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Behind the Tunes: Wagnerian Wabbit - The Making of 'What's Opera, Doc?' (2004)

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A documentary about What's Opera, Doc? (1957).

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A documentary about What's Opera, Doc? (1957).

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making of | looney tunes | See All (2) »

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Documentary | Short

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2 November 2004 (USA)  »

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Created for the "Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Vol. 2" DVD box set. See more »

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References Fantasia (1940) See more »

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Makes Me Further Appreciate This Cartoon
17 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A few things I learned in this "behind-the-scenes" documentary:

Chuck Jones loved to work with classical music. He had a respectful, but very satirical approach to the Wagner operas.

The whole idea was to make a farce out of the opera in that the basic premise of the opera is the same as in Bugs Bunny cartoon in which Elmer Fudd is always chasing him.

You get some conjectures from various historians about what writer Michael Maltese might have been thinking in this cartoon, along with a detailed explanation of the artwork by layout artist Maurice Noble; what good singers Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan (the voices of Bugs and Elmer, respectively) were, and a lot of other material. They really break this down and give everyone connected with this cartoon credit for their work. For instance, it was interesting to hear that Bryan started out his radio career as a tenor, a singer, not someone doing other voice or comedy.

When you listen to this documentary, you get a new appreciation on how good this famous cartoon, is, and how accurate the dancing sequences are to real ballet, along with the rest of it. Obviously, a lot of thought and work went into "What's Opera, Doc?"


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