Friday, July 20, 2007

The Roadrunner Rules

Mark Rosewater, who is one of the major creative forces behind Magic: The Gathering, has a saying that restrictions breed creativity. It would appear that Chuck Jones, who was arguably the driving force behind Warner Brother's Looney Tunes cartoons, would agree. Here are the nine rules which governed the creation of the Roadrunner and Coyote series of classic cartoons.

1. The Road Runner cannot harm the coyote except by going "Beep-beep!"
2. No outside force can harm the coyote—only his own ineptitude or the failure of the ACME products.
3. The coyote can stop any time—if he were not a fanatic.
4. There may be no dialogue ever, except "beep-beep!" The coyote may, however, speak to the audience, occasionally with his own voice or through wooden signs that he holds up.
5. The Road Runner must stay on the road—otherwise, logically, he would not be called "Road Runner".
6. All action must be confined to the natural environment of the two characters—the southwest American desert.
7. All materials, tools, weapons, or mechanical conveniences must be obtained from the ACME Corporation.
8. Whenever possible, gravity should be made the coyote's greatest enemy.
9. The coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures.

(source: Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist)

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