What's Opera, Doc? 100 years of Chuck Jones

by Peter Valelly, Minnesota Public Radio
September 21, 2012

St. Paul, Minn. — Chuck Jones — the animator, cartoon artist, writer, producer and director of countless classic televisions cartoons, from episodes of Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry to How the Grinch Stole Christmas — would have turned 100 today. Born on September 21, 1912 in Spokane, Wash., Jones took low-level animation jobs after graduating from art school and slowly worked his way up into the entertainment industry. He went on to create hundreds of memorable shorts during a career that spanned eight decades. Jones passed away on February 22, 2002.

In celebration of Jones' centennial, join Classical MPR in enjoying one of his most famous and enduring shorts, the Looney Tunes Wagner parody What's Opera, Doc?. The 1957 film features Elmer Fudd chasing Bugs Bunny, memorably singing the line "Kill the Wabbit" to the tune of "Ride of the Valkyries," the opening passage from Act Three of Die Walküre. It was far from the only time Jones paid tribute to great operas — for example, the 1949 short Rabbit of Seville is an homage to Rossini's classic The Barber of Seville.

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