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Road Runners

Road RunnerRoad Runner - Speedy desert bird starring in a number of Warner Brothers Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons. Road Runner is a thin bird with large purple tail feathers who runs at supersonic speed through the vastness of an southwestern Arizona desert. The Road Runner's nemesis was a very hungry coyote named Wile E. Coyote, who valiantly tried to eat the bird but always failed to catch his prey.

Latin language phrases used to describe Road Runner included:

  • Accelerati Incredibulis
  • Burn-em Upus Asphaltus
  • Burnius Roadibus
  • Digoutis Hot-Rodis
  • Disapperialis Quickius
  • Fastius Tasty-us
  • Geococcyx Californianus
  • Speedipus Rex
  • Super Sonicus
  • Velocitus Incalculus

Road Runner premiered on the animated theatrical cartoon Fast and Furry-Ous (1949). The bird's only vocabulary, a honking "Meep, Meep!" sound was inspired by a man named Paul Julian who made similar sounds while rushing down the hallways near the offices of director/animator, Chuck Jones and story man Michael Maltese.

For the first Road Runner feature cartoon the bird's sound effect was produced by special effects man Treg Brown who used an electronic horn called a Klaxon. When the gadget disappeared, Mel Blanc mimicked the sound for the second Roadrunner short Beep Beep! (1952). That sound effect became the standard for all Road Runner cartoons thereafter. Years later, our swift little desert bird starred in the cartoon series THE ROAD RUNNER SHOW/CBS/1966-73.

TRIVIA NOTE: The Road Runner is now the mascot for high-speed Road Runner Internet Service owned by Time Warner Inc.


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