Sonic & Tails and Bugs Bunny On Broadway: Overtures to Disaster is a 2017 Looney Tunes/Sonic and Tails Television special directed by Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone. In new animation, Jeff Bergman voiced Bugs, Daffy, Porky, Elmer and Sylvester.
While reading the newspaper, Sally and Amy decide to go to the opera. Also seen in the paper is the headline Experimental Fly escapes, cannot be killed. Tails is getting ready to conduct "The Warner Bros. Symphony Orchestra" supposedly in concert at the Hollywood Bowl fancily. When he finishes his elaborate preparation, he starts to conduct. However, several problems plague Bugs' conduction, notably a bothersome Fly.
Elmer Fudd is up, and Sylvester starts singing. In effect, Elmer decides to throw Sylvester out. Elmer starts to conduct Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 when Sylvester runs up and down the stairs singing Hungarian Rhapsody. Elmer beats up Sylvester and walks back in, but sees that the audience loved Sylvester's act. Elmer quits, declaring that he has been "humiwiated for the wast time." Bugs introduces The Barber of Seville when Creame informs him that Elmer quit. Bugs goes to get him back and brings him back onto set to perform Rabbit of Seville.
Bugs then steps out from behind a stage door, dressed in a barber's outfit and ropes Elmer into getting a shave, rendering him "nice and clean, although [his] face looks like it might have gone though a machine".
After recovering, Elmer starts the chase again (speaking his only line in the cartoon: "Oh, Wait till I get that wabbit!"), but is stopped by Bugs dressed as a temptress (possibly Rosina from the actual Barber of Seville opera), singing, "what would you want with a rabbit? Can't you see that I'm much sweeter? I'm your little senioriter. You're my type of guy, let me straighten your tie, and I will dance for you." He then ties Elmer's shotgun into a bowtie (no dialogue is heard from this point onwards until the end) and snips off Elmer's pants suspender buttons . After being thoroughly embarrassed when his pants fall down, Elmer sees through Bugs' disguise, he tries shooting him, but is blown back into the barber's chair. Bugs has another go with Elmer's scalp, beginning with a scalp massage with his hands and feet, turning his head into a fruit salad bowl (complete with cherry on top). Elmer chases Bugs again, but Bugs plays a snake charmer to get an electric shaver to chase Elmer. Elmer disables the shaver with a shotgun blast and chases Bugs back to the barber's chairs. Bugs and Elmer raise their chairs to dizzying heights, and Bugs cuts loose a stage sandbag which bonks Elmer, causing Elmer to wander around in a daze until he's back (yet again) in Bugs' barber chair.
Before Bugs' third go-round with Elmer's scalp, he gives one of his feet a pedicure with a can opener, hedge clippers, file and red paint. This is followed by growing a beard on Elmer's face and shaving it with a miniature mower, and finally beauty clay for the face which Bugs handles like cement. Then it's back to the scalp as Bugs massages it with hair tonic first, then adds "Figaro Fertilizer", causing hair to grow from Elmer's head which sprouts into flowers. A short 'arms chase' ensues as a result where Bugs and Elmer chase each other off stage with bigger weapons (first axes, then guns, then cannons). Finally, Bugs ends the chase by offering flowers, chocolates and a ring to Elmer, who ducks offstage and comes back as the blushing bride. The tune then briefly switches to the "Wedding March" by Mendelssohn, before finishing with Bugs carrying his 'bride' up a long flight of stairs, through a false doorway (opening up onto thin air), and drops Fudd down into a wedding cake labeled "The Marriage of Figaro". Bugs then looks at the camera, smirks, and says, "NEXT!"
Bugs then tells him how they loved it and changes him into his Wagnerian warrior costume. Bugs tells him he'll like the next one because he gets to kill Bugs. They perform What's Opera, Doc?.
