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Wile Coyote
Wile E. Coyote

Released by: Warner Bros.
First Appeared: 1949
Creator: Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese
What is the next hideously complex machinations?
Welcome on the Coyote's Spot...

Let introduce this funny and smart "predator".

Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are cartoon characters from a series of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons, created by Chuck Jones for Warner Brothers. Chuck Jones based the films on a Mark Twain book called Roughing It, in which Twain noted that coyotes are starving and hungry and would chase a roadrunner.

Chuck Jones originally created the Road Runner cartoons as a parody of traditional "cat and mouse" cartoons (such as Tom and Jerry) which were increasingly popular at the time.

The Road Runner shorts are very simple in their premise: the Road Runner, a flightless cartoon bird (loosely based on a real bird, the Greater Roadrunner), is chased down the highways of the Southwestern United States by a hungry toon coyote, named Wile E. Coyote (a pun on "wily coyote"). Despite numerous clever attempts, the coyote never catches or kills the Road Runner, and all of his elaborate schemes end up injuring himself in humorous instances of highly exaggerated cartoon slapstick violence.

There is almost never any "spoken" communication, save the Road Runner's "beep-beep" (which actually sounds more like "mheep-mheep") and the Road Runner sticking out his tongue (which sounds vaguely like a bottle being uncorked), but the two characters do sometimes communicate by holding up signs to each other, the audience, or the cartoonist (though both these rules were broken later). Another key element is that while Wile E. is the aggressor in the series, he and his hopelessly futile efforts are the focus of the audience's sympathy as well as virtually all of the humor. Wile E. seems doomed, like Sisyphus, forever to try but never to succeed. The Road Runner lacks a developed personality and is largely just an object, not a character.

Wile E. Coyote later appeared in some Bugs Bunny shorts, as well as the Little Beeper cartoons featured on Tiny Toon Adventures, when he talks. In the Bugs Bunny shorts in particular, he calls himself a "super genius" and claims an IQ of 207 (Zip Zip Hooray!, 1965).

Latin names

-Carnivorous Vulgaris
-Road-Runnerus Digestus
-Eatibus Anythingus
-Eatius Birdius

-and many more...

The Acme Corporation

Wile E. Coyote often obtains complex and ludicrous devices (Rube Goldberg machines) from a mail-order company, the fictitious Acme Corporation, which he hopes will help him catch the Road Runner. The devices invariably backfire in improbable and spectacular ways. The coyote usually ends up burnt to a crisp, squashed flat, or at the bottom of a ravine. How the coyote acquires these products without any money is not explained until the 2003 movie Looney Tunes: Back In Action, in which he is shown to be an employee of Acme which Wile E. uses a missile launcher to DJ Drake, Kate Houghton, Bugs Bunny, and Daffy Duck, but it failed when the missile went back to him. Back at Acme Corporation, Wile E. is apologizing for the clusminess he made. At Acme Corporation, Wile E. is tying Damian Drake, and plans to use Acme explosives at Damian, and using the train of death to kill him. In the end, Wile E. got exploded in the train after the exploding devices went to him. Perhaps Wile E. is a "beta tester." In a Tiny Toon Adventures episode, Wile makes mention of his protege Calamity Coyote possessing an unlimited Acme credit card account, which might serve as another possible explanation.

The company name was likely chosen for its irony (acme means the highest point, as of achievement or development). The common expansion A Company that Makes Everything is a backronym.

Among the products by the Acme Corporation are:

* Acme catapults
* Acme earthquake pills
* Acme rocket sled kits
* Acme portable holes
* Acme Burmese tiger trap kit
* Acme jet-propelled roller skates
* Acme super leg vitamins
* and - a wide selection of explosives: TNT, dynamite, nitroglycerin . . .

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. Sometimes the coyote is allowed to hang in midair until he realizes that he is about to plummet into a chasm. The coyote can overtake rocks which fall before he does, and end up being squashed by them.

The numerous failures of Acme products resulted in a fictitious "lawsuit" filed by Wile E. Coyote against Acme, which appears in various forms on Internet spoof sites

The rules

Scrambled Aches screenshot Enlarge Scrambled Aches screenshot In his book, Chuck Amuck, Chuck Jones explains some of the rules the writers and artists followed in making the Coyote-Road Runner series:

1. The Road Runner cannot harm the coyote except by going "Beep-beep!"

2. No outside force can harm the coyote-only his own ineptitude or the failure of the Acme products.

3. The coyote can stop any time-if he were not a fanatic. (Repeat: "A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim."-George Santayana)

4. There may be no dialogue ever, except "beep-beep!" The coyote may, however, speak to the audience through wooden signs that he holds up.

5. The Road Runner must stay on the road -otherwise, logically, he would not be called "Road Runner".

6. All action must be confined to the natural environment of the two characters-the southwest American desert.

7. All materials, tools, weapons, or mechanical conveniences must be obtained from the Acme Corporation.

8. Whenever possible, gravity should be made the coyote's greatest enemy.

9. The coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures.

There was also a tenth and more unofficial rule:

* The sympathy of the audience must lie with the coyote.

The rules were followed with rare exceptions. Sometimes the episode is concluded with Wile E. being flattened by a truck (with the Road Runner grinning from the rear window). In the 1961 two-reel theatrical short The Adventures of the Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote actually speaks dialogue as he lectures on how best to catch the Road Runner. In the 1979 made-for television short Freeze Frame, Wile E. Coyote chases the Road Runner up into a snowy mountainous region, where most of the short is spent. In the rare 2000 short Little Go Beep, they explain the fourth rule by showing a baby Wile E.'s father (voiced by Stan Freberg) telling him not to speak until he has caught the Road Runner. Chuck Jones directed Freeze Frame, and advised on Little Go Beep.

Learn more about Wile E. Coyote !

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