What's Opera, Doc? was written by Michael Maltese and directed by Chuck Jones in 1957. This short parodies opera. It starts by showing a very abstract sky of green and purples. A large shadow of a viking controls the sky. Lightning strikes the earth. The viewer soon discovers that the large shadow is actually Elmer Fudd. He tells the audience the usual "Shh be very, very quiet. I'm hunting rabbits." Elmer finds Bugs' rabbit hole and stabs at it while singing "Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit". The rest of the short involves Elmer chasing after Bugs while a compilation of songs from famous opera plays in the background. These opera include The Flying Dutchman, Die Walküre, Tannhäuser, and Wagner's Ring Cycle. The short ends on a fairly dreary note. Elmer carries a limp and presumedly dead Bugs Bunny off into the distance. Bugs addresses the viewer, "Well, what'd you expect in an opera? A happy ending?"
This short is memorable for its abstract backgrounds, the scene in which Bugs dresses in drag, and for its use of Wagner's music. It satirizes the over-the-top grandeur of opera, contemporary ballet, and the famous Bugs Bunny-Elmer Fudd relationship. The short is considered to be one of Jones' best, and is regarded by many critics as one of the greatest cartoons of all time.