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Beep Prepared

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Beep Prepared
Directed By: Chuck Jones
Maurice Noble
Produced By: David H. DePatie
Released: November 11, 1961
Series: Merrie Melodies
Story: John Dunn
Chuck Jones
Animation: Bob Bransford
Tom Ray
Ken Harris
Richard Thompson
Harry Love (Effects)
Backgrounds: Philip DeGuard
Film Editor: Treg Brown
Voiced By: Paul Julian
Music: Milt Franklyn
Starring: Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner
Preceded By: What's My Lion?
Succeeded By: The Last Hungry Cat
Beep Prepared (1961 Warner Bros05:46

Beep Prepared (1961 Warner Bros. cartoon with laugh track)

Beep Prepared is a 1961 Merrie Melodies short directed by Chuck Jones and written by John Dunn. This cartoon received an Academy Award nomination as Best Animated Short for 1961. This was the only Oscar-nominated Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoon.


As in all other cartoons featuring the pair, Wile E. Coyote tries to catch the Road Runner. It begins with the Coyote (hungrii flea-baggius) assuming the "on your mark" stance used in track and field events. As soon as he goes into "get set" mode, he hears the familiar beeping sound and gets shocked into a backward move, suspended in mid-air atop a ravine. The Road Runner (tid-bitius velocitus) issues the gunshot that causes the Coyote to drop (one of three overhead shots shown in the short). As the dust cloud accumulates, the shot moves closer to the gorge, upon which we are shown the credits.

The coyote sticks out a foot in the attempt to trip the road runner, but a blaring truck horn indicates his foot was flattened.

The coyote's tools include a bow and arrow and a manhole cover suspended by rope and pulleys. Another tool is a rocket-powered contraption that explodes on him and destroys the fabric and support system for his Batman-like wings (upon which his fall into the gorge leaves a trail of soot). Another trap involves iron pellets, a magnet, Roller skates and, unfortunately for Wile E., a locomotive. After that failure, the coyote sets up a spring-loaded block of pavement. At sunset, he erects a pair of machine guns connected by taut rope, and ends up getting reduced in size when the guns blast him in the midsection. That night, the coyote buys 30 miles of railroad tracks and a rocket sled, but instead of going straight ahead, the rocket sled shoots up into the sky, past many stars and satellites until it explodes in outer space, where it forms into a Sagittarius-like constellation of Wile E. Coyote.


The beginning of the cartoon when shown on CBS and ABC cuts the part where Wile E. Coyote falls after the Roadrunner fires off the starter pistol because that's when the opening credits appear (original opening credits of the Looney Tunes cartoons were cut for time reasons on ABC and CBS and replaced with a simple card with the title of the cartoon being shown before the cartoon). It should be noted that the CBS version edited the scene in a rather sloppy manner, because the scene abruptly changed to the next before Wile E. hit the ground, though the viewer could hear him hit the ground as he was walking away. ABC's version also cuts the gag where Wile E. sets up a machine gun trap and the Roadrunner breaks through the rope that trips the guns (which don't cause the guns to go off) and Wile E. pulls on the broken ropes and ends up getting shot in the midsection and cut down to size and an early gag where Wile E. Coyote is strapped into an elaborate rocket disguise that only succeeds in blowing him up and making him fall off the cliff.[citation needed]

Title Card Comparison

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