The screen pans on the silhouette of a mighty Viking arousing ferocious lightning storms, but then zooms in to reveal that it is only Elmer Fudd (as the demigod Siegfried). Elmer sings his signature line "Be vewy qwiet, I'm hunting wabbits" (in recitative), before arriving at Bugs Bunny's hole. Bugs watches Elmer fruitlessly jam his spear into the hole to "Kiww the wabbit! Kiww the wabbit! Kiww the wabbit!" Bugs sticks his head out of another rabbit hole, and, apparently appalled, sings his signature line "What's up, doc?" to the theme of Siegfried's horn call from the Ring Cycle. He then taunts Elmer about his "spear and magic helmet". This prompts a display of Elmer-as-Siegfried's "mighty powers", set to the overture of The Flying Dutchman. At that, Bugs flees and the chase begins.
Suddenly, Elmer is stopped in his tracks at the sight of the beautiful Valkyrie Brünnhilde (Bugs in an obvious disguise), riding in grandly on an enormously fat horse (in Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist, director Jones notes that the production team "gave the horse the operatic curves we couldn't give Bugs"). "Siegfried" and "Brünnhilde" exchange endearments, set to the overture to Tannhäuser:
- "Oh Bwunhilde, you'w so wuvwy!"
- "Yes I know it; I can't help it!"'
- Oh Bwunhilde, be my wove!
and after the usual "hard to get" pursuit, they perform a short ballet (based on the Venusberg ballet in Tannhäuser), capping it off with the duet "Return My Love" set to another section of the Tannhäuser overture. Bugs' true identity is suddenly exposed when his headdress falls off, enraging Elmer and prompting him to command fierce lightning, "typhoons, hurricanes, earthquakes" and, finally, "SMOG!!!" (a word Elmer screams which was not done by Bryan, but by Blanc) to "kill da wabbit!" while music from The Valkyries plays in the background.
Eventually, a lightning bolt strikes Bugs dead. Upon seeing the bunny's corpse, Elmer, as usual, immediately regrets his wrath and tearfully carries the bunny off, presumably to Valhalla in keeping with the Wagnerian theme, per Act III of The Valkyries (although the music again comes from the overture to Tannhäuser). Bugs suddenly breaks character, raises his head to face the audience and remarks, "Well, what did you expect in an opera? A happy ending?"
Bugs' temper gets the best of him when trying to conduct again and attempts to kill the fly, crashing into the orchestra and the instruments as he does so. As the music comes to a stop, Bugs bows for the crowd, and instead of applause, hears only silence. Bugs looks around to see that the seats are empty, though he does hear some faint clapping - coming from the fly. Bugs screams in anger.
The act opens with a bar of "Merrily We Roll Along", followed by a segment of the "lively" portion of Wagner's Siegfried funeral march, as Bugs walks onstage to applause and prepares to play the grand piano. Throughout the cartoon he runs through a large assortment of visual gags while continuing to play the Hungarian Rhapsody. The first gag involves an apparent audience member who coughs and hacks loudly just as Bugs is poised to play. When it happens a second time, Bugs pulls a revolver out of his tuxedo and dispatches the audience member, then proceeds to blow the smoke out of the gun barrel before returning it to his tuxedo.
Although the film is mostly pantomime, Bugs speaks a few times (voice of Mel Blanc). At one point he is interrupted by the ring of a phone, timed to echo a short strain that Bugs is playing at that moment. The phone is inside the piano: "Eh, what's up doc? Who? Franz Liszt? Never heard of him. Wrong number." When playing a notable triad in the middle of the piece, which happens to be the same triad notably used in the unrelated Rossini aria "Largo al factotum" (from The Barber of Seville, which would be spoofed in a later Bugs cartoon), Bugs accompanies his piano playing by singing, "Fi-ga-ro! Fi-ga-ro!"
A mouse appears and pesters Bugs the rest of the way, although the first ("slow") half of the piece is played nearly "straight", with just a few small gags. Bugs stops at the very short pause in the piece, acknowledging the applause of the audience. Before he can begin the "fast" part of the piece (where the gags accelerate), the mouse instigates a major musical shift, to a "Boogie-woogie" number. Bugs joins in, although he eventually traps the mouse and seemingly disposes of the pest with dynamite, but who plays "Chopsticks" while still trapped, Bugs peeks inside and the mouse hits him with a mallet. Bugs then returns to playing the Rhapsody. As the pace picks up, he speaks to the camera (for the last time in the cartoon): "Look! One hand! ... NO hands!" The camera pulls back, and he is deftly playing the piano keys with his toes.
