Fast and Furry-ous
Fast and FurryousTitle.jpg
Title card of Fast and Furry-ous.
Directed byCharles M. Jones
Story byMichael Maltese
Produced byEdward Selzer (uncredited)
StarringMel Blanc
Paul Julian (uncredited)
Music byCarl Stalling
Animation byKen Harris
Phil Monroe
Ben Washam
Lloyd Vaughan
A.C. Gamer (effects animation)
Layouts byRobert Gribbroek
Backgrounds byPeter Alvarado
Color processTechnicolor
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date
  • September 17, 1949 (1949-09-17)
Running time
7:07
LanguageEnglish

Fast and Furry-ous is a 1949 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon, directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese.[1] The short was released on September 17, 1949, and stars Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.[2]

This was the debut of the Coyote/Road Runner pairing and set the template for the series, in which Wile E. Coyote (here given the mock genus/species name in faux-Latin Carnivorous Vulgaris) tries to catch the Road Runner (Accelleratii Incredibus) through many traps, plans and products. In this first cartoon, not all of the products are yet made by ACME.

The title is a play on the expression "fast and furious".

Plot

  1. As the Road Runner approaches, Wile E. is hiding between large rocks with a steel trash can lid. He holds it out and the Road Runner stops just short, causing the Coyote to wonder why he didn't hit it. Wile E. moves the lid while glancing at the Road Runner, who promptly sticks his tongue out and speeds away. Wile E. gets ready to follow him, but the Road Runner returns as quickly as he left and holds out the lid, which the Coyote runs into. The Road Runner runs off again.
  2. Wile E. takes delivery of a boomerang and throws it over its hiding place, but is quickly hit by another boomerang, thrown by the Road Runner directly behind him. Wile E. steams with rage and is about to chase his opponent but his own boomerang comes back and hits him before he can move.
  3. The Coyote paints white lines on the gravel and brings out a SLOW School Crossing sign. Wile E. imitates a schoolgirl and prances in front of the sign, but the Road Runner blasts by, resulting in Wile E. holding onto the sign with his arms. The Road Runner returns with the wig he was wearing and a sign that says "ROAD RUNNERS CAN'T READ".
  4. The Road Runner is now spiraling up another mountain, while Wile E. is preparing a rocket-launcher contraption, but he launches into a rock instead of the Road Runner.
  5. The Coyote now tries to squash the passing Road Runner with a gigantic boulder. When Wile E. pulls the string out from under the boulder, its massive weight causes the boulder to reverse its center of gravity in mid-fall and squash its owner.
  6. Having had enough of directly trying to defeat the Road Runner, Wile E. draws a curve in the right lane of the desert's main road, and continues it across into a rock face. He then paints a lifesize painting of a tunnel on the face. The bird runs directly through it. Then, Wile E. tries to follow, but flattens himself against the rock. He gears up for a 2nd attempt, but the Road Runner runs back out and knocks the Coyote down again.
  7. Wile E. leaves a stick of TNT covered in dirt in the middle of the road and connects it to a detonator. When he pushes down on it, the detonator explodes on himself.
  8. Resorting to the Acme Corporation, the Coyote hopes that his ACME Super Outfit gives him the ability to fly, but he drastically fails to defy gravity and instead drops straight to the ground.
  9. Wile E. now puts together a meat grinder, a refrigerator, and an electric motor (the motor turns the grinder, grinding the ice cubes the refrigerator is spitting out, creating a path of snow), and skis towards the road, narrowly missing the bird. The Coyote continues across the desert floor and off the edge of another cliff. The Coyote's expression changes slowly as the power begins to run out of the refrigerator, and then he falls to the ground. The motor automatically turns on and snow forms on top of the coyote, who holds up a "MERRY XMAS" sign.
  10. Having tried most everything, Wile E. now puts on a pair of Fleet Foot's jet-propelled tennis shoes, and discovers he can now move at the speed of the Road Runner. Happy with himself, Wile E. returns to his attack base, but then the Road Runner turns up directly in front and beeps. A chase ensues, but when the dust clears, it is revealed that the Road Runner didn't even move! Wile E. turns around and returns to the Road Runner, infuriated. Both of them start on the "dragstrip" a second time and it is Wile E. who accidentally initiates the false start. The Coyote's eyes pop out and he initiates the chase again. As Wile E. is gaining on the bird, both rivals come to a highway 'cloverleaf', where they circle around and around, constantly changing directions to the tune of "I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover", until they meet in the center stretch. The chase continues down the road until the tennis shoes run out. Wile E. sees a sign displaying "SHORTCUT" and follows it, looking to intercept the Road Runner.
  11. With his shoes still on, Wile E. hears the beeps then steps out into the middle of the road with an axe, but it is a bus that approaches and flattens the Coyote. The bird, perched in the back window of the bus, pulls down a shade emblazoned with "The End".

