Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cartoon a Day: Beep Beep

Beep Beep

Directed by Chuck Jones (as Charles M. Jones)

The first cartoon on "Cartoon a Day" was a Road Runner short, so it's about time we did another one. "Beep Beep" is one of the earliest Road Runner short and it is a perfect example of what makes these shorts so great.

Really, it doesn't seem quite right to call them "Road Runner shorts." They are much more about the coyote and I think it is that character that makes these films shine. This isn't a character that is defined by voice, and there's not a lot back story to know about him. All you need to know is that he wants to catch the Road Runner. The character comes out in the animation. I think the coyote may be the most expressive character Warner Brothers ever created.

Animators often created model sheets for different characters. They help guide how the character should look when portraying different emotions. I can't imagine what the model sheet must be like on the coyote. It would take several pages just to show the wide range of expressions for "smashed in the face with a boulder."

Every reaction of the coyote is different. And even when his plans blow up in his face, again, he returns to looks of confidence and smugness which could take up several more model sheets. These shorts are all about the timing and the reactions, and their flawless in "Beep Beep."

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