The Larriva Eleven (Looney Tunes)
The Larriva Eleven is the collective name of eleven Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons produced from 1965-1966 during the dark age of the Looney Tunes franchise, which were all outsourced to TV animation studio Format Films and directed by Rudy Larriva, a former Warner Bros. animator who worked for Chuck Jones' unit between 1939 and 1943. While the Chuck Jones Roadrunner shorts were well-received by fans and critics, these Road Runner shorts received backlash from fans and critics alike.
List of Cartoons
- Run, Run Sweet Road Runner (August 21, 1965)
- Tired and Feathered (September 18, 1965)
- Boulder Wham! (October 9, 1965)
- Just Plane Beep (October 30, 1965)
- Hairied and Hurried (November 13, 1965)
- Highway Runnery (December 11, 1965)
- Chaser on the Rocks (December 25, 1965)
- Shot and Bothered (January 8, 1966)
- Out and Out Rout (January 29, 1966)
- The Solid Tin Coyote (February 19, 1966)
- Clippety Clobbered (March 12, 1966)
Why They All Suck
- Abysmal animation when compared to the other Road Runner cartoons of the time and is comparable to the animation in the Seven Arts era. It also suffers heavily from washed-out colors, and the loss of artist Maurice Noble robbed the backgrounds of their depth and style, making very similar to Gene Deitch-era of Tom and Jerry.
- The animation has a lot of errors as well, such as in Shot and Bothered, where the Coyote does not disappear after a boulder falls on him for the first time.
- Off-model character designs; the heights of the Road Runner and Wile E. tends to be inconsistent.
- The Coyote also lost his red eyes and gained some white spots on his feet heels, both of which was not used on Chuck Jones' or Robert McKimson's designs. This is probably due to Larriva trying too hard to make Wile E. resemble a real coyote.
- Slow pacing and weak gags that carry out for too long; a notable example is the phone booth gag in Tired and Feathered. Almost every gag takes at least 30 seconds to get through, meaning less gags per short.
- While Jones' and McKimson's cartoons tend to utilize anywhere from 7-12 gags, Larriva's cartoons range between 3 and 6 at best (Run, Run Sweet Road Runner and Tired and Feathered both only use three gags).
- Most of the gags in these shorts are recycled from the Chuck Jones cartoons with lazy changes, and are thus very predictable:
- The first scene in Shot And Bothered is basically the same as the bow-and-arrow gag in War And Pieces.
- The metal arm gag in Haired and Hurried was borrowed from "Gee Whiz-z-z-z".
- While these cartoons often utilize the new idea of a linear gag instead of blackout interchanging gags (examples being Just Plane Beep and The Solid Tin Coyote), they are executed very poorly due to their slow pacing.
- Repetitive and annoying canned music score from Bill Lava. Due to budget reasons, the music was repeated for every short except Run, Run Sweet Road Runner.
- With the combination of both the repetitive and annoying canned music score from Bill Lava and limited number of stock sound effects used, as the result these cartoons tend to had very monotonous soundtracks in general.
- The Road Runner has been flanderized in these cartoons. He has changed from an innocent and lovable bird into a sadistic annoyance who actually tries to harm the Coyote without going "Beep beep", such as firing the Coyote out of a cannon in Chaser on the Rocks and driving vehicles over Wile E. In addition, Boulder Wham! and Just Plane Beep show the Road Runner doing a dance while going "Beep beep" when the Coyote is defeated. This flanderization was probably due to Larriva being unable to provide enough gags, so Larriva was forced to make the Road Runner be able to harm the Coyote just to get cheap laughs.
- Wile E. Coyote has also shown to have way less personality in these cartoons than in the previous cartoons. While in the previous cartoons, the Coyote often sees a reason for chasing to Road Runner, which is to catch and eat the bird to satisfy his unending hunger, here, he seems to have no reason for doing it other than just to bring slapstick to the audience.
- Constant recycling of animation, including the "coyote fall" scene and all explosions.
- The cartoons have logic that makes no sense, even for Looney Tunes standards. An example is when Wile E. Coyote drowns in a birdbath fountain in Chaser on the Rocks.
- Rules from the Chuck Jones cartoons are constantly being broken for no reason other than cheap comedy, especially the rule where the Road Runner is not allowed to harm the Coyote outside of beeping. However, it might be possible that Larriva was unaware of these rules, as he left Jones' unit in 1943, six years before the characters have debuted.
- The shorts Out and Out Rout and The Solid Tin Coyote, while still not good, are at least better than the other shorts, as it contains more clever gags that the other shorts (as well as the latter cartoon demonstrating that the Road Runner isn't totally infallible), although this isn't saying much.
- The music for the last ten cartoons, while repetitive, is pretty catchy.
- While not the best, Shot and Bothered, Hairied and Hurried, Rushing Roulette, and Boulder Wham! are some of the better cartoons to come out of this era, as they pay more attention to the rules and have much funnier gags put into them.
Riffs on a few episodes from the Larriva Eleven.
- Run, Run Sweet Road Runner no longer airs on US networks due to Native American stereotypes related to its last gag. It still airs without any edits on international feeds as the issue is less relevant there.
- Eventually, MeTV aired the aforementioned short on an airing of Toon In with Me on April 2, 2021. However, this airing appears unrestored unlike most shorts that aired on MeTV.
- All of the shorts has been restored one way or another for DVD or streaming services. Run, Run Sweet Road Runner was released on the Bugs and Friends - Bugs and Road Runner: Runaway Rabbit LaserDisc as a 1997 dubbed release (and is one of the only four DePatie-Freleng era shorts to get dubbed versions), every remaining short except Tired and Feathered and Just Plane Beep were restored on the Looney Tunes Super Stars' Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote: Supergenius Hijinks DVD, and Tired and Feathered and Just Plane Beep were lastly restored on the HBO Max streaming service.
- The stock music cues in the last ten shorts would be reused for the bumpers of The Road Runner Show.