A major running gag throughout the cartoon series is the fact that Wile E. Coyote (an ironic pun on "Wily") continuously gets defeated by his own gadgets, often obtained through a fictitious mail-order company called "ACME". The name of the company is ironic because of its meaning the best or the highest in quality. A commentator in the Looney Tunes Golden Collection pointed out that what keeps Wile E. going is his perception that the gadgets typically almost work.

Reception

Warner Bros. writer and editor Charles Carney writes, "This initial outing created in seven minutes a timeless screen legend as durable as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Oliver Hardy. Coyote's basic 'humanity' in simply following his instincts — with the help of an arsenal of devices that defy the laws of physics and momentum but always, eventually, yield to gravity — makes him a character of great sympathy... The would-be predator's imploring looks to the audience bring the humor from the cinematic to the personal."[3] In 2021, Mark Wilson at Fast Company listed this one of the cartoons to watch before Space Jam: A New Legacy. Wilson states "Road Runner and Coyote went on to appear in dozens of shorts together, but my favorite gag is in this particular cartoon. Coyote paints a tunnel on the side of the mountain, hoping Road Runner will strike the rock by mistake," and mentions how the universe is "set up against him," due the fact that the Road Runner runs through as if no wall is there, while the Coyote doesn't.[4]

Usage in other media

The entire scene of Wile E. donning the ACME Super Outfit is edited into The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Movie in 1979.

Clips of the cartoon are also featured in the 1993 film Last Action Hero and the 2011 remake of Arthur.

Home media

Fast and Furry-ous is available in its blue ribbon reissue on Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 1, Looney Tunes: Spotlight Collection, and Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume 1 in 1080p resolution. It is also available on the "Road Runner Vs. Wile E. Coyote: The Classic Chase" VHS, the "Stars Of Space Jam: Wile E. Coyote And Road Runner" VHS, and the "Road Runner Vs. Wile E. Coyote: If At First You Don't Succeed..." Laserdisc.

Music

This short uses music from the Bedřich Smetana opera The Bartered Bride, specifically Dance of the Comedians. It also makes use of the popular songs "Winter", "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover", and "In My Merry Oldsmobile".

"Flight of the Bumblebee" by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Would Be Used in the 2008 rhythm game Looney Tunes: Cartoon Conductor.

Censorship

The version shown on ABC's The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show cuts the part where Wile E. Coyote plants dynamite in the road and gets blown up when he presses the detonator.

See also

References

  1. ^ Beck, Jerry; Friedwald, Will (1989). Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Henry Holt and Co. p. 202. ISBN 0-8050-0894-2.
  2. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 128–129. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  3. ^ Beck, Jerry, ed. (2020). The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes Cartoons. Insight Editions. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-64722-137-9.
  4. ^ Wilson, Mark (July 15, 2021). "The 11 Looney Tunes shorts you need to watch before 'Space Jam'". Fast Company. Retrieved May 2, 2022.