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The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met (1946)
"Willie the Operatic Whale" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 326 users  
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The Metropolitan Opera is looking for the sea monster reported in newspaper headlines, because this monster sings beautifully! The "monster" is actually Willie, a whale who can sing in ... See full summary »


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Complete credited cast:
Narrator / voices (voice)


The Metropolitan Opera is looking for the sea monster reported in newspaper headlines, because this monster sings beautifully! The "monster" is actually Willie, a whale who can sing in several voices simultaneously. A friend of his, a gull called Whitey, tells him about the searching ship, and Willie goes to audition, as it's been his ambition to perform on stage. Unfortunately, Professor Tetti Tatti from the Opera believes that one or more singers have been swallowed by the whale, and need to be rescued. Written by Comet <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

15 August 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Opera Pathetique  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Edited from Make Mine Music (1946) See more »


Mag der Himmel Euch Verbegen
Music by Friedrich von Flotow
See more »

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User Reviews

Had to reply to the only other review!
8 March 2003 | by (Effingham, Illinois) – See all my reviews

While "chester"'s review was kind-hearted, I felt, as someone who has viewed "Willie the Whale" numerous times, I had to expand on it. While he feels this movie has no other motive than to entertain, I feel it makes the most of the human experience.

Nelson Eddy does an inexplicably emotive narrative and also sings ALL of the songs. His inflection on the narration of this story could be the only reason to watch it. But, no, we also have a trained American opera singer (Eddy, again) singing all of the songs, without fault. If you closed your eyes and listened to this video, your emotions would still be evoked to the highest possible level, stimulated by music and narrative.

The story is so bittersweet. Although this is an old Disney production, I was not introduced to it until my daughter picked it up at a video store in the 90's. It has, at the core, a burning political statement, all the while, making it simple enough for the smallest children to relate to and to reconcile. All creatures are different; all have their own talents; we don't have precidence over anything we just don't understand; and we all make mistakes.

I cannot get through this video without tears at the end. It is simple and complex. Kids could relate it to the playground; we can relate it to world politics.

I've said all of this without mentioning a note that Nelson Eddy sings. There are some universal reknowned songs intertwined into this video, and if you know the background of them, "Shortnin' Bread", "Figaro", et. al., then you will get the underlying message. I think Disney and other production companies are very clever at using this type of medium to send a bigger message. If you really listen, you will hear, but if you don't want to, then you will still enjoy this gem of a short. It's a very sweet story.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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