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Encyclopedia > What's Opera, Doc?

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What's Opera, Doc?

What's Opera, Doc? is a 1957 short animated film in which Elmer Fudd chases Bugs Bunny through a six-minute operatic production of Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung. Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan do the voices, including the singing.

It is regarded as Chuck Jones' masterpiece (by Jones and many others), requiring about 6 times as much work and expense as any of the other 6-minute cartoons his studio was producing at the time. During those 6 minutes, Jones lampoons

  • Disney's Fantasia,
  • the then-current style of ballet,
  • Wagner's ponderous operatic style, and even
  • the by-then cliche Bugs-and-Elmer formula.

It was later included in the compilation film, The Bugs Bunny-Road Runner Movie, together with Duck Amuck and other Chuck Jones shorts.

The cartoon and lyrics were written by Michael Maltese[?], the music adapted from Richard Wagner, the impressive and unusual background work by Maurice Noble[?]. The short has been deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Also see: Looney Tunes, Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies filmography

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