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1001 Stories Collection

Wil E. Coyote and the Road Runner

1001 Wil E Coyote And Road Runner
Added on 16th August 2020

Creators Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese
First shown 1949, Warner Bros

A never ending chase as the coyote tries ever more inventive - but ultimately always unsuccessful- ways to catch the bird..


Wil E. Coyote and the Road Runner is a cartoon series about a hungry Coyote in constant pursuit of a Road Runner, a fast-running ground bird. The Coyote tries one wild invention after another to catch his prey – catapults, jet-powered roller skates, portable holes - bought from the Acme Corporation. These always backfire. Road Runner sticks out his tongue and speeds away.

The comedy is entirely visual with no dialogue apart from Road Runner’s trademark ‘Beep Beep’. The characters sometimes hold up signs to each other, and every episode begins with a joke Latin names for the animals - Velocitus Tremjus, Birdius Tastius, Eatius Anythingus, Caninus Nervus Rex.

Why we chose it

Although the stories all involve an unsuccessful chase through the yellow desert, the contraptions, and the ways in which they backfire on the Coyote, are endlessly inventive and amusing. Viewers will discover the alternative laws of cartoon physics, whereby a good guy can run into a cartoon painting, or not trigger a trap, or hang in mid-air, while the bad guy always gets hurt. These cartoons from the Golden Age of American animation have inspired internet memes and been referenced in many cartoons since.

Where it came from

The series began as a one-off parody of cat and mouse cartoons like Tom and Jerry. Chuck Jones based the Coyote on a description in a Mark Twain novel, and originally called him Don Coyote, a pun on Don Quixote, before changing to Wil E. (wily) Coyote, the ‘E’ for Ethelbert. The Road Runner is based on a ground-dwelling bird from the American South West and was originally called Beep Beep.

Where it went next

49 6-7 minute episodes were made in all, and the characters also appear in a feature film, video games, advertisements and a comic strip about the home life of the Road Runner.

Associated stories

Other Looney Tunes classics include Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Pepé Le Pew and Tasmanian Devil.

Added on 16th August 2020

Creators Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese
First shown 1949, Warner Bros