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Western Animation / The Solid Tin Coyote

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"The Solid Tin Coyote" is a 1966 short starring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.

With a bucket of tar and a mop, the Coyote lies in wait for his prey on the road. When that fails, he test runs a wide mirror at the edge of another cliff, with interesting effects. Ultimately, having moved to the wrong side of the mirror, Wile E. falls into a bathtub lying among the contents of a dump and gets an idea that's sure to catch the Road Runner: build a giant coyote robot. Or so he thinks.

The robotic coyote later made an appearance in Looney Tunes: World of Mayhem, making it one of the few references to the DePatie-Freleng Enterprises era in modern Looney Tunes media. It was also the final weapon used by Wile. E in Road Runner's Death Valley Rally.

"The Solid Tin Coyote" provides examples of:

  • Accordion Man: Well, Accordion Coyote, on the first instance of him being Squashed Flat, as he is testing out his new invention.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: After the robot catches the Roadrunner, Wile E. commands it to EAT, STUPID. While his command is referring to the robot as stupid, the robot takes it to mean he wants him to eat Stupid, so he swallows his stupid creator.
  • Central Theme: The titular mecha.
  • Deranged Animation: Happens from time to time, as per standard of the Rudy Larriva Road Runner cartoons.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Electrical charges fire between the robot's ears when it does anything. At one point, Wile E. stands between them—and is electrocuted when he gives a command.
  • Hope Spot: For Wile E. as the coyote robot manages to capture the Road Runner. It doesn't last, of course.
  • Humongous Mecha: The titular Soild Tin Coyote.
  • Idea Bulb: After seeing that he had fallen into a junk pile, Wile E. has one before using the assorted junk to build the robot coyote.
  • The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: Wile E. sets up a mirror in hopes that the Road Runner will crash into it, but just as he walks off, his reflection stays in place, catching Wile E. by surprise when he realizes it. When he extends himself around the mirror to inspect it, he ends up stepping on thin air and succumbs to gravity once he retracts.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Wile E. manages to create an elaborate Giant Mecha that is formidable enough to actually garner the Road Runner's fear. It even catches him multiple times, though always loses him due to a malfunction or command error.
  • Oh, Crap!: The only time the Road Runner has this reaction is when he sees the giant robot coyote. Wile E. himself as well when his robot coyote ignores his master's pleas to stop and just runs into a cliff and kills himself, resulting in Wile's defeat.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Road Runner shows fear for the first and only time in this short.
  • Robot Dog: Well, robot coyote.
  • Squashed Flat: Wile E. gets flattened twice by his own robot.
    • First, he gets stepped on by it when he fails to make it obey the STOP/HALT command, resulting in the Accordion Man trope listed above.
    • And second, he gives the robot the STRIKE command in an attempt to kill his target, but unfortunately, the robot uses the hand Wile E. is standing on to do so (interestingly enough, Wile E. doesn't fall off the hand when it turns upside-down), resulting in the poor Coyote ending up like this again.
  • Standard Snippet: The Charge fanfare, whenever the command is HUNT! Even worse when the command is ONE MORE TRY, YOU IDIOT!
  • Sticky Situation: A triple whammy for the Coyote. He walks right onto the tar patch without bothering to look, but when he tries to unstick himself, he lands in the bucket instead. And finally, the bucket gets caught in the tar pit as he attempts to outrun the incoming truck.
  • Stock Sound Effects: While there are a few Warner Bros. sound effects utilized (largely the Road Runner's zooming), the rest of the sound effects are the same ones typically heard on Jay Ward's works such as Rocky and Bullwinkle, making the soundtrack even more different from a typical Road Runner cartoon (alongside the repetitive canned Bill Lava music cues.) This is due to being one of the three Rudy Larriva Road Runner shorts where the sound editing was done right at Format Films (by Bullwinkle sound designer Joe Siracusa, whom also made heavy use of the sound effects on The Alvin Show five years earlier) instead of having post-production sound done at DePatie-Freleng Enterprises (like the other eight Rudy Larriva Road Runner shorts.)
  • Surrounded by Idiots: While not said out loud, it's clear that Wile E. feels this way whenever his robot malfunctions.
  • Swallowed Whole: Should have specified whom to eat.