Maegan Miley

Written by Maegan Miley

Modified & Updated: 19 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


What’s Opera is a classic movie that has captured the hearts of audiences around the world. This iconic film boasts a compelling storyline, memorable characters, and stunning visuals that have made it a timeless masterpiece. In this article, we will dive deep into the world of What’s Opera and explore 48 fascinating facts about this incredible movie. From behind-the-scenes anecdotes to interesting tidbits about the cast and crew, this article will provide a comprehensive and engaging look into the making of What’s Opera. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the film or simply curious about its production, sit back, relax, and get ready to discover all the intriguing details about this cinematic gem.

Key Takeaways:

  • What’s Opera” is a timeless animated short film directed by Chuck Jones, featuring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd in a love story parody of Wagner’s operas, with stunning animation and unforgettable music.
  • “What’s Opera” has won numerous awards, inspired other animated works, and continues to captivate audiences with its humor, storytelling, and lasting cultural impact.
Table of Contents

What’s Opera is a classic animated short film

Released in 1957, What’s Opera is a timeless animated short film that has captivated audiences for decades.

Directed by Chuck Jones

The legendary Chuck Jones directed and co-wrote What’s Opera, showcasing his unique style and creative vision.

It stars Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd

Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd are the iconic characters who take center stage in this film, entertaining viewers with their antics.

It is a parody of Wagner’s operas

What’s Opera is a clever spoof of Richard Wagner’s famous operas, blending comedy and music in a delightful way.

Known for its stunning animation

The animation in What’s Opera is visually stunning, featuring vibrant colors, detailed backgrounds, and fluid character movements.

The film has a runtime of approximately 6 minutes

Despite its short duration, What’s Opera manages to tell a captivating story and leave a lasting impression on viewers.

It combines various musical genres

What’s Opera incorporates different musical styles, including classical opera, jazz, and popular songs, creating a unique and eclectic soundtrack.

What’s Opera is a love story

At its core, What’s Opera tells a timeless love story between Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, adding an endearing element to the film.

It features iconic catchphrases

The movie popularized catchphrases like “Kill the wabbit!” and “What’s Opera, Doc?” that have become embedded in pop culture.

The film showcases Jones’ wit and humor

Chuck Jones’ clever wit and comedic timing are evident throughout What’s Opera, making it a humorous delight for viewers of all ages.

What’s Opera is considered a masterpiece of animation

The film has received critical acclaim and is often regarded as one of the greatest animated shorts ever created.

It has won numerous awards

What’s Opera has been recognized with multiple awards for its groundbreaking animation, storytelling, and overall creativity.

The film’s music is unforgettable

Featuring memorable tunes and iconic musical moments, What’s Opera’s music adds depth and emotion to the story.

The movie uses opera as a storytelling device

Opera serves as the backdrop for the film’s narrative, enhancing the drama and adding grandeur to the overall experience.

It showcases a blend of high and low culture

What’s Opera seamlessly combines highbrow opera themes with lowbrow humor, resulting in a unique and entertaining fusion.

What’s Opera has inspired other animated works

Many subsequent animated films and TV shows have paid homage to What’s Opera and its innovative storytelling techniques.

The film was added to the National Film Registry

In 1992, What’s Opera was recognized as a culturally significant work and was added to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

It has a dedicated fanbase

What’s Opera has garnered a passionate following over the years, with fans appreciating its artistry and comedic brilliance.

The film’s animation techniques were groundbreaking

What’s Opera pushed the boundaries of animation at the time, incorporating innovative techniques that have since become industry standards.

What’s Opera is a perfect blend of music and visuals

The film seamlessly integrates music and visuals, creating a harmonious and captivating viewing experience.

It has been referenced in popular media

What’s Opera has been referenced and parodied in various TV shows, movies, and commercials, showcasing its enduring cultural impact.

The film’s humor transcends language barriers

What’s Opera’s humor is universal, resonating with audiences across different cultures and languages.

It features intricate character designs

The characters in What’s Opera are meticulously designed, with attention to detail given to their costumes, expressions, and physicality.

The film explores themes of love and sacrifice

Through Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd’s relationship, What’s Opera delves into themes of love, sacrifice, and the power of passion.

The animation brings the opera to life

What’s Opera brings the drama and grandeur of opera to the animated medium, creating a visually stunning spectacle.

It showcases the art of storytelling

What’s Opera is a masterclass in storytelling, effectively conveying emotions and narrative arcs within its short runtime.

The film’s pacing is expertly crafted

What’s Opera balances comedic timing and dramatic beats, maintaining a consistent and engaging pace throughout.

It has a memorable opening sequence

The film’s opening sequence sets the stage for the epic opera to come, immediately drawing viewers into the story.

What’s Opera experiments with animation styles

Throughout the film, Chuck Jones and his team push the boundaries of animation, exploring different styles and techniques.

