Wile E. Coyote: A history and complete filmography
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Wile E. Coyote: 

A history and complete filmography
-by Matthew Hunter

Wile E. Coyote has always been my absolute favorite major Looney Tunes character. No other cartoon series has paralelled the humor of the Roadrunner/Coyote cartoons, and probably never will. This series was created by animation legend Chuck Jones, who also created the modern-day Daffy Duck, Charlie Dog, Marvin Martian, and Claude Cat.
     Jones first created Wile E. Coyote in 1949, in a cartoon called "Fast and Furry-Ous."  his historic first encounter between Wile E. and the Road Runner was an experiment originally, a parody of chase cartoons. Most of the Warner cartoons at the time involved chases, with Sylvester and Tweety , Bugs and Elmer, Pepe Le Pew and Penelope. Chuck Jones wanted to create a parody of the chase, but ended up making the best chase of all time. The Road Runner cartoons continued with "Beep, Beep", a cartoon so popular at army/navy/airforce bases that the flight crews would address each other in "Beep Beep!'s. Soldiers would walk out on the movie matinees shown at their bases after watching the cartoon, and would return for more when the reel was rerun. (See Chuck Jones' autobiography, "Chuck Reducks".) Producer Edward Selzer did not approve of the series until the letters from that second cartoon began to pour in, and then the series was greenlighted for sure.
Wile E. Coyote was subsequently involved in two other series. The best-remembered of the two features Bugs Bunny against the hungry "Wile E. Coyote: Super Genius." Bugs Bunny had always been a cartoon character involved in wit-battles, but Wile E. Coyote was no match for him. The other series pitted the Coyote against a sheep dog named Sam. Sam and "Ralph Wolf" as he was called in this series, would go to work together, in this case stealing and protecting sheep. However, when they punched out for the evening, they were best buddies. Jones continued the Road Runner series until the early 60's,, when his final Road Runner cartoon, "War and Pieces", was released.
Later, after the 1964 closing of the Warner Bros. animation department and its resuscitation by DePatie/Freleng enterprises (famous for the "Pink Panther" shorts), the latter company decided to continue the series without Jones, as he had left a few years earlier. Friz Freleng made a clever cartoon called "The Wild Chase", involving Wile E. and Sylvester trying to stop a race between Road Runner and Speedy Gonzales. Robert McKimson did a couple cartoons during this time, most memorably "Sugar and Spies", in which Wile E. Coyote finds a spy kit and uses its gadgets to chase Road Runner. After this brief series of shorts, however, low budgets were getting lower, and cartoons had to be farmed out to Format Films, a company that promised to save more money than the current D/F setup. Rudy Larriva, who directed several Speedy Gonzales shorts for Depatie/Freleng as well, made close to a dozen short Road Runner cartoons for the studio. Though critics have given these a beating, as they are nowhere close to the classic Jones series in quality, they still have their  moments. "Boulder Wham" involves the Coyote trying to lure Road Runner off a cliff, "Solid Tin Coyote" has him chasing Road Runner with a giant robot version of himself!
Jones later returned to WB and featured  his creations  in the 1979 "Bugs Bunny Road Runner Movie", and TV special "Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales." Jones has worked with Warner Brothers closely ever since, but it wasn't until 1994 that he would truly return to the chase. Under the new banner of Chuck Jones Film Productions,  Jones and a new team of animators directed "Charriots of Fur", the first Road Runner theatrical cartoon in almost 30 years. It turned out to be the most impressive work of the now-defunct and rarely-seen output of the company, which was established mainly to create new cels for the animation art market. Wile E. and Road Runner appeared in the 1996 feature "Space Jam, and are currently featured in a yet-to-be-released short called "Little Go-Beep", a non-Jones effort which reportedly involves a BABY Road Runner and Coyote.
                Wile E. isn't just some foolish coyote after a scrawny bird, but can be interpreted as an allegory for obsession. Early on in the series, such as his debut in 1949's "Fast and Furry-Ous.", he was just hungry, and had a REASON to chase Roadrunner. But soon it became apparent that Wile E.Coyote was obsessed by his pursuit of Roadrunners. He had become addicted. Just like a real person addicted to gambling, alcohol, drugs, caffiene, nicotine, or anything else, Wile E. is addicted to chasing. He knows that he will never catch Road Runner. He knows that ACME sells faulty products. If you analyze this close enough you might find that YOU stay loyal to a certain company, even if it does nothing for you.  But why overanalyze? These are some of the greatest animated films of all time, they are universally enjoyable, and they are just plain funny.


Wile E. Coyote filmography
many people seem to want to find a filmography of not Road Runner but Wile E. Coyote, because Wile E. starred in several cartoons without Road Runner. Others want the Road Runner films included, but since this page focuses on the COYOTE, I'm going to include the Road Runner cartoons, the Bugs Bunny series, and the cartoons featuring Ralph Wolf, whose only difference from Wile E. is his red nose.
The Chuck Jones -directed era:
Animation director Chuck Jones created and directed Wile E. Coyote in all films prior to 1965, and this is considered to be one of animation's greatest series. The animation, as well as the desert background layouts of the extremely talented Maurice Noble, can certainly prove the reputation. All of the films before 1958 were scored musically by Carl Stalling, those between 1958 and 1961 were scored by Milt Franklyn (except one, "Hook Line and Stinker", which used stock canned music compiled by John Seely, the same music would later show up on TV's "Dennis The Menace"!) and from 1961 onward Bill Lava handled the music, and the Lava work for the rest of Jones' films is a tad spooky-sounding, maybe because of the flat-sounding brass instruments, cymbals and bass drums.

