorporating footage from the actual Road Runner cartoons. Atari eventually decided that the format was too unreliable (laserdisc-based games required a great deal of maintenance) and switched it to more conventional raster-based hardware.

In popular culture

Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner have been frequently referenced in popular culture. The Villain (directed by Hal Needham) is a parody of these animated shorts as well as being a spoof of westerns. In The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!, Road Runner gets run down and dies, after which Coyote commits suicide by shooting himself in the head with a prop gun.

In a sketch on In Living Color (Season 5, Episode 10), Wile E. Coyote (played by Jamie Foxx) is put on trial by Congress for displaying excessive violence in his cartoons; Elmer Fudd (played by Jay Leggett) is his lawyer. In the film UHF, "Weird Al" Yankovic's character introduces a Road Runner cartoon as a sad, depressing story of a "pathetic coyote" futilely chasing a "sadistic roadrunner". The characters were referenced in The Simpsons, The Cleveland Show, Bounty Hamster, Kick Buttowski, What's New, Scooby-Doo?, Robot Chicken, and South Park.

In an episode of Cheers, some bar patrons discuss the Road Runner cartoons. The discussion continues and builds in intensity as a minor subplot throughout the entire episode until at the end of the show some of the bar patrons are boisterously declaring that the Coyote character is meant to be symbolic of the Antichrist. Wile E. Coyote appeared briefly in an episode of the live-action show Night Court, where he was admonished by Judge Harry Stone for chasing a bird. Wile E. Coyote has appeared two times in Family Guy (voiced by Seth MacFarlane): his first episode, I Never Met the Dead Man, depicts him riding in a car with Peter Griffin; when Peter runs over the Road Runner and asks if he hit "that ostritch", Wile E. tells him to keep going.[13] In PTV, Wile E. appears in a flashback when Peter, working at Acme, offers a store credit when Wile E. claims a refund for a giant sling shot that "slammed me into a mountain". In the Dexter's Laboratory episode "Road Rash" Dee-Dee does an impression of the Road Runner after Dexter falls down a man hole.

101 Dalmatians: The Series included a parody of the cartoons in the episode The Making Of..., where Cruella De Vil takes the coyote's role, and Spot the Roadrunner's.[14] The characters appeared in the MAD episode "Not-a-Fan-a-Montana", where Miley Cyrus was Wile E. and Justin Bieber was Road Runner. Then in the segment "Meep! My Dad Says" (a parody of $h*! My Dad Says), where the Road Runner appears as the main character to be a father. In the episode "Rio-A", Road Runner gets a ring in his lunch and acquires the ability to fly, while Wile E. gets hit by an anvil.

Guitarist Mark Knopfler created a song called "Coyote" in homage to the cartoon shows of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, on the 2002 album The Ragpicker's Dream. Humorist Ian Frazier created the mock-legal prose piece "Coyote v. Acme",[15] which is included in a book of the same name. Karen Salmansohn wrote an article on The Huffington Post centering on the characters.[16]

Whenever the professional wrestling organization WWE puts on a ladder match, it has an overhead camera positioned above the ring in order to get footage of wrestlers as they fall off the ladder, this has led to WWE hall of fame wrestler and commentator Jerry "The King" Lawler to refer to it as the "Wile E. Coyote Cam".

During the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Wile E. Coyote appeared on the hockey helmet of one of the goalies from the Phoenix Coyotes. Before the arrival of the Coyotes in 1996, several iterations of minor league hockey teams named the Phoenix Roadrunners played in the area, though none of them used Warner Bros. imagery of the characters in mascot designs.

In a commercial for GEICO, the GEICO Gecko was exploring the desert when he noticed the Road Runner run by him. Wile E. Coyote, chasing the Road Runner, stops to notice the Gecko as he plans to eat him instead, but from out of nowhere, a safe falls on the coyote.

South Korean boy band NU'EST mentions Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner in their debut song Face.

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Flint, Peter (July 11, 1989). "Mel Blanc, Who Provided Voices For 3,000 Cartoons, Is Dead at 81". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE1D7143EF932A25754C0A96F948260. Retrieved December 1, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b The interviews included in the DVD commentary were recorded by animation historian Michael Barrier for his book Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age.
  3. ^ Collins, Glen (November 7, 1989). "Chuck Jones on Life and Daffy Duck". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE0DB1E3CF934A35752C1A96F948260. 
  4. ^ Barrier, Michael (November 6, 2003). Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age. United States: Oxford University Press. p. 672. ISBN 978-0-19-516729-0. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0195167295. Retrieved March 9, 2008. 
  5. ^ a b "News from Me (column): "The Name Game" (Feb. 20, 2006), by Mark Evanier". Newsfromme.com. http://www.newsfromme.com/archives/2007_02_20.html#012965. Retrieved 2010-04-10. 
  6. ^ Costello, E.O.. "The Warner Brothers Cartoon Companion: Wile E. Coyote". Archived from the original on 2011-07-12. http://web.archive.org/web/20110712234212/http://www.i-foo.com/~eocostello/wbcc/eowbcc-w.html#wile_e_coyote. "The original model sheet for the character bears a label referring to the character as “Don Coyote”, in reference to Miguel Ceverantes’ Don Quixote." 
  7. ^ a b Looney Tunes exclusive clip: Coyote Falls
  8. ^ Maltin, Leonard (September 27, 2010). "Welcome back, Wile E.". Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy. http://blogs.indiewire.com/leonardmaltin/welcome_back_wile_e. 
  9. ^ a b UK certification document
  10. ^ News: Looney Tunes Shorts Attached to Upcoming Family Films
  11. ^ Jones, Chuck (1999). Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times Of An Animated Cartoonist. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-52620-7. 
  12. ^ Evanier, News from Me: "Mike Maltese had been occasionally writing the comics in semi-retirement before me, but when he dropped the 'semi' part, I got the job and that was one of the plots I came up with. For the record, the story was drawn by a terrific artist named Jack Manning, and Mr. Maltese complimented me on it. Still, I wouldn't take that as any official endorsement of the Coyote's middle name. If you want to say the Coyote's middle name is Ethelbert, fine. I mean, it's not like someone's going to suddenly whip out Wile E.'s actual birth certificate and yell, 'Aha! Here's incontrovertible proof!' But like I said, I never imagined anyone would take it as part of the official 'canon' of the character. If I had, I'd have said the 'E' stood for Evanier".
  13. ^ Pierson, Robin (2009-08-07). "Episode 2: I Never Met The Dead Man". The TV Critic. http://thetvcritic.org/i-never-met-the-dead-man/. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  14. ^ "The Making Of...". 101 Dalmatians: The Series. episode 56. season 2. 1998-02-08. American Broadcasting Company. 
  15. ^ "Coyote v. Acme". Legalnews.net. http://www.legalnews.net/quotes/wilee.htm. Retrieved 2010-04-10. 
  16. ^ "Karen Salmansohn: If At First You Don't Succeed... Stop And Catch Your Breath". Huffingtonpost.com. 2009-02-20. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-salmansohn/if-at-first-you-dont-succ_b_156000.html. Retrieved 2010-04-10. 

Sources

External links