What's Opera, Doc? (Looney Tunes)

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What's Opera, Doc? (Looney Tunes)
What's Opera Doc.png
What's a masterpiece, doc?
Episode Number: 801
Air Date: July 6, 1957
Writer: Michael Maltese
Director: Chuck Jones
Previous episode: "Boston Quackie"
Next episode: "Tabasco Road"

What's Opera, Doc? is a 1957 Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Chuck Jones. In this short, Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd perform in an opera. This short is often considered the best Looney Tunes cartoon and one of the greatest cartoons in history.

Why It Rocks

  1. Unlike other Looney Tunes cartoons of the time, this short required six times as much work and money to complete, hence increasing the quality of this work substantially.
  2. Amazing music from Milt Franklyn, which emulates opera music very well.
  3. Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan are still as funny as ever, and the musical tone of the short adds on to this.
  4. Elmer Fudd (as demigod Siegfried) expresses love, anger, and sadness in an exceptional way.
  5. References many operas of the time in a pleasant way, such as Ring Cycle, The Flying Dutchman, and Brünnhilde.
  6. Bugs Bunny provides very clever gags that is distinguishable from the other Looney Tunes shorts of the time, such as his Brünnhilde disguise.
  7. The animation is stylish and the backgrounds are decently drawn and matches up to the theme of the short.

The Only Bad Quality

  1. The animation and backgrounds, while all still good, can be somewhat flat when compared to the 1940s cartoons.


"What's Opera, Doc?" gained critical acclaim by fans and critics of the series and is one of the best works from Chuck Jones. This short often top lists of the greatest animated cartoons. In 1992, this short was selected to be preserved for future generations via the National Film Registry, declaring the short "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".


  • This short took seven weeks to be produced compared to the five weeks of other shorts. To hide the two weeks of extra production, Chuck Jone's unit doctored their time cards to appear as if the unit was working on the Wile E. Coyote/Road Runner cartoon "Zoom and Bored" before it was produced, as Road Runner cartoons tended to use less time and budget to create.