Directed by Chuck Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Richard Thompson, Ken Harris, and Ben Washam; Layouts and Background by Philip DeGuard; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Musical Direction by John Seely. A Looney Tune released in 1958.
Going to be gone the next week, and I’m yet to prepare. So I need a short I can talk about fast. One with little plot. A Roadrunner short works. This was my favorite Roadrunner short as a kid, and never being able to catch its name, I never knew if I was going to watch it or not whenever I’d see one of these shorts. What made it my favorite? I’ll get to that.
While being chased, the Roadrunner stops short, steps aside, lets the Coyote pass, and runs off in the opposite direction. No way Wile E. can match that speed. Time to use the old grey matter and see if brains can triumph over brawn. Waiting with a tub, he actually succeeds in tossing it on top of the bird. He rolls a firecracker under it to make sure the bird dies. Then the bird runs up to him. So what did he catch? Nothing it seems. Unless you count an explosion as something you can catch. Next, he tries a hammer. The head falls off and smacking the shaft as hard as he does, causes it to vibrate after him wildly. How about putting some birdseed on railroad tracks? It might work, but next time, don’t stand on the tracks yourself whilst you pour. He also tries to skewer the bird with spear while suspended by a balloon. Not only does he miss, he swings up near a thunderhead. While holding metal. And trying to drop a piano on his prey doesn’t work either. Gravity forgets to affect pianos until he is on top of it. And now why this short was my favorite. The ending plan: a Rube Goldberg device. (I’m a sucker for those. Always have been) The Coyote has the bird stop for more seed then he, in order:
Shoots a slingshot, which knocks over a watering can, that empties its water on a flower, causing it to grow, allowing the match on its leaves to strike a match box and ignite an explosive, which fire a boot with a brick through the air, which lands on a lever, whose other end lifts a trap, which releases a mouse, who runs to some cheese on a scale, pulls it off, which lowers the other end with a weight, that slides off, and is attached to a gun’s trigger, which fires the gun, which ends up shooting a cannon, that bends down and lights its fuse, which fires a cannonball, that the Roadrunner watches fall, onto the Coyote’s head. The End.
Would I still consider this short my favorite? Probably not. The ending is still fun to watch, but one good joke does not equal perfection. I’d probably choose the first one: “Fast and Furry-ous” There’s just some magic in that one. Maybe because it was meant to be a one time thing. Good thing I enjoy all subsequent shorts too.
With the summer solstice tomorrow, it seems like a perfect time to talk about this special. There are three new shorts never before seen in theaters!
“Portrait of the artist as a young Bunny”
It starts with school being let out for the summer. Bugs is as excited as the children, before remembering that he hasn’t been in school for years. Distracted by this, he crashes into a tree and has a flashback to his youth. Sort of like a sequel to “The old grey Hare.” (Or prequel if you prefer.) A young Bugs is excited for summer and so is a young Elmer Fudd. He asks for us to be very quiet, and Bugs asks why he should. What is in it for him? Flustered, Elmer tries to bribe him for his silence, which Bugs uses as a great segue to start asking us viewers for money. Later, Elmer ends up walking off a cliff. (Look at those flowers behind them. They are either at the top of a beanstalk or are really tiny) Bugs points out that gravity will be his undoing, but Elmer is immune. He hasn’t studied gravity yet. Bugs leaves a book about said subject out for him, and like all children during summer vacation, Elmer happily jumps into some learning fun. Now fully understanding the “gravity” of said situation, he falls through the air now when he walks off a cliff. Wile E. makes a cameo telling him to let an expert fall first. (I don’t know what he’s doing in this time period.) Bugs isn’t about to let a kid fall to his death though, and leaves a spring for Elmer to land on and propel him back to safety. While grateful, Elmer isn’t going to let that stand in his way of being a great hunter. But all too soon, Bugs has reduced him to tears. He decides that he has no other choice but to quit cold turkey. Bugs acts as an enabler and gets him to break his fast almost as fast as he started. Elmer returns with a rapid fire model of his pop gun and fires rounds upon rounds into Bugs. This crashes him into a tree again and he comes out of his stupor. Bugs figures that he and Elmer were the first to start chasing each other, wherupon he sees a baby coyote chasing a very fast egg.
“Spaced Out Bunny”
Bugs loves nature, but it doesn’t seem to love him. Flowers wilt, rocks roll, and a butterfly is ready to start something. Even the trees bark at him. (Dogwood) Luckily, Bugs’ luck changes when he spies a carrot just waiting to be eaten. He takes the bait, unaware that it was a tranquilizer carrot that was part of a trap concocted by a one Marvin the Martian. He is pleased with his capture saying that Hugo will love Bugs. (Hugo? Where have I heard that name before?) When Bugs comes to, he finds that he is no longer on Earth, and that he is not going back, lest he upset Hugo. Marvin caught him in the Himalaya’s. He is that very same abominable snowman Bugs and Daffy met. (Despite the fact he melted.) Bug’s is not happy to be in such a situation again, and tells Hugo that he doesn’t want a rabbit. He wants a robot. Marvin is a robot right? Not really. But Bugs has another idea of what he could be used for, and soon Hugo has a “Mickey Martian” watch™ all his own. (What a way to go. Marvin has no air, and is forced to be in pretty uncomfortable situation.) Bugs then asks Hugo if he is any good at throwing a Frisbee and challenges him to throw one to Earth. Hugo takes Marvin’s ship and gives it a good hurl towards the blue planet. Bugs is along for the ride, and makes it back home safely.
