10 Lessons Kids Can Learn from the Road Runner
One of the most instantly recognizable characters in the Warner Brothers stable, the Road Runner has been a fan favorite since his 1949 debut in the short “Fast and Furry-ous.” Though the premise of Road Runner’s various shorts seems to be fairly straightforward, there are lessons that little ones can learn from watching Road Runner in action.
- Silence is Golden – Aside from the occasional “Meep, meep,” Road Runner is largely silent. Instead of relying on empty words, the Road Runner is a man of action; his very survival hinges on his ability to out-think and out-perform nemesis Wile E. Coyote, not out-talk him.
- Teamwork is Key – Road Runner’s success is owed largely to his partnership with longtime co-star Wile E. Coyote. Learning to work as a team, and to accept both failure and success as a team instead of taking all of the glory are very valuable lessons that can be gleaned from watching these two interact.
- Resourcefulness is a Virtue – The ability to escape Wile E. Coyote’s nefarious clutches rests in Road Runner’s ability to use his surroundings for help as much as it does in the dastardly Coyote’s backfiring plans. Instead of relying on Wile E. Coyote’s inevitable failure, Road Runner also makes plans to protect himself.
- Life Requires Patience – Watching Road Runner circle the same landscape time and time again, running from the same enemy and hoping for the same results is a great way for kids to learn that much of life is monotonous; finding fun in everyday situations is a skill that some people have to hone.
- Know Your Strengths (And Your Weaknesses) – Road Runner knows that his bread and butter are the shorts with Wile E. Coyote, and he doesn’t often stray. While the Coyote has made a few appearances in other films, the Road Runner knows the formula of his success and sticks with it almost exclusively.
- Adhering to the Rules is a Necessity – The creators of the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote shorts had a short but very strict list of rules for the creation of each outing; the canon is easily absorbed and can teach kids, even subconsciously, that some rules simply can’t be broken.
- Being the “Good Guy” Doesn’t Guarantee Popularity – Despite the fact that he’s being chased by a singularly focused, obsessive coyote and is usually minding his own business when the shenanigans start, the Road Runner is not the favorite of most fans. Audience sympathy often lies with Wile E. Coyote, teaching kids that human nature is complex and that Good versus Bad is rarely cut and dry.
- A Good Defense is the Best Offense – The Road Runner kept himself out of Wile E Coyote’s clutches by evading him at every turn, rather than mounting an attack of his own. Road Runner let the Coyote create (and succumb to) his own traps.
- A Strong Partnership Benefits Everyone – Though the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote had their own Saturday morning spot between the years of 1966 and 1968, the show was eventually combined with the Bugs Bunny Show. The new series, The Bugs Bunny and Road Runner show enjoyed a run of seventeen years, proving that working together is the quickest way to the top.
- Taunting Leads to Trouble – Road Runner is often known to taunt his pursuer by sticking his tongue out or poking fun at the Coyote’s mishaps; kids watching quickly learn that sympathy for the protagonist is quickly lost when that protagonist resorts to taunting and making fun. Just as bullies are wrong to bully, turning the tables and humiliating them in return is also morally objectionable.
The Road Runner never let trouble catch up with him. If there was trouble brewing, he got his feet moving and quickly headed to safety.
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