Road Runner is an American cartoon character who is a speedy, slender, blue and purple bird who continually frustrated the efforts of a coyote (Wile E. Coyote) to catch him….where in a series of animated short films…..the fleet-footed Road Runner races along the highways of the American Southwest….with his legs and feet moving so fast that they form a wheel-like blur….as Wile E. Coyote is in hot pursuit. In each episode, the coyote sets an elaborate trap for the bird….which is usually with the aid of some product such as a giant rubber band or a “portable outboard steamroller”….which is ordered from the fictitious Acme company….whereas, the scheme always backfires as a result of either the products’ chronic unreliability or Coyote’s own ineptitude…..while Road Runner is never captured or damaged….and only to respond with a characteristic “Beep! Beep!” ….as it runs off.
Animator Chuck Jones introduced the comedic pair in the 1949 short filmFast and Furry-ous….which produced by Warner Bros. for its Looney Tunes cartoon series. More than two dozen more episodes were produced in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The shorts enjoyed a long second life in several different television series in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s. In later decades the characters made occasional appearances on television and film.
As explained by Jones in his autobiography…. the success of the Road Runner shorts was rooted in their adhereing to a set of rules….among them that the audience should retain equal sympathy for both the hapless coyote and his speedy prey…..and that Road Runner would humiliate….but never harm the coyote…..as seen in this video herewith.