“Soup or Sonic”
To finish up our special, we have the continuing exploits of the Coyote and the Roadrunner. Wile E.’s schemes this time include riding many firecrackers, (the middle flies without him, he lights his tail, it flies off without him) throwing a Frisbee, (from Freleng Manufactures. That’s a really good joke.) using a giant sheet of flypaper, (and catching a giant fly-squito with teeth who wraps him up in it) and throwing an explosive tennis ball. (Which doesn’t seem clear on when it blows up, seeing as it hits several things and doesn’t go off. He is forced to hit several times to keep it away, but it ultimately lands next to the rest of them. Then it goes off.) Eventually, he chases the bird into a pipe that gets smaller as it goes along, and the two end up shrunk. He alerts his prey to this and the two run back to get bigger. The Roadrunner is soon back to normal. Wile E. isn’t so lucky. He doesn’t notice things are amiss, until he tries to dig into the giant bird’s leg. Unsure what to do next he holds up a sign, “You always wanted me to catch him, now what do I do?” (Can’t help but think this would be funnier if he hadn’t already pulled out the dining utensils. As if to suggest, he was only chasing the bird this whole time because we wanted him to.)
Happy Holidays! Here’s a Christmas special that stars all your favorites! (Except Daffy.) It starts with Bugs having some problems with his carolers. Besides Ehlmuh’s obvious speech pwobwems, we h-have P-P-P-Porky s-st-st-s-st-having problems spitting out the words, Fog-ah say, Foghorn getting off the beat. Music that is! Et Pepe chante “Alouette” à la place. The only one who wouldn’t have a problem is Sam, but for whatever reason, he declines to sing. (Why though? We clearly saw him singing a few seconds ago.) Well, whatever. We’ve got three new shorts made specifically for this program to enjoy.
“Bugs Bunny’s Christmas Carol” Not as good as “Bah, Humduck!” in my opinion, but enjoyable nonetheless. Scrooge is played by Sam with Porky as Bob Cratchit. Bugs is playing Fred. Kind of. He comes in to the establishment and annoys Sam with mistletoe. He also gives Porky some much needed coal to warm himself with. But Sam’s cat, Sylvester sees the pig warming himself, (Although it looks like Porky is smacking his butt at the cat.) and alerts his master. Sam angrily takes it back. Bugs next comes in with Elmer, Foghorn, and Pepe to sing but Sam has reached his breaking point. He throws them all out and fires Porky. (Don’t make me leave Red Hot Ryder’s head in your bed, Sam.) Grateful for Bug’s efforts regardless, Porky invites him to dinner. Porky naturally has a family of his own. (A stud like him? It was easy!) His wife is Petunia of course. (You know, according to Walt, Mickey and Minnie are married. I’m going to say that Porky and Petunia are too. It’s canon now.) They have three children. (‘Atta boy, Porky!) One I’m going to guess is played by his nephew, Cicero, from the comics, the girl is most likely Priscilla, from “Bah, Humduck”, and the last is Tiny Tim. Played by Tweety. Apparently, he’s so small because he is fed birdseed. (Porky!) But Sam’s evil deeds are not over, as he forecloses the mortgage on Porky’s house. Since I’m not born yet to let Porky’s family move in with me, it’s up to Bugs to save the day. He tries the kind way first with more carols, but Sam chases them away. Well, that was the diplomatic approach, guess there’s no other choice but the hard way. Now that he’s awake, Sam tries to relax with a hot bath. Not wanting him to burn himself, Bugs thoughtfully fills the bath up with snow. Later, Bugs dresses as a ghost to scare Sam. (Seeing as how he probably never had a partner, he doesn’t pretend to be anyone Sam knew.) While searching for the source of the noise, Sam trips over Sylvester and they both end up outside. Returning back to his warm bed, Sam agrees to let Sylvester stay with him. That’s sweet. But Sylvester and his color-changing nose, beat it when Bugs appears before them. He tells Sam that he is taking him to see the man in the red suit. (Although it’s not Santa, that guess was only one letter off) Fearing for his soul, (although I do wonder what would have happened if Sam called Bug’s bluff,) he dresses as Santa and gives money to everyone he sees. He even makes Porky his partner! A Christmas feast is enjoyed by all! (Sam still doesn’t like kisses though)
After the commercial break, Bugs compliments Sam on his acting. Sam admits that his acting was just that, and starts demanding his stuff back. Meanwhile, the feast is being watched by two sets of hungry eyes. Them belonging to Wile E. and the Roadrunner. Seeing as they’re not invited, Wile E. chases the bird into our next short.
“Freeze Frame” Wile E. is reading a fascinating book: “Everything you’ve wanted to know about roadrunners but were afraid to ask” (That’s on my Christmas list.) Turns out, being a desert animal, the Roadrunner (Semper Food-Ellus) can’t function in cold climates. So Wile E. (Grotesques Appetitus) orders a machine that can make snow. It only lands on the coyote, so he just switches some signs around. Even though the short “Beep, Beep” said that roadrunners can’t read, the bird follows the sign pointing to the desert and ends up on top of a mountain. He really is out of his element, and ends up stranded on some ice. Wile E. skates over, but ends up sawing a hole around the bird. Seeing as this a cartoon, everything surrounding the cut part sinks, and the bird surfs back to shore. He next orders some sled dogs to help him chase down his prey. The poor things are kept in a crate with no air holes! So naturally, they’re a little cranky. (That, and it appears that they love Coyote meat.) Riding a rocking horse with a lasso only gets himself tied up and landing on some train tracks, and trying to crush the bird with a snowball had him get caught in it and soaring off a cliff. He wishes us a Merry Christmas before the short ends.
