Speaking of birthdays, today's the 60th anniversary of the premier of that iconic duo, Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. The film, Fast & Furry-ous, took a bow in theaters nationwide on this day; it was directed by Chuck Jones and written by he and Michael Maltese (more on that later.) The animation was provided by Ken Harris, Phil Monroe, Ben Washam, and Lloyd Vaughn.
Chuck Jones spoke and wrote often on the enduring fascination with these two animated characters, this is an excerpt from his 1989 autobiography Chuck Amuck: "…It was 1947 and the American animated short subject was preoccupied with the chase. Everyone seemed to be engaged in the pursuit of one another: Tom after Jerry; Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam after Bugs Bunny; Porky Pig after Daffy Duck; Bluto and Popeye having it out. So, as all writers and directors must have, Mike and I felt the call of Profundity. We would do a satire on chases, show up the shallowness of the whole concept, and become the Dean Swifts or H.L. Menckens of our day, be honore by learned societies, and probably welcomed at unemployment agencies nationwide. The first Road Runner and Coyote cartoon, Fast & Furry-ous, was an absolute and dismal failure, as satire. And it was wholly and unexpectedly and undeservedly a success, as comedy."