What's Up, Doc? (1950 film)
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|What's Up, Doc?|
|Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd) series|
|Directed by||Robert McKimson|
|Produced by||Edward Selzer
|Story by||Warren Foster|
|Voices by||Mel Blanc
Arthur Q. Bryan
|Music by||Carl Stalling|
|Animation by||J.C. Melendez
|Layouts by||Cornett Wood|
|Backgrounds by||Richard H. Thomas|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
|Release date(s)||June 17, 1950 (USA)|
What's Up, Doc? is a Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Robert McKimson and released by Warner Bros. Pictures in 1950 to celebrate Bugs Bunny's 10th birthday that year, in which he recounts his life story to a reporter from the "Disassociated Press". Bugs talks about his birth, his rise to fame, the slow years, and when famous Vaudeville performer Elmer Fudd chooses him to be part of his act. Eventually the duo comes upon their classic formula of Hunter vs. Hare. The short also was the first to use the title card music which would continue to be used in Bugs Bunny's cartoons.
The story begins when Bugs, while relaxing at his pool, gets a call from the "Disassociated Press," stating that the public demands his life story. Bugs then proceeds to recount his rise to fame over the phone.
As told, Bugs was born on the east of Brooklyn in a local hospital. While in the nursery, he immediately comes to the startling realization that he was "a rabbit in a human world." By the time he begins to walk, he shows an impressive talent for entertainment by successfully playing the "Hungarian Rhapsody" on his toy piano. Some years later, he takes ballet academically and becomes the star pupil. After graduation, Bugs begins to pursue a professional career as a Broadway star (throwing out the script to Life with Father proclaiming it would never be a hit), but only managing to be a chorus boy in three productions, Girl of the Golden Vest, Wearing of the Grin, and Rosie's Cheeks. In all of the shows, he and the chorus sing the same song - "Oh! We're the boys of the chorus. We hope you like our show. We know you're rootin' for us. But, now we have to go." After a performance, he is approached by a producer of an unnamed show. The show's star has become ill, and the producer wants Bugs to take his place. He agrees, but the audience is unimpressed by his performance and he is hooked off stage. Angered at the prospect of resuming work as a chorus boy, Bugs quits show business until he's offered the "right part."
That winter, Bugs confines himself to a bench in Central Park. Along with him are a few other out of work actors that appear as caricatures of Al Jolson, Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor, and Bing Crosby. One night Elmer Fudd, while passing through, finds Bugs and offers him a role as his sidekick in his vaudeville act. Bugs accepts, and the two embark on a nationwide tour. The act consists of Elmer telling a joke to Bugs and physically delivering the punchline. After several performances, Bugs becomes bored with the act, and decides to change the routine. So when Elmer sets up the joke, Bugs instead delivers the punchline. This infuriates Elmer who takes out his rifle and holds it at Bugs. Then Bugs nervously asks his famous line: "What's up, doc?" The audience cheers at this, to the surprise of the two and Bugs suggests trying again, which gets the same audience response. Afterward, Bugs receives overwhelming fan response from the act, and attracts the attention of Warner Bros. who sign on both as film stars, and film the title musical number.
The story reverts to the present day. Bugs looks at his watch and notices that he is late for filming in a film that was written with him in mind. At the filming, it is revealed that the part is chorus boy yet again, much to Bugs' chagrin.
- 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.
- Al Jolson, Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor and Bing Crosby 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."
This cartoon is available on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 1 DVD set.
- What's Up, Doc?, a 1972 comedy film starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal (which closes with a clip from this cartoon).
- What's Up Doc?, a UK Saturday morning children's show in the early 1990s
- "What's Up, Doc?". www.bcdb.com, August 31, 2013
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