"Fast and Furryous" (Road Runner)

"Beep Beep" (Road Runner)
"Operation rabbit" (Bugs Bunny)
"Going Going Gosh" (Roadrunner)

"Zipping Along" (Roadrunner)
"Don't Give Up The Sheep" (Sam Sheepdog)

"Stop, Look and Hasten"(Roadrunner)
"Sheep Ahoy" (Sam Sheepdog)

"Guided Muscle" (Roadrunner)
"Double Or Mutton" (Sam Sheepdog)

"Gee Whizzz" (Roadrunner)
"There They go Go Go" (Roadrunner)
"To Hare is Human" (Bugs Bunny)_

"Scrambled Aches" (Roadrunner)
"Zoom and bored" (Roadrunner)
"Steal Wool" (Sam Sheepdog)

"Whoa Be gone" (Roadrunner)
"Hook Line and Stinker" (Roadrunner)
"Hip Hip Hurry" (Roadrunner)

"Hot Road and Reel" (Roadrunner)
"Wild About Hurry"(Roadrunner)

"Fastest With the Mostest" (Roadrunner)
"Hopalong Casualty" (Roadrunner)
"Rabbit's Feat" (Bugs Bunny)
"Ready, Woolen and Able" (Sam Sheepdog)

"Zip N' Snort" (Roadrunner)
"Lickety Splat" (Roadrunner)
"Beep Prepared" (Roadrunner)
"Zoom at the Top" (Roadrunner)
"Compressed Hare" (Bugs Bunny)

"A Sheep In The Deep" (Sam Sheepdog)

"To Beep Or Not to Beep" (Roadrunner)
"Hare-Breadth Hurry"  (Bugs Bunny)

"War and Pieces" (Roadrunner)

"Zip Zip Hooray" (Roadrunner)
"Roadrunner Ago Go"  (Roadrunner)
The post-1965 era
While they're very funny and quite enjoyable, in my opinion,
most of these cartoons are undeniably inferior in production quality to those of Chuck Jones in years past. Chuck Jones Left in 1964, and the studio closed soon after, re-opening as De-Patie/Freleng Enterprises and using lower budgets. Most of the cartoons from this era, though they get a bashing from critics (Leonard Maltin, in his book "Of Mice and Magic", calls the films as a whole "abysmal" and the Road Runner series "...witless in every sense of the word") are at least enjoyable. Their principal characters were Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzales, as a pair, and Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote. They're no classics, but they're not a total loss. Robert McKimson and Rudy Larriva handled most of the films of this time, although McKimson, Friz Freleng, and Larriva all tried Road Runner at least once.
What makes the Road Runner series of the time so enjoyable anyway is the Bill Lava score, that, although credited to him in the cartoons, was simply done once and "canned",  is great!  Also, before the "Larriva Eleven", Friz Freleng's rotoscope experiment with Sylvester and Wile E. Coyote chasing Road Runner and Speedy Gonzales, is very clever if not all that funny.

"The Wild Chase" (d: Friz Freleng)-besides Road Runner, Sylvester and Speedy Gonzales also star.
"Rushing Roulette" (d: Robert McKimson)
"Run, Run, Sweet Road Runner" (d: Rudy Larriva)
"Tired and Feathered" (d: Rudy Larriva)
"Boulder Wham" (d: Rudy Larriva)
"Just Plane Beep" (d: Rudy Larriva)
"Harried and Hurried" (d: Rudy Larriva)
"Highway Runnery" (d: Rudy Larriva)
"Chaser On The Rocks" (d: Larriva -NOTE- 2 endings seem to exist for this cartoon, one from theatrical release, in which the Coyote ends up shooting down the sun with a cannon, and a TV version that has the cannon shoot him.)

"Shot and Bothered" (d: rudy Larriva)
"Out and Out Rout" (d: Rudy Larriva)
"The Solid tin Coyote" (d: Rudy Larriva)
"Clippety-Clobbered" (d: Rudy Larriva)
"Sugar and Spies"(d: Robert McKimson)

Other misc. films

-in 1979 and 1980, Chuck Jones got the chance to produce and direct 2 more Road Runner films for TV specials.
Both feature some odd variations on the theme. "Freeze Frame" (1979) has Wile E. Chase Road Runner into a snowscape,
and "Soup or Sonic" (1980) has the Coyote actually catch the Road Runner...although he is made miniature and the road runner enormous! And in 1994, the short-lived Chuck Jones Film Productions contract to produce more LT's put the duo back on the big screen again with "Chariots Of Fur", although it was better than the lousy movie it got paired with, "Richie Rich." "Little Go Beep" (2000) was a non-Jones effort that recieved no wide release and used the concept of a Road Runner and Wile E. as babies.

-That's all Folks!.
-Matthew Hunter]

Article/page content © Matthew Hunter. Wile E. Coyote: ©\ WB Inc.