Acme

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Acme Corporation
Also known as Acme
ACME
Acme Rocket-Powered Products, Inc.
Location Varies by media
Objective Selling products
Leader Varies
First appearance LT: Buddy's Bug Hunt (1935)

The Acme Corporation, known simply as Acme and stylized as ACME, is a corporation that appears in the Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies theatrical shorts, and the Looney Tunes franchise in general. They are featured prominently in cartoons starring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, in which they manufacture products that have the tendency to either fail or backfire.

Appearances

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TV series

Movies

Shorts

Comics

Video games

History

Original shorts

Acme is never clearly defined within the theatrical shorts themselves, but appears to be a conglomerate that sells consumer goods. They appear to manufacture every type of product imaginable, regardless of how elaborate or strange they get. Their name was first mentioned in the 1935 short Buddy's Bug Hunt, on a box of corks labelled "Acme Corks" in the background. An Acme product was not used in a Warner Bros. cartoon until Porky's Poppa (1938), in which an elderly pig was forced to use a mechanical, Acme-branded cow when his previous one started to no longer produce milk.[1] The company's logo would be used again in the Chuck Jones short The Good Egg (1939), with an Acme Toaster that hatches chickens; it would later become synonymous with Jones' cartoons.[1]

In the cartoons starring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, their products are used specifically by former as a means to catch the bird. In the short Beep, Beep, it was referred to as "Acme Rocket-Powered Products, Inc.", based in Fairfield, New Jersey. Sometimes, Acme's delivery service is done via mail orders, of which the product in question would arrive to the sender within seconds.

Outside of Chuck Jones' shorts, Acme also appeared in numerous cartoons directed by other people. In the Friz Freleng short Bugs and Thugs (1954), Rocky and Mugsy drive a '52 Acme car with California license plates,[1] as described by Bugs Bunny over an emergency telephone call. In Robot Rabbit, Elmer Fudd calls Acme Pest Control for a robot solely made to capture Bugs.

Interestingly, Acme's customer base seems to have also extended beyond planet Earth, including Marvin the Martian, who uses a few products such as their branded disintergration gun.

Behind the scenes

  • The company name is derived from Greek (ἀκμή, English transliteration: akmē), meaning summit, highest point, extremity or peak.[2] The name itself is ironic, since in the Road Runner cartoons, many of their products tend to be generic, failure-prone or explosive.[3]
    • During the 1920s, the name was commonly used on the Yellow Papers and other alphabetized phone directories, in the names of businesses in order to be listed, and implied being the best.[4]
    • The company name was also used in works outside of Warner Bros. It was used in film starting in the silent era, beginning with the Buster Keaton film Neighbors (1920), and for the Harold Floyd film Grandma's Boy (1922).

In popular culture

  • In the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Acme's business model is given a detailed, theoretical explanation with a plot centering around the murder of the company's founder within the film, Marvin Acme. Many scenes involve several Acme-branded products and the film's climax is set in an Acme warehouse.
  • In the March 20, 1993 (Miranda Richardson/Soul Asylum) episode of Saturday Night Live, Rob Schneider appeared in the Weekend Update sketch defending cartoons after the FFC ruled out that they should not be considered educational. Schneider jokingly argues that where would kids be if they weren't ordering dangerous, ineffective mail-order products from Acme.
  • In the 1993 film Wayne's World 2, Wayne and Garth have moved into the abandoned Acme Doll Factory.
  • In "Episode Four" (series 9) of the BBC Radio 4 sketch program Dead Ringers, Politician Iain Duncan Smith wants cartoon characters to stop sneaking into the UK through "the channel" of Nickelodeon. He claims that dozens of road runners enter the country at night, dodging the customs officers by painting their own entry holes in tunnels. Another politician Ann Widdecombe claims they are connected to the terrorist organization Acme.
  • In the Drawn Together episode "Gay Bash," the Love Tester is a product produced by Acme.

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 E.O. Costello. "ACME". The Warner Brothers Cartoon Companion. Archived from original on July 12, 2011.
  2. "Acme". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved February 18, 2024.
  3. "The Origin of the Looney Tune's "ACME" Corporation Name". todayifoundout.com. Retrieved February 18, 2024.
  4. Soniak, Matt (January 10, 2013). Where Did the Looney Tunes “Acme Corporation” Come From?. Mental Floss. Retrieved February 23, 2024.