Heigh-ho or rather ho-hum. I’m a little sleepy. Been slamming through another Coyote and Roadrunner, as I may have mentioned. These are sort of money-in-the-bank type pictures. We don’t have to worry about establishing a premise or continuity or character development much or trick backgrounds. Everything’s pretty open. Just sit down and start drawing and when all the gags are roughed out, arrange them according to pace, so’s the picture will build in tempo, find myself a strong gag to end on and I’m in business. Timing is a snap because no dialogue and there’s no worry about making it too long, because I can time the gags as I go along and use just as many as I need. All in all, life could be very simple and maybe a little bit dull if all I had to do was direct coyote and r.r.s.
Even if the cartoon he was working on isn't "Stop, Look and Hasten," this is a good one to post, because I've noticed that a lot of people increasingly are picking that one as a favorite. Because it has a few things that give it kind of a story-like structure, if not an actual story -- the first of a few opening sequences where Jones and Maltese show the Coyote alone and hungry (Jones decided this wasn't necessary and soon gave up on it, but it worked well when he used it, and he brought back a variant of it in "To Beep Or Not To Beep"), and the gag that doesn't pay off the first time but pays off at the very end -- it feels like it holds together as a cartoon. Whereas some of the other cartoons, which may have better individual gags, could easily fit any of those gags into any other picture. The one big reservation I have about it is that ever since I was a child, I've been disappointed in any Road Runner cartoon that doesn't have the overhead shot of the Coyote falling into the canyon. That just is the Road Runner series to me.
One thing about the early Road Runner cartoons that slightly differentiates them from the later (post-shutdown) cartoons is that the early ones tended to have at least one genuine "chase" sequence: instead of just the Coyote trying to trap the Road Runner, there would be one scene where they were actually running, like the "clover" sequence in "Fast and Furry-Ous" or the tunnel bit in "Beep Beep." And here we get the scene on the train tracks, plus a sort of abbreviated chase scene at the end.