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August 24

August 24, 1945 – The Pluto Short Film The Legend of Coyote Rock is Released to Theaters

“Now this here hombre had one weakness: lamb chop[s].”

On August 24, 1945, the Pluto short film The Legend of Coyote Rock was released to theaters. It was directed by Charles Nichols, with the story by Eric Gurney.

The short is set in the Old West, with a narrator introducing the legends of the rocks in the area, including a rock shaped like a coyote. The coyote in question was one named Bent Tail, who had a voice that “would turn an opera star green with envy.” Bent Tail’s one weakness, however, was lamp chops. He spies a farm with sheep guarded by none other than Pluto, who tends to fall asleep as he counts the sheep. One little black lamb likes to cause mischief, but Pluto warns him that there’s a coyote out there who loves to eat little lambs, and scares him back into the pen.

Bent Tail sneaks up on Pluto, tricking him into leaving his post, leaving the sheep vulnerable to attack

The coyote travels around the desert, hiding behind cacti and various other desert vegetation so he can get close to the sheep. He sneaks up on Pluto, who tries to chase the coyote away, although the coyote has many tricks up sleeve to fool the dog. Pluto is chased out into the desert, and when he realizes he’s left the lambs alone with the coyote, he hightails it back as fast as he can. Unfortunately, Bent Tail is already there, and tricks the lambs out of the pen by calling them out with a “baa” noise. He sends them traveling all the way to his hideout, but the black lamb is able to get free.

Pluto intercepts the coyote chasing the little black lamb, and chases the coyote all over the desert, causing many of the rock formations to collapse, and create Coyote Rock. Pluto falls from a perch and lands on the rock guarding Bent Tail’s hideout, freeing the lambs and they all run back to the pen at the farm, safe and sound once more.

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