Back with Bugs he has his carolers hold a note. It’s then that his nephew, Clyde, reminds him of his promise to tell him a story. (Clyde really was a character in a couple of shorts. But there he was voiced by Blanc, and here I think he is voiced by Ms. Foray, seeing as he sounds a lot like Rocket J. Squirrel.) Seeing that his carolers are gasping for breath, Bugs dismisses them and decides now is a great time to go tell said story.
“Fright before Christmas” Up at the North Pole, Santa is waiting for his suit to finish drying. (Since it is air-drying, I think he’s not going to be too happy to wear it.) Meanwhile some pilots are flying their cargo over the North Pole. Contents: One Tasmanian Devil. (Aside from the plot, for what reason are they flying this animal over the Pole? Where is he being delivered to?) He breaks free and jumps out of the plane. (Don’t worry, he grabbed a parachute) he lands in his Santa’s suit and launched into his sleigh. Scared, the deer try to run off taking Taz along for the ride. Meanwhile in an actual house, (I guess it belongs to Clyde’s parents. Or Bugs just prefers a roof over his head in Winter) Bugs is reading Clyde “The night before Christmas” Everything seems to be just like in the poem. Except there is a mouse stirring: Speedy with his cocoa. When they hear “Santa” up on the roof, Bugs sends his nephew to bed. Taz comes down the chimney, and Bugs offers him plenty of food. By sheer coincidence, he has deviled ham, deviled eggs, and devils food cake. Not really. He just has milk and cookies. Taz takes them anyway, and begins to eat just about everything else in the house, while Bugs reads him Clyde’s outrageous Christmas list. (Which among other things, contains a solid gold football, and a little brother. You’d think as a rabbit, he’d already have both. Aren’t rabbits well known to be associated with their young and karats?) Seeing as “Santa” is still hungry, Bugs offers to make him some popcorn. Impatient as he is, Taz eats it before its popped. (Probably shouldn’t have done so in front of a roaring fireplace) He then makes to open a gift that is clearly not for him. Bugs sets up a holiday gift exchange and offers him to trade for a much bigger gift. He unwraps it outside at Bug’s suggestion and finds just what he wanted: more food. (Well, it’s really a self inflating raft, but Taz has a strong imagination) He floats away and Clyde, (who I guess was secretly witnessing the whole thing) bemoans the fact that “Santa” left without giving him anything. (I hate when kids act that way. From now on, he only gets birdseed to eat.) Bugs and him then decide to return his sleigh. Not only is it the right thing to do, Santa just might let Clyde get first pick at the presents.
We end with Bugs and his carolers (Foghorn’s head is white for some reason) getting a sleigh ride from Taz. (It’s kinda weird seeing him being used by Friz, but poor Bob had been dead by two years at this point, so he couldn’t really help out) It’s a nice gesture but it still ends with Taz eating the sleigh. (My favorite part is how they didn’t notice it happening.)
Merry Christmas from your own, Dr. Foolio! I’ll be checking in one more time before the year ends! Enjoy those holidays!
Directed byKarl Torege, Charles Visser, James T. Walker, Kyung Won Lim
“Humph! Mr. Popular.”
In case you haven’t noticed, all of the shorts I’ve talked about recently had cats in them. Looney tunes are chock full of them. And so is this direct to video movie. It’s not spectacular, but I still find it enjoyable. So let’s get started.
