Wile E. Coyote uses a chemistry set to try and catch the Road Runner. He mixes chemicals to yield invisible paint, a bouncy outer skin, and a jet-powered spray can, none of which are ... See full summary »
Wile E. Coyote chases the Road Runner around an old jalopy that starts up and runs him over, with the Road Runner at the wheel. Wile E. plants a bomb in a fake egg shell for the Road Runner... See full summary »
Wile E. Coyote chases the Road Runner and hopes, without success, to catch his prey using such schemes as a snow-making machine, a bomb dropped from a kite, a parachute dive (into a tornado... See full summary »
Wile E. Coyote is chasing the Road Runner (still) and comes across the Acme Book of Magic. With the power to levitate heavy boulders, fly on broomsticks, and transfigure anything to suit ... See full summary »
Foghorn Leghorn decides to take an egghead genius chick out to the woods to distract him from his long-haired atomic science books and teach him about such practical things as scouting and ... See full summary »
Intending to catch a chicken for his dinner, little Henery the Chicken Hawk ventures onto the farm of the eternally feuding Foghorn Leghorn and barnyard dog. Foghorn tries to dump a load of... See full summary »
Sylvester Cat slips when making a grab for Tweety Bird in Granny's flat, and falls dazed to the floor as one of Tweety's feathers lands in his mouth. Tweety runs off. Sylvester comes to and... See full summary »
The top 7 signs that you are watching a really terrible Road Runner cartoon:
The #7 sign: It is directed by Rudy Lerriva. He directed most of the final Road Runner/Coyote shorts in the last years of the Warner Brother's Golden Age. His budgets were obviously smaller than those that came before him, but that is no excuse for the poor work that resulted on screen for EVERY SINGLE short he made. Rudy Lerriva is to the Road Runner what Gene Deitch is to Tom & Jerry.
The #6 sign: The credits are shown with a repetitive and grating tune by Bill Lava. You hear this tune and other, equally annoying tunes throughout every Rudy Lerriva Road Runner cartoon. They are incredibly maddening, and you will have them stuck in your head for days on end, especially the opening one.
The #5 sign: The backgrounds do not match the animate objects at all. For many cartoons, this is normal and acceptable, but Lerriva cartoons take this to ridiculous extremes. For instance, Road Runner cartoons are famous for featuring large rocks balanced on top of small stalagmites in the desert. In `Boulder Wham!' Wile E. Coyote throws a rope around a rope on a stalagmite, but the soon-to-be animate rock looks so incredibly different from the non-movable stalagmite that you know what will happen long before it occurs. The best Road Runners are when the animators surprise you with what befalls the Coyote next, not when they telegraph a lame gag so that you can spot the outcome a mile away.
The #4 sign: You start to notice reused frames. Lerriva used the same scenes of Wile E. Coyote from cartoon to cartoon. Stuff like Wile E. reading a book and looking up from it with an evil grin, Wile E. getting an idea symbolized by a light bulb in a storm cloud above his head, or Wile E. getting tired of running and stopping to pant. These scenes usually are thrown in and have no real need of being in the cartoon other than to pad out time.
The #3 sign: You spot really bad animation glitches. In `Shot and Bothered,' Wile E. Coyote falls off a cliff and lands on the ground. Then a big rock lands on him. Or does it? You can still see the Coyote's head behind the rock, as if it landed right next to him. Lerriva could have just removed Wile E. from the frame after the rock landed, but he didn't and the result is totally embarrassing.
The #2 sign: Zero payoff. The result of a gag, in these cases the Coyote's plans backfiring, is what I call a `payoff.' All the Warner Brothers animators handled it differently, some better than others. Robert McKimson, for example, was not very good at executing payoff in the 60's, but even 60's McKimson does better than Lerriva. Worse is when Lerriva draws out the gag, since a drawn out gag requires a better payoff than a short gag. Chuck Jones occasionally would make long scenes in his Roadrunner shorts, but he always knew how to deliver funny, unpredictable payoff (e.g. the time the Coyote got inside a large, hollow metal ball and rolled down a hill). Does Lerriva really need to spend so much time showing the Coyote building a dynamite-rigged phone booth when we all know the obvious and unfunny result? Even the most promising of gags, like the funny car in `Out and Out Rout,' are set up to be funny and then flop like a dying fish on a slab of concrete.
And the #1 sign that you know you are watching a bad Road Runner cartoon: The Coyote acts like he has an ear of corn shoved up his derriere. I am sorry, there is no better way to describe the ridiculous way the Coyote runs in Lerriva's shorts. If you've seen it, you know what I mean and hopefully agree that it looks really, really terrible.
Zantara's score, for ALL of Lerriva's shorts: 1
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