GEE WHIZ-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z (1956)
Article 4670 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Chuck Jones
Featuring the voice of Paul Julian
What it is: Road Runner cartoon
A coyote continues with his hapless attempts to catch a road runner.
I can’t exactly say the fantastic content in this cartoon involves talking animals; outside of the innocuous “beep beep” sound the road runner makes, the animals don’t talk. However, the characters (the coyote in particular) can be considered anthropomorphic, and he does communicate in English via hand-held signs. Furthermore, the cartoon qualifies as a fantasy in that the laws of physics don’t get a lot of respect here; the only law that seems to apply is that whatever disaster happens, it will happen in the funniest way possible. There’s a bit of super-hero shtick in this one with a Batman costume and even a touch of science fiction with a jet motor with handlebars attached; Wile E. Coyote was quite an inventor, though that never compensated for the fact that the character was one of the most cursed creations in cinema history. The Road Runner cartoons rarely had plots; they were mostly a series of black-out gags, and you tend to remember individual gags more than whole cartoons. This one featured a gag with a stick of dynamite attached to a long-range hand extender, a gag with an outrun bullet, a gag with a large painting of a bridge being out, and the final classic moment where the coyote, falling once more from a height, makes a request of the animators that is mercifully granted. No, they’re not the best work from Chuck Jones, but I love his Road Runner cartoons anyway.