What's Up, Doc? (1950 film)

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What's Up, Doc?
Directed byRobert McKimson
Story byWarren Foster
StarringMel Blanc
Music byCarl Stalling
Animation byJ.C. Melendez
Charles McKimson
Phil DeLara
Wilson Burness
Layouts byCornett Wood
Backgrounds byRichard H. Thomas
Color processTechnicolor
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date
  • June 17, 1950 (1950-06-17)
Running time

What's Up, Doc? is a Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Robert McKimson and produced by Warner Bros. Cartoons. It was released by Warner Bros. Pictures on June 17, 1950 and stars Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.[1][2][3]


While relaxing poolside, Bugs Bunny engages in a retrospective discussion about his ascent to fame during a phone interview with the Disassociated Press. Recounting pivotal moments in his career, Bugs traces his journey from early artistic endeavors to his eventual breakthrough in the entertainment industry.

From the outset, Bugs demonstrates a self-awareness of his identity as a rabbit navigating a human-dominated world. Displaying early aptitude in both piano and ballet, he embarks on a professional pursuit of stardom, albeit initially finding himself relegated to chorus roles in Broadway productions such as Girl of the Golden Vest, Wearing of the Grin, and Rosie's Cheeks.

A turning point arises when Bugs is offered a leading role in a show due to the sudden illness of its star. Despite his agreement to fill the vacancy, Bugs's performance falls short of expectations, resulting in his dismissal from the stage. Disenchanted with the prospect of returning to chorus work, Bugs withdraws from the limelight until an opportunity presents itself.

During a winter spent amidst fellow struggling actors in Central Park, including notable personalities like Al Jolson, Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor, and Bing Crosby, Bugs encounters Elmer Fudd. Recognizing Bugs's potential, Fudd offers him a role as his sidekick in a vaudeville act. Together, they embark on a nationwide tour (with Carl Stalling providing brassy renditions of Shuffle Off to Buffalo en route to Buffalo as well as 42nd Street en route to New York City), with Fudd delivering punchlines to Bugs's comedic antics. However, tensions ensue when Bugs grows weary of being the recipient of Fudd's jokes and takes matters into his own hands by delivering the punchlines himself. This unexpected turn garners enthusiastic reception from audiences, leading to widespread acclaim and a subsequent invitation from Warner Bros. for screen tests.

Following a successful audition alongside Fudd, Bugs secures a contract with Warner Bros. and transitions into a film career. As Bugs reflects on his journey during the interview, he realizes he is running late for his first film role, which ironically casts him as a chorus boy once again, highlighting the cyclical nature of the entertainment industry and the unpredictability of success.


  • Bugs turns down dozens of scripts, including one entitled Life With Father. Bugs predicts: "Ehhh...this will never be a hit." It actually ran for 3,224 performances (1939-1947) on Broadway, making it the longest-running non-musical play in Broadway history[4] (and, as of when this cartoon was made in 1950, the longest running Broadway show of any kind).
  • Al Jolson, Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor and Bing Crosby, major stars of that time, are caricatured as park bums, who each do their routine when Elmer Fudd shows up. Elmer spots Bugs and asks, "Why are you hanging around these guys? They'll never amount to anything."[4]

Home media[edit]

The cartoon is available on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 1 DVD set. The cartoon is also available as a bonus on the Cats Don't Dance Blu-ray released by Warner Archive in September 2023.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 60–61. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  2. ^ Beck, Jerry; Friedwald, Will (1989). Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Henry Holt and Co. p. 211. ISBN 0-8050-0894-2.
  3. ^ "Bugs Bunny in "What's Up, Doc?" (1950) -". cartoonresearch.com. 9 November 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "What's Up, Doc?". www.bcdb.com, August 31, 2013.
  5. ^ Warner Archive Announces September Releases, retrieved 2023-08-16

External links[edit]

Preceded by Bugs Bunny Cartoons
Succeeded by