It’s October 2nd, (I dunno, 2000 I guess) and Granny is living in London for some reason. She has two pets, namely Sylvester and Tweety. She is also a member of the Looney Club, which is located right next door to a children’s park that is going to close soon. Inside the club we see…COLONEL RIMFIRE? Wow! One of the last characters created for Looney Tunes. He doesn’t get roles anymore. Score one point for this film. He is busy ranting about the fact that he never caught his nemesis: Cool Cat. (Not that abomination created by Derek Savage. This character actually has earned his title) He takes a little solace in the fact that he was bested by a creature that was smarter than him. Not just Cool Cat, but all cats. He believes cats are the smartest creatures on the planet. (I disagree) Lucky for me, Granny is on my side, and when Rimfire says he’d bet his savings on his claim, she takes him up on it, hoping to use the winnings to restore the park. She claims that her canary can not only go around the globe in 80 days, (which would be until December 21, (I’m still going with 2000,) but also collect 80 different paw prints. It’s a big challenge, but Tweety’ll do anything for Granny. (Is it just me, or does that calendar have a picture of one of the hunters from “Horton hatches the egg” on it?) So he is given a passport to get stamped to prove he visited the locations. This gathers the attention of a shifty looking character in the crowd. It’s the Shropshire Slasher from the short “Deduce you say”. He eyes Tweety’s passport with great interest. The things might be rare soon. One’s been stolen apparently. Sylvester meanwhile plans on following the canary to make sure he and only he can have him for lunch. Outfitted with a tracking device, Tweety heads for his first stop in France. Not too long after, a wind blows him off course into the alps. Lodged into the side of a mountain, he asks a nearby climber for help. Said climber is actually Daffy, who is sore about the fact this is not his movie and refuses to help. An avalanche happens but the two are saved by snowboarder Bugs Bunny. It is now October 12, and Sylvester has been waiting in France this whole time. The script says that Tweety should have come here, could it be wrong? Nope. Here he comes now, being chased by Penelope Pussycat. She crashes into Sylvester’s table and gets a white stripe down her back. (hint hint) but that does not deter her from her purrrr-suit (weak I know.) of the bird. Not if Sylvester has anything to say about it. While they chase, Tweety get’s his passport stamped by Pepe. He then points out something he thinks he’ll like. Two skunks fighting over him. (It’s not really explained how Sylvester got a stripe as well) With those two occupied, Tweety collects Penelope’s print and flies off for Italy. Would you like to bet on whether or not Tweety will make it? Because his progress is being charted by Foghorn, Prissy, Henry, and Egghead Jr. And they’re accepting all bets. They believe he can do it. (Birds are encouraging like that) In Venice, Tweety stops at Pasquelles. The same restaurant Charlie Dog tried to make home in “A hound for trouble” He’s still there, playing waiter. Tweety orders a plate of birdseed with marinara sauce. As all Americans know, Italian food is good eating, so it’s no wonder that Tweety leaves the place plump as a turkey. He can’t even fly anymore, so he hitches a ride on a gondola. But flightless, plump, juicy, succulent birds are vulnerable. Surprise! The owner of it is a cat, and there are more up ahead on a bridge. Tweety uses his new physique to bowl over them. He gets their prints, and a stamp for Venice. (Turns out his fat was just gas. If only I had that problem) Tweety’s trip has garnered more attention, and he is even mentioned by Lola on the news. (She’s part of the cast now. So you might as well quit complaining about her.) Tweety makes it to Egypt and gets his passport stamped by a camel. (Who I think is Humpty Bumpty in a fez, but I can’t be sure.) Worn out, Tweety goes to sleep. But Sylvester must have gotten away form Pepe, (Please tell me he convinced him of his gender before it was too late.) And is back for more. After a scuffle, Tweety hides in the Sphinx. Granny wasn’t kidding about his smarts. He knows how to read Hieroglyphics. Turns out, the place has a terrible fate for anyone who tries to head down a certain hall. Since Sylvester isn’t aware, he gets attacked by mummified cats. (People really did that you know) They punch him hard enough to make a hole in the place for Tweety to escape from. He collects their prints and is on his way once more. Landing in Africa (in the jungle of crayon drawn trees) he encounters the Mynah Bird. Since that guy doesn’t talk, Tweety follows him hoping he’ll lead him to his next stamp. But he doesn’t look where he’s going and wanders into a lion’s mouth. (At least he found the stamp in there) He leaves the mouth of the beast, (which looks more like a dog dressed as a lion to me) but almost immediately runs into Pete Puma. (Why’s he here?) The two corner Tweety in a tree. (No relation to the short “Tree cornered Tweety”) Luckily for him, the Mynah comes back and saves him by flinging the predators away. With that done, Tweety heads to Tibet. He gets to a souvenir shop where Gossamar gives him another stamp. (Why not?) Tweety also catches sight of some monk cats lead by Claude. (He may look different, but the voice is a dead giveaway.) They are about to sacrifice a canary (who has hair) to their god. Tweety comes to the rescue in a snowball (picking up Hugo the abominable snowman along the way) and bowls over them. He looks just like their god and he demands that they release the bird, and knock off the canary sacrifices. Even though they agree, Tweety is a jerk and still sics Hugo on them. (But he does get their prints as well) He is joined by the other bird named Aooga. (No really.) After getting a stamp at China, the two are blown off course all the way to Mexico. At least that gives them a stamp for there. (Courtesy of Speedy) Since they are down there, they stop by Rio as well. Rocky and Muggsy are hiding out there, but they still give them a stamp. And in Argentina they get another one form (Spike? Marc Antony? Just a bulldog?) With the south taken care of, they fly back to Japan. (Seems the