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Falling anvils, stacks of dynamite, everything in the Acme catalog and a plethora of not-so-sturdy precipices — it seems like nothing was out of bounds when it came to Wile E. Coyote's futile pursuit of the Road Runner in the classic "Looney Tunes" animations.
But that isn't exactly true. Thanks to a tweet from film director Amos Posner that reveals a strict set of Road Runner rules from late cartoon creator Chuck Jones, fans now know better.
The list was photographed at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York, and was featured as part of an exhibit called, "What's Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones."
Just in case you can't quite make out all the cartoon caveats in the tweet, here's the full list:
- The Road Runner cannot harm the coyote except by going "beep-beep!"
- No outside force can harm the coyote — only his own ineptitude or the failure of the Acme products.
- The coyote could stop anytime — if he were not a fanatic. (Repeat: "A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim." — George Santayana)
- No dialogue ever, except "beep-beep!"
- The Road Runner must stay on the road — otherwise, logically, he would not be called Road Runner.
- All action must be confined to the natural environment of the two characters — the Southwest American desert.
- All materials, tools, weapons or mechanical conveniences must be obtained from the Acme Corporation.
- Whenever possible, make gravity the coyote's greatest enemy.
- The coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures.
It all sounds about right to anyone who spent any amount of time watching the Road Runner effortlessly avoid the deranged Wile E. Coyote — in other words, virtually all of us. But this isn't the first time this information has come to light.
While Posner's tweet has undoubtedly put a new spotlight on this list and introduced it to many for the first time, the rules were originally published in Jones' 1999 autobiography, "Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist."
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