What's Opera, Doc? (1957) - Rotten Tomatoes

What's Opera, Doc? (1957)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

One of the most beloved of all Warner Brothers cartoons, What's Opera Doc? re-imagines the Elmer Fudd versus Bugs Bunny conflict as a German opera, complete with expressionist sets, tragic romance, and a majestic chorus of "Kill the wabbit!" Director Chuck Jones and writer Michael Maltese combine the usual wisecrack humor with a real appreciation of the classical form, crafting a loving parody of Wagner's Ring Cycle that manages to condense the massive four-opera work into a single, seven-minute story of a hunter, a rabbit, and a spear and magic helmet. Elmer takes on the Siegfried role, planning to use the magic armor to capture the rabbit. However, Bugs, as always, has countless schemes to foil Elmer -- including posing as his true love, the warrior maiden Brunhilde. When Elmer discovers this deception, however, he uses the full force of his magic to call up the power of the weather -- including winds, hurricanes, and the worst horror of all, smog. But for a few comic asides, all the dialogue is sung. Brilliant voice characterizations, wonderfully designed backgrounds, and smart writing all combine, under Jones' guidance, to create a hilarious classic.


Mel Blanc
as Brunhilde, Bugs Bunny
Arthur Q. Bryan
as Seigfried

Critic Reviews for What's Opera, Doc?

All Critics (1)

By the end it's difficult to say whether Jones is lampooning Fantasia or merely envious of it.

Full Review… | March 20, 2012
Film Freak Central

Audience Reviews for What's Opera, Doc?

I love the attention to detail. Jones is clearly well versed in both the Ring Cycle and German expressionism (although the Ring Cycle is pre-expressionism, they are both German). The film's legacy is incredible, and for good reason. This is how the public views opera, whether it knows Wagner or not.

Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson

This short, one of the greatest Looney Tunes, by Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese is on the National Film Registry. Uses several of Wagner's opera compositions to re-imagine Elmer Fudd's never-ending pursuit of Bugs Bunny. The expressionist set and hilarious visuals are excellent. I just wish it was longer than seven minutes. I'm so glad I was able to share it with my wife, who didn't know what I was talking about when I sang, "Kill the wabbit! Kill the wabbit!" Somehow she missed this as part of her childhood.

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer


What's Opera Doc is probably the most famous of the Looney Tunes shorts and it's for a good reason. It's a good and funny 7 minute short starring the ever-lasting feud between Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. In an opera-like setting, Elmer tries to "kill the wabbit" but falls in love with Brunhilde, who is secretly Bugs in drag as a German girl. It's a funny set-up and it's great animation for its time, a job well done.

Jordan Krampf
Jordan Krampf

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