Slasher is still on the loose) Afterwards they decide to take a boat to their next destination. Sylvester has remembered he’s in this movie and prepares to dig in. But he’s caught by a ship hand and thrown in the galley to catch mice. The mice in question are Hubie and Bertie who are living a good life with all the cheese they can eat. Sylvester gives chase, but they use a bucket of soapy water to send him sliding off the ship. Even though he clasps on to the side, Tweety sadistically pries him off, sending him into the shark infested (badly animated water below) But he does throw him a life saver. (The things he does for Warner Bros.) The three drift to Australia. There, the passport is stamped by Hippety Hopper. (Why does he have a pouch?) And of course Sylvester thinks he’s a giant mouse. But this is also the home of the Tasmanian Devil who shows up and plans to eat some cat. Sylvester saves his hide, by encouraging him to team up so they can both get canary. They chase after the birds on a bike, (Taz really seems to be enjoying himself) but the birds make their getaway with a convenient hang glider. Sylvester leaps onto it, leaving Taz alone in the air. (He holds out Wile E. holding out a “mother” sign) The birds fly off leaving the cat stuck on the glider, but he bumps into a wind surfer. (Is that the flying fish from “The sour puss” on his sail?) The birds land atop it and ride to their next stop, San Francisco. With the putty tat still on their tails, the birds ride a skateboard through no color ville to escape. Sylvester hops aboard a trolley driven by Sam and shoves him out of the way. But he doesn’t really know how to work it, and ends up breaking the brake. (Which is sorta like winding the wind, or tearing a tear) With the vehicle out of control the two end up on Alcatraz much to Sam’s anger. The birds head off to Vegas, with Sylvester following on a train. (With an angry Sam chasing him the whole trip. He has great endurance.) Once there, Sylvester manages to get Sam taken away on another train, but loses the birds in Chalk Vegas. They are hiding in a casino which just so happens to be full of cats. They are all betting against Tweety. If they were to be spotted, they would probably chased down. Sylvester exposes their hiding spot and they are chased down. One cat catches Aoogah and I think Tweety shoves a pole up his butt. (What else could he have done?) Sylvester meanwhile has caused another cat to hit the jackpot. (Pussyfoot is with her, are they related? Also the kitten makes itself comfortable on Sylvester’s head. Adorable) The two head off again. (The Slasher also is outside. Is that other guy naked?) The two birds head off across the country collecting prints along the way. They eventually make it to New York. (It’s full of Looney Tune advertisments.) They stop for a hot dog at a cart that is by a strange looking man in a trench coat. Tweety asks a weird question to Aoogah. What kind of hot dog would she be? (what.) Sylvester is the vendor and plans to eat. During the scuffle, mustard is squirted all over the strange man, exposing him as Marvin. This gives the birds a chance to get to the airport. Tweety is sad that the fun is almost over, and decides for one more challenge, he’ll fly back to London on his own. He leaves his ticket with the stewardess and they head out. Sylvester meanwhile makes a pretty poor excuse for a poster that is framing Tweety as stealing the Passport. Good thing he showed it to a poor excuse for a cop who believes it. While this does not get him anywhere, he does get Tweety’s ticket. Guess he’ll meet them in London. The birds meanwhile have flown into a hurricane. Not only does it remove Tweety’s tracker, making the world believe he’s gone, (Now all they have left to enjoy is a man in a barrel. I’m not joking) but it separates the duo. And Aooga had the passport! Tweety feels sorry for himself, since it seems like he’s not going to win like he always does. He hears Aooga’s call and lands on an island in the eye of the storm. (Home of the worst CGI trees I’ve ever seen) Turns out the passport floats and after getting swarmed by some random cats. (Strange, but hey more prints) They fly off to London once more. Arriving in a pub, they are grabbed by the Slasher. Turns out he was behind the passport theft all along. (surprise surprise) He collects the things. He stuffs it in his pocket, and Tweety probably would have been lost if he was alone. But Aoogah snatches it back. The pollice arrive and the Slahser is forced to take off. Sylvester is with them, still clutching his poster. (I’m not surprised these guys believed it. They probably think all American posters are shoddily made.) Tweety has the passport and is presumed guilty. Sylvester takes it as Tweety is arrested and happily jumps in glee. But what’s this? There are two passports? And Tweety’s checks out. Leaving Sylvester holding the stolen one. Turns out the slasher stuck them in the same pocket he keeps his fish and chips in, and they got stuck together. (Gross. What was on those?) Sylvester won’t be a bother to them now, but Tweety is sad. According to the subtitle, it’s the 22nd. He’s late. But Aoogah points out that they crossed a time zone and actually it is the 21st! The subtitle was wrong! (ummm. The sun rises in the east. So if it’s really the 21st in London, wouldn’t it be the 20th in America?) They rush to the club. Rimfire points out that there’s only 79 prints. Tweety never managed to get Sylvester’s. Taking it back, he rushes to the police wagon and gets the last print! Rimfire reluctantly admits defeat. (And it turns out one of the other members was Cool Cat all along. And he knew Tweety would succeed. Only someone who is truly cool will admit he’s not the smartest.) For finding the missing passport, Tweety is knighted. (Not too absurd. There are King penguins) Sylvester however is off to prison.
Holy Flucking Sheet! This is the second time today I’ve had to type this up! For no apparent reason, it didn’t save. This new squarespace sucks whale balls! I hope you appreciate this post readers. I do it all for you.
My four shadows are gone! Do you get it yet? I said in a few posts back, that I wondered who would win in a race between Speedy and the Roadrunner. Foreshadowing! Seems it was too subtle. Well, we might as well carry on anyway.
