Notes on “What’s Opera, Doc?”

Jone maltese photo 1956
You'd think they didn't have a funny bone in their bodies by the looks on their faces (Ha!)

This photo of animation pioneer Chuck Jones (left) and the brilliant writer Michael Maltese with record albums of Wagner's operas is dated October 1954; the note on the back (see below) indicates that they are standing in front of storyboards for Jones' "Rocket-Bye Baby" which was released in August of 1956, which means that at least three years were devoted to the making of "What's Opera, Doc?"  We know that while creating "What's Opera, Doc?" Jones' unit manipulated their time cards, utilizing time from a Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner film to work on the extravaganza (106 different camera shots!) that became the first short animated film inducted into the Smithsonian's National Film Registry in 1992. (Since then two of Jones' other films, "Duck Amuck" and "One Froggy Evening," were also added to the Registry.)

  Back of photo copy

Here is Jones' list of music to be used in the film, please note the "chase stuff" (which makes me giggle, because you know it was shorthand between Jones and the music director, Milt Franklyn.)

Song list for wod

3 thoughts on “Notes on “What’s Opera, Doc?”

  1. Robert

    Hi Jeannie,
    If you could see us now, we’re blushing! We appreciate your kind words and thank you for your interest in the art and life of Chuck Jones.


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