One of Chuck Jones’ all-time greatest masterpieces and among the finest of all animated shorts of all time, “What’s Opera, Doc?” lampooned classic opera by using its elements to set up the latest chapter in Elmer Fudd’s hapless pursuit of Bugs Bunny. We open with a silhouette of a mighty Viking arousing ferocious lightning storms … only to find it’s Elmer — this time as the demigod Siegfried. Elmer admonishes the audience (in classical verse) to “be vewwy quiet, I’m hunting wabbits!” It’s not long before Elmer comes upon Bugs’ hole and sings out “Kill the wabbit!” not realizing that the hare has already climbed out and is viewing Elmer spearing fruitlessly in said hole. Bugs joins in the fun, querying his tagline in operatic verse and leaving Elmer in his dust (but not before “Siegfried” shows us an example of supposed “mighty powers” from his spear and magic helmet). Elmer goes after the wascally wabbit, but his pursuit is ended when he sets his eyes on the stunningly and awesomely beautiful Valkyrie Brunhilde (Bugs in disguise). After a “hard-to-get” pursuit" (brought on by Elmer’s eternally-misguided hormones) “Siegfried” and “Valkyrie” join in magnificent duet with “Return My Love.” However, Bugs’ scheme is exposed when his headdress falls off, enraging Elmer. The pseudo-Viking commands fierce lightning, rain, hail and wind storms (not to mention smog) to “kill the wabbit!” It works, but upon seeing the bunny’s corpse, a woefully remorseful Elmer is reduced to tears as he somberly carries the “dead” Bugs into the distance. But has Bugs really been struck dead? —IMDb
Charles Martin “Chuck” Jones (September 21, 1912 – February 22, 2002) was an American animator, cartoon artist, screenwriter, producer, and director of animated films, most memorably of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts for the Warner Bros. Cartoons studio. He directed many of the classic short animated cartoons starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote, Pepé Le Pew and the other Warners characters, including Duck Amuck, One Froggy Evening and What’s Opera, Doc? (all three of which were later inducted into the National Film Registry) and Jones’ famous “Hunting Trilogy” of Rabbit Fire, Rabbit Seasoning, and Duck! Rabbit! Duck! (1951–1953).
After his career at Warner Bros. ended in 1962, Jones started Sib Tower 12 Productions and began producing cartoons for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, including a new series of Tom & Jerry shorts and the television adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. He later started his own studio, Chuck Jones… read more