A race is being held for the honor of Mexico and Texas. (Okay. I always pictured the Roadrunner shorts taking place in Arizona or New Mexico) The fastest mouse in Mexico (Speedy) vs the Texas road burner (the Roadrunner). Both entrants are being watched by hungry eyes. One Wile E. Coyote, (who is for a first, NOT being directed by Chuck Jones) and Sylvester. (And this is his last starring role. He’d reappear as a cameo one year later, but that was it.) The race starts and the bird takes the lead. The coyote follows and the ” resulting smoke hides the fact that there’s no more road” gag from “Zoom and Bored” is resused. Sylvester chases his prey of choice but has to stop at the same cliff. (I guess Speedy jumped.) The Roadrunner for whatever reason, went backwards and surprises the cat to jump off and land on the struggling coyote. Both predaotrs try launching boulders at the prey, but they collide in midair and land on their respective launchers. Wile tries the “putting iron pellets in birdseed gag” that he used in the short “Wild about Hurry” with Sylvester laying cheese as bait. The racers stop for a snack. (Should I stop pointing out every time there’s a color goof? ‘Cause Speedy’s nose turns tan.) Wile sets a grenade tied to a roller skate with a magnet on it to go toward the two. It breaks in two just as he checks to see how it’s going. (Explosion) They try pushing a rock on the two, but it won’t fall until both are jumping on it, and when trying to set up a TNT plunger, it blows up before they get it set up. They decide to catch their prey by riding in a rocket car. They catch up, but the racers veer away from a tunnel that the car enters. It leads to empty air, but the car is going so fast, that they don’t plummet. Instead they pass the combatents and end up winning the race themselves. Then the car blows up. Amusing short, but I feel like this story was done better in an issue of Looney Tunes Comics. Where the racers tie… for second place. Cecil turtle won first. (Great joke and twist)
This… is one of the best things I’ve ever seen in my life. If not the greatest, then probably the ninth. A 50 year tribute to the world’s most popular toon in such a compact time limit? It’s everybodies life mission to see it at least once. And since I was able to find both the American and Austrailian versions, you can enjoy both at any time! Since I have seen every Bugs Bunny short, I am going to list all that are here. (If I screwed up, please feel free to correct me. It’s the only way I’ll learn.)
“Rabbit Hood”, “Elmer’s Pet Rabbit”, “The Old Gray Hare”, “A Wild Hare”, “Rabbit Of Seville”, “Rabbit Rampage”, “Rabbit Seasoning”, “Rabbit Fire”, “Duck! Rabbit, Duck!”, “Person to Bunny”, “Rabbitson Crusoe”, “Wild And Woolly Hare”, “Big House Bunny”, “Mississippi Hare”, “Operation: Rabbit”, “Compressed Hare”, “Rabbit’s Feat”, “Bowery Bugs”, “Hare Splitter”, “Hare-Breadth Hurry”, “Sahara Hare”, “Long-Haired Hare”, “A Witch’s Tangled Hare”, “Foxy By Proxy”, “Barbary Coast Bunny”, “Big Top Bunny”, “Apes of Wrath”, “Homeless Hare”, “Haredevil Hare”, “Rabbit Punch”, “Hair-raising Hare”, “Bill of Hare”, “The Fair-Haired Hare”, “Bunny Hugged”, “Bugs Bunny Rides Again”, “The Bugs Bunny Show,” “What’s Up, Doc?”, “8-Ball Bunny”, “What’s Opera, Doc?”, “Bully For Bugs”, “Bunker Hill Bunny”, “Roman Leigon-Hare”, “Knights Must Fall”, “Knight-Mare Hare”, “Rebel Rabbit”, “Bedeviled Rabbit”, “Horse Hare”, “Lighter Than Hare”, “A-Lad-In His Lamp”, “Lumber Jack-Rabbit”, “14 Carrot Rabbit”, “The Million Hare”, “Which is Witch”, “Hot Cross Bunny”, “High Diving Hare”, “Captain Hareblower”, “Hare Trigger”, “Racketeer Rabbit”, “Acrobatty Bunny”, “The Heckling Hare”, “Bewithced Bunny”, “From Hare To Heir”, “Mad As A Mars Hare”, “The Grey Hounded Hare”, “Hare Do”, and in the Aussie’s case, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. All set to “The Barber of Seville” and “Hungarian Rhapsody Number 2” Which is the superior version? I can’t choose. Tell me what you think.
Hopefully you’re not too worn out of Bugs shorts. We’ll switch it up again next week.
Wile E. heads out of his lair with some type of contraption in tow. It turns out to be a portable elevator which he uses as a way into Bugs home. He comes out with Bugs literally in the bag. Bugs asks what is going on. Wile E. explains and also tells Bugs (who is in the middle of escaping) that since he is a genius, he knows that Bugs was going to ask what was in the bag, Wile E. would tell, and Bugs would then say nothing is in the sack. As it turns out, Bugs says there IS something in the sack and Wile E. humors him by taking a look. It explodes. Bugs takes the elevator back down and Wile E. chases after him. Not noticing the TNT Bugs has left in the lift. BOOM! Time for the brains to be used. Wile E.’s latest gizmo is a Univac Electronic Brain. (UEB for short) You just enter your problem and it will offer you the best solution. He enters the animal as “rabbit” (was one of those options dad?) location as “hole”, and what as a “combonation lock.” The machine tells him to use burglary methods and even prints the code for the lock. (Wow. I need me one of those) Wile E. heads out at night with a portable window he puts up next to the lock. (Of course it’s nessesscary) Bugs, reading in bed, can hear him and casually tosses a banana peel into his path. He slips and lands in the coyote disposal which throws him out off the side of a cliff. Come morning, he asks what to do while Bugs is putting carrots into the toaster. It reccomends substituting the veggies for grenades. He does so, but the spring of the toaster needs work as it launches them right back to sender. Simply asking “what”, “now”, and “?” it suggests using a plunger. Wile E. has clearly been working out, as it creates a LOT of suction. So much so, that when Bugs puts a pipe out the other way, Wile E. gets sucked through it and into the plunger himself. Next, Bugs is vacuuming and Wile E. places a TNT stick into the machine. This probably would have worked if he hadn’t done it just as the rabbit was finishing. Then maybe he wouldn’t have emptied the bag right away into the trash can Wile E. was hiding in. He then sets a booby trap in the carrot patch, that will go off and laucnch a boulder on Bugs when he pulls a certain one. (Can carrots grow in the North American Southwest?) Of course, nothing happens until Wile E. touches the snare himself. Rushing back to the UEB he asks for a suggestion, and it flat out tells him to go back and get hit. (which he does) As the short ends, we see that the UEB only has one moving part: Bugs himself.
“Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Wile E. Coyote. Genius.”
Directed by Charles M. Jones
I’m always amazed about how few people know that Wile E. appeared with Bugs and that he spoke. This is actually one of the first Looney Tune shorts I recall watching. Heck, this was Wile E’s second appearance, so he had no real standard yet. (It’s like Zelda 2. Everyone freaks out at the sidescrolling, when the game had no standard yet) Wile E. starts the short by flat out telling Bugs he is going to eat him, and that since he is a genius, Bugs might as well give up. Bugs is not fazed and just leaves. Wile E. begins his plans. (It’s hard for us geniuses. No one wants to appreciate us while we’re alive. Except Disney) Plan 1 is a pressure cooker he puts over Bug’s hole. When Bugs tells him that there is no rabbit in there, Wile E. checks and Bugs traps him under it. He clubs him. Plan 2. Wile E. has a cannon with alot of pipes to launch a cannonball right into Bug’s home. Bugs has more pipe and sends it right back. While working on plan 3 Wile E. finds Bugs at his door announcing to give up. He just needs a witness to sign his will, and offers him a pen. (TNT) Wile E. is happy to oblige and puts out the fuse. That proves he is a genius. Elmer and Sam would have fallen for that. And no one the first time, sees the second fuse on the other end. BOOM! Plan 3 involves an explosive rabbit decoy. Wile E. turns it on (for some reason) in his house when there’s a knock at the door. A female coyote. She’s a decoy, but Wile E. is too smitten to notice. (Tells her how lucky she’s marrying a genius) Bugs detonates her and before Wile E. can get rid of it, the bunny blows up too. Plan 4 has a UFO that homes in on targets and explodes. He sets it to rabbit, but Bugs wears a chicken mask to deter it. He writes coyote on the side and sends it back. Now without his cave, Wile E. plans in an explosives shed. He fills carrots with nitroglycerin not realzing Bugs is towing him onto train tracks. Boom again! Giving up, he introduces himself to Bugs as mud. “And remember.” says Bugs. “Mud spelled backwards is dum.”
The first Coyote/Roadrunner short made since Jones death. (Rest his soul.) Also notable for actually using their scientific names this time. (Geococcyx californianus and Canis latrans) It starts off with two wizards in a duel. (Gargamel-Jafar and Dr. Light-Dumbledore) They are of equal strength and end up killing each other. Their Magic book and black cat fall to earth, just as Wile is chasing his usual prey. They hit him, and he decides to use the magic to help achieve his prize. He turns the cat into a “panther” (not a real animal, I think it’s a leopard) It slices him. He orders a magic broom and follows the Roadrunner who runs into a tunnel. Hearing a truck, Wile swerves wildly out of the way. (Turns out it was the Roadrunner clearing his throat) Now in space, Wile is hit by a comet and plumets back down. He manages to survive, but one “Beep-Beep” sends him off a cliff. A spell to make himself larger only makes his head grow and crushes him under it’s weight. Painting a bomb clear, he advertises a free trial to see the future. The Roadrunner peers in and sees the Coyote in an explosion. The bomb rolls over to him and detonates. He levitates a boulder over some free bird seed, but of course it doesn’t fall, until he stands under it himself. Finally, he turns the cat into a winged horse. (Say Pegasus and I will kill you) The chase leads to a train, and they crash into a car holding many snakes. The horse uses the Coyote to bat them away. Then he turns into a magic carpet. Then they fly into a bunch of scorpions. And cacti. And cliff walls. Then the rug becomes a Komodo Dragon and bites Wile’s snout off. Then it becomes a lawnmower. THEN it becomes a shark and chases him into a lake. Why all the sudden changing? The Roadrunner got ahold of the book and was testing it’s powers. As the shark eats Wile, the Roadrunner turns a mailbox (where’d that come from?) into a female Roadrunner and they walk off together. (See? More proof he’s a male. Cease your fanfics, you evil shippers)
Back at Acme, Mr. Chariman is gloating over the success. Damian still believes that D.J. will foil his plans. Mr. Chairman has the Peter Lorre Scientist keep using a machine that makes Damien hit himself. Looking at the map, they see that Daffy got himself in the shot, making it useless. They decide to go face our heros and use their most dangerous operative: The Tasmanian Devil. (When the Vice President of “Never Learning” points out that he’s kinda dumb, Taz eats him) In Africa our heros are making slow progress when who should appear? No not Inki. (That would’ve been awesome) It’s Granny, Sylvester, and Tweety on an elephant. They offer them a ride. Bugs points out how they came at just the right time, and Granny and Sylvester share a evil look. Could THEY be Acme agents? They take a safari and end up at the temple. Granny bids them farewell. (Phew. I guess they were alright) When they enter Daffy sets off a booby trap by taking a small monkey like object off a pedestal. Kate figures out that it’s a puzzle piece and quickly puts it into its spot. It reveals the parth to the Blue Monkey as well as the gem itself. D.J. accidentally turns himself into a Capuchin monkey and Daffy tries to make off with the gem. Bugs