What's Opera, Doc? (S)
- Original title
Looney Tunes: What's Opera, Doc? (Kill the Wabbit) (S)
- Running time
- 7 min.
- United States
Richard Wagner, Michael Maltese
Warner Bros. Pictures
Animation. Comedy. Musical | Opera. Parody. Looney Tunes. Short Film (Animated)
- Synopsis / Plot
- What's Opera, Doc? is a 1957 American animated cartoon short in the Merrie Melodies series, directed by Chuck Jones for Warner Bros. Cartoons. The Michael Maltese story features Elmer Fudd chasing Bugs Bunny through a 6:11 operatic parody of 19th century classical composer Richard Wagner's operas, particularly Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) and Tannhäuser. It is sometimes characterized as a condensed version of Wagner's Ring (also known as the "Ring Cycle"), and its music borrows heavily from the second opera Die Walküre, woven around the standard Bugs-Elmer conflict.
Originally released to theaters by Warner Bros. on July 6, 1957, What's Opera, Doc? features the speaking and singing voices of Mel Blanc as Bugs and Arthur Q. Bryan as Elmer (except for one word dubbed by Blanc). The short is also sometimes informally referred to as Kill the Wabbit after the line sung by Fudd to the tune of Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries", the opening passage from Act Three of Die Walküre (which is also the leitmotif of the Valkyries). This short is also notable for one of the final performances of Elmer Fudd by Arthur Q. Bryan, who died in 1959.
In 1994, What's Opera, Doc? was voted #1 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by 1000 members of the animation field.
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