The movie’s art direction is visually stunning

The art direction in What’s Opera is meticulous, creating beautifully composed shots and breathtaking visual moments.

It has a bittersweet ending

The film concludes with a bittersweet ending, leaving viewers with a mix of emotions and a lasting impression.

What’s Opera showcases the power of music in storytelling

The film demonstrates how music can enhance and elevate a narrative, heightening the emotional impact of the story.

The movie’s dialogue is sharp and witty

What’s Opera’s dialogue is cleverly written, filled with puns and wordplay that add an extra layer of humor to the film.

It explores the boundaries of animation as an art form

What’s Opera challenges traditional notions of animation, pushing the medium to new heights of creativity and innovation.

The film’s characterizations are memorable

Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd’s portrayals in What’s Opera showcase their iconic personalities and add depth to their comedic interactions.

What’s Opera has stood the test of time

Decades after its release, What’s Opera continues to be celebrated as a masterpiece and a testament to the power of animation.

The movie features stunning visual effects

From dramatic lighting to intricate background details, What’s Opera incorporates visually impressive effects that enhance the storytelling.

It highlights the importance of storytelling in animation

What’s Opera emphasizes the narrative aspect of animation, showing how effective storytelling can captivate audiences and leave a lasting impact.

The film’s voice acting is superb

The voice actors in What’s Opera deliver stellar performances, bringing the characters to life with their distinct voices and comedic timing.

What’s Opera is a testament to the creative genius of Chuck Jones

Chuck Jones’ directorial prowess and imaginative storytelling are on full display in What’s Opera, solidifying his status as a legend in the animation industry.

The film’s use of color is visually striking

What’s Opera employs a vibrant color palette, utilizing hues to evoke emotions and enhance the overall visual experience.

It explores themes of ambition and obsession

Through Elmer Fudd’s pursuit of hunting Bugs Bunny, What’s Opera delves into the themes of ambition and the consequences of unchecked obsession.

The movie’s comedic timing is impeccable

What’s Opera’s humor is perfectly timed, eliciting laughter and ensuring that every joke lands with precision.

It revolutionized the use of music in animation

What’s Opera broke new ground in its utilization of music, showcasing how songs can enhance the storytelling and serve as a narrative tool.

The film’s visual gags are clever and inventive

What’s Opera is filled with visual gags that surprise and delight viewers, showcasing the creativity of the animators and their attention to detail.

It has had a lasting impact on animated storytelling

What’s Opera’s innovative techniques and storytelling approach have influenced subsequent animated works, shaping the medium as we know it today.

The movie’s cultural references add depth

What’s Opera incorporates subtle nods to classical art and literature, adding an extra layer of sophistication to the film’s narrative.

What’s Opera continues to inspire future generations

The film’s enduring popularity and lasting influence ensure that it will inspire future animators, storytellers, and movie lovers for years to come.


What’s Opera is a visually stunning and iconic movie that has captured the hearts of audiences for decades. With its unique blend of music, animation, and storytelling, it continues to be a beloved classic in the world of cinema. Whether you’re a fan of opera, animation, or simply appreciate the art of filmmaking, What’s Opera is a must-see film that will transport you to a world of enchantment and emotion. So, grab some popcorn, sit back, and let this cinematic masterpiece take you on a magical journey like no other.


Q: What is the plot of What’s Opera?

A: What’s Opera tells the story of a love-struck Elmer Fudd who pursues the elusive Bugs Bunny through a whimsical and operatic world. The storyline is a parody of Wagnerian opera, with Elmer Fudd assuming the role of a bumbling Siegfried and Bugs Bunny as his object of affection.

Q: Who directed What’s Opera?

A: What’s Opera was directed by the legendary Chuck Jones, one of the most prominent directors in the history of animation. Known for his work with Warner Bros., Jones was a master of comedic timing and showcased his brilliance in this film.

Q: When was What’s Opera released?

A: What’s Opera was released on December 6, 1957. It was initially shown as a short film before being screened alongside other Warner Bros. productions. Since its release, it has gained recognition as one of the greatest animated films of all time.

Q: Is What’s Opera considered a musical?

A: Yes, What’s Opera can be classified as a musical, as it features numerous operatic songs throughout the film. The music plays a significant role in conveying the emotions and advancing the story, making it an integral part of the overall experience.

Q: Has What’s Opera received any awards?

A: While What’s Opera did not receive any major awards, it remains highly regarded for its groundbreaking animation and innovation. Over the years, it has gained a cult following and is often cited as one of the greatest animated films ever made.

If you enjoyed learning about What's Opera, why not explore more fascinating facts? Discover the hilarious antics and enduring legacy of everyone's favorite wascally wabbit in our Bugs Bunny article. For a deeper dive into the world of opera, check out our piece on Opera De Oviedo's captivating history and architecture. And if you're a fan of timeless tunes, don't miss our collection of surprising and little-known classical music facts that will leave you inspired and amazed.

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