convinces him to change D.J. back. Then Granny and Co. show up and demand the diamond. Oh No! They were evil! Except not really. These were disguises. Granny and Sylvester reveal themselves to be Mr. Chairman and Bob. Tweety is Taz and he farts. (I hate this part. Warner Bros. never had to reduce themselves to such immature humor. Otherwise this film would have been perfect) Mr. Chairman also reveals that he is really Damien! No wait, he’s Michael Jordan! No wait, he’s really MR. CHAIRMAN! (funny) Bob takes out a device that transports them all to Acme. Bob then reveals to Taz that he is really the Tasmanian She Devil. (Yeah, Taz was kinda worthless in this movie. shame) At Acme everyone has been spliced with one another. While we laugh, Mr. Chairman fixes everything. He finally gets the TV to work right and shows that if D.J. does not give up the diamond, Damien will die by a train, exploding dynamite and an anvil. (But not the pendulum of doom. That’s overkill) Wile is overseeing all this. D.J. stupidly relents and Mr. Chairman does not release Damian. (Did you really expect him to?) He calls Marvin and tells him to go into space with the diamond. Marvin takes off and Daffy runs after him taking another ship. (That was being worked on by an Instant Martian) To his dismany, Bugs is along for the ride. They get into a brief fight with Marvin by keying his ship. Mr. Chairman tells his prisnors that the gem will loaded onto a satellite that will turn everyone on earth into monkeys. (You gotta have really dedicated henchmen to go along with this) Well not everyone. Mr. Chairman is going to be in a safe room with Mary as company. Told you she’d come back. (She doesn’t look too thrilled) Marvin puts the auto pilot on but Bugs and Daffy get rid of him by tricking him into rolling down his window so they can ask for directions. He is sucked out into space. (Daffy: Well whattya know, he fell for it. I guess I owe you 5 bucks.) But Marvin is not gone yet, he’s clinging to the underside of their ship. They arrive at the satellite and Daffy volunteers Bugs to go get the diamond out of the other ship. D.J. and Kate are tied up and left hanging by a rope near Damian. D.J. easily breaks free before realizing that there was a reason it was so easy to escape. Releasing themselves also releases an Acme robo-dog. (He kinda looks like Chester) Bugs runs into Marvin again, and takes on his bubble gun with his carrot light saber. Daffy is cowering and wondering what to do? What would Duck Dodgers do? Realizing he IS Duck Dodgers, Daffy grabs a jetpack that blows up before he can say his name. (It happens four more times) D.J. and Kate are barely able to escape the dog, by hooking his collar onto a hook. D.J. just barely rescues his dad, and Wile (who was piloting the train) blows up with the dynamite. (He feels that he’s not paid enough) In space, Marvin traps Bugs in one of the bubbles, and the satellite is about to fire. Daffy gets caught between two of the pylons and his beak detaches again. Using his skills he has learned from this happening all the time, he throw his bill, (ignoring the fact there’s no gravity) and it lands on the laser. His bill closes itself and the laser begins to backfire. Bugs escapes and dispatches Marvin with his own gun and the satellite begins to explode. Only two shots of the laser escape Daffy’s bill. One flies off into space never to be seen again. The other flies down to Earth and hits Mr. Chairman who was checking to see if everyone was monkeys yet. Daffy saves Bugs from floating away and they return to the ship. (Bugs won’t say that Daffy is his hero) The others find a sobbing Mary (I guess she did love him) and a simian Chairman. He is arrested and Damian and D.J. hug. They quickly leave when they see the rocket coming towards them. Mr. Chairmonkey runs away. (Perfect for a sequel methinks) and Daffy and D.J. congratulate each other. Bugs admits that Daffy deserves the credit, but Daffy is so sure this is a “rabbit season-duck season trick” that he refuses to go along with it. Kate admits that she likes D.J. and Bugs congratulates Daffy on finally getting to be the hero. Daffy gloats that Bugs never got him into is movie when the entire building gets taken away. Yes, this whole story WAS the movie and Daffy was not aware of it. (Ma bear brings Bugs a towel) D.J. punches out Brenden Fraser, (laugh) and Bugs admits that Daffy and him should be equal from now on. (While he is being given carrots by Charlie Dog, Heathcliff from “Dough Ray Me-ow”, the squirrel from “Much Ado about Nutting”, Marc Antony and Pussyfoot, Egghead, Mr. Gruesome Gorilla, and Hippety Hopper) Daffy barely avoids a falling stage light, and comments that his luck is already improving. He is crushed by the Looney Tunes rings. My man Porky comes out to say his famous closing line but his stutter is worse than usaul, and everyone leaves. Porky: “Go home Folks.” Not until I’ve seen the credits! We get a rockin song along with some animation. (Some of which I’m sure is from deleted scenes) At the end of all this, we get a final joke. Daffy is running form Nasty Canasta and Cottontail Smith in the casino and pulls a slot machine. It stops on three cherries. The thugs happily hold out their hats, but the cherries are really bombs and they blow up! What a great movie! My favorite film of all time.