A scene from HOOK, LINE AND STINKER, directed by Chuck Jones for Warner Bros.

Hook, Line and Stinker (1958, Chuck Jones)

I don’t get it.

I haven’t seen a Road Runner cartoon since I was a kid, but watching Hook, Line and Stinker, I couldn’t figure out the appeal.

Oh, Jones’s direction is outstanding and the animation is great, but it’s a long series of gags. They’re not laugh out loud funny, but some of them are amusing–especially in Stinker‘s case, this long complicated one at the end. But there’s no other point….

Stinker‘s an exercise in craftsmanship, a cartoon boiled down to the gags and those gags drawn out to extremes.

And, even though Wile E. Coyote would undoubtedly eat the Road Runner, one can’t help but feel sorry for him. The whole cartoon is centered around laughing at the poor coyote. At least the Road Runner isn’t stuck-up; he’s clearly a birdbrain.

Again, Jones and his animators do a great job. Just a pointless one.

1/3Not Recommended


Directed by Chuck Jones; written by Michael Maltese; animated by Ken Harris, Richard Thompson and Ben Washam; edited by Treg Brown; produced by John W. Burton; released by Warner Bros.


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