Friends, just like in numerous comic books over the years, it is an amazing thing to see crossovers take place in the Marvel and DC cinematic universe. And while it might be more commonplace in the comics from where the iconic characters of the Avengers and Justice League got their start, it still feels like something special when we see it take place on the big screen. However, it was an almost common occurrence taking place in the golden age of animation with many of the Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes animated shorts. Having said that though it generally saw the pairing up of characters such as Bugs Bunny with Daffy Duck, or even Porky Pig and Daffy. And while I absolutely love classic animation, I freely admit that until a few days ago I had never seen or heard of the 1965 short titled The Wild Chase. That was thanks to a post from Jerry Beck’s Cartoon Research Facebook page, my mind was completely blown when I realized it teamed up not just the Road Runner and Speedy Gonzales in a race but Wile E. Coyote and Sylvester the Cat in an attempt to stop them.
The Wild Chase was originally released to theaters on February 27th of 1965, and while distributed by Warner Bros., the animation itself was handled by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises. The Merrie Melodies short was co-directed by the legendary Friz Freleng and Hawley Pratt, the duo who were responsible for creating the animated intro for 1963’s The Pink Panther film.
I obviously have to point out that the DePatie-Freleng animation style is a little jarring, even when compared with the more stylized approach used by Warner Bros. Cartoons in ’62. And I am no expert but it certainly looks to me like some of the gags used in The Wild Chase were similar to those found in the shorts directed by Chuck Jones.
Doing a quick search online it appears that quite a few fans of animation are less than thrilled with The Wild Chase, especially with the animation. I can understand that viewpoint, but as I’m no historian I am thrilled to find an animated short that I’ve not had the pleasure of seeing before. In addition to the fact that even though they come to an explosive end, when all is said and done it was Wile E. Coyote and Sylvester the Cat who won the race. I am going to assume this was done as to avoid any fans of the Road Runner or Speedy Gonzales being upset at which of the two might have proven to be the fastest?