Nearing the end of the Rhapsody, he is in shock after turning to the finale page which consist of scrambled, quick playing, nearly impossible to read notes after which he takes off his shirt, oils his hands, and prays. Then, preparing to play the intense part, he is startled to hear the frenzied finalé playing, behind him. It is the mouse, complete with tie and tails, playing a toy piano that plays like a normal-sounding piano. Cut back to Bugs after the full-orchestra finalé, and he disgustedly plays the three single notes that actually end the piece, the 4th blows him up, and then loses his temper. saying Tom and Jerry never had to deal with this stuff!
Bugs again challenges Cecil to a race after viewing footage from their previous encounter two years earlier (which seems to depict Cecil as having won fairly instead of by cheating Bugs with his cousins). Bugs then goes to Cecil's tree home disguised as an old man (a parody of Bill Thompson's "Old Timer" character from Fibber McGee and Molly) to ask the turtle his secret. Cecil, not in the least bit fooled by the disguise, so tells him he remarks that his streamlined shell lets him win, and produces a set of blueprints for his "air-flow chassis". The turtle ends the conversation with the comment, "Oh, and another thing... Rabbits aren't very bright, either!" just before slamming the door in the enraged bunny's face. Not getting the hint that the turtle's story is a humbug, Bugs builds the device and prepares for the race. Meanwhile, the bunny mob learns of the upcoming match-up and places all its bets on Bugs. ("In fact, we don't even think that the toitle will finish... Do we, boys?" "Duh, no, Boss, no!")
The race begins,to the tune of the William Tell Overture, and Bugs still outpaces his reptilian rival. However, in his new get-up, the dim-witted gangsters mistake him for the turtle. Cecil reinforces this misconception by dressing in a gray rabbit suit and munching on some delicious carrots. The mobsters thus make the shelled Bugs' run a nightmare, ultimately giving the race to Cecil (in an aside to the audience, as the rabbits cheer him, Cecil remarks, "I told you rabbits aren't very bright!"). When Bugs removes the chassis and sobbingly reveals that he's the rabbit, the rabbit gangsters remark, in mock-Bugsy style, "Ehhh, now he tells us!" and commit suicide by shooting themselves with a single bullet that goes through the sides of all of their apparently soft heads.
Bugs Screams he can't take it anymore and He quits...just like Elmer! While Sonic goes of to find him Daffy Takes the stage.
My name is Daffy, There's no other duck like me, Because I'm so daffy, And the reason I'm daffy, And so gosh-derned riff-raffy, And so screwy and laffy, Is because those hunters won't leave me alone.
Oh, why don't they hunt some other animal for a change? So, that I won't have to end up on a kitchen range. Duck hunting's all the rage and they won't let me be. And I'm so full of bullets, I'm lit up like a Christmas tree. There's so much I'd like to do if I just had the chance. I'd like to play and romp and even sing and do a dance.
I would read the latest book Go swimming in the babbling brook I'd like to fly the seven seas Play hide and seek among the trees I'd play hop scotch and double Dutch And this and that and things and such I know that isn't asking much But all these things I daresn't touch
It's bang! bang! here, and bang! bang! there Bullets flying everywhere I can't stand it any longer I get weak and they get stronger
Hunters to the right of me Hunters to the left I see Over hill and over dale Bullets whizzing past my tail
There's no rest and there's no peace Won't this shooting ever cease Morning, noon, and through the night That's why I look such a fright
BANG! BANG! BANG! I'm only sixteen yards ahead BANG! BANG! BANG! They're shooting straight at me
HOO! HOO! HOO! They won't let up until I'm dead HOO! HOO! HOO! Why can't they let me be!
Why don't they hunt big wild moose Or chase a Reindeer on the loose There's possums, chipmunks, caribou Or rabbits for a rabbit stew Raccoons, squirrels, porcupines Monkeys swinging on the vines Leopards with or without spots Wild cats with or without dots Elephants, badgers, kangaroos Lions, tigers, cows that moo Wolf and mice and prairie ox Red and grey and silver fox
DAFFY! They drive me daffy! Those hunters with their great big guns They're all uncles, cousins, fathers, sons Crazy! They got me hazy With all that rootin'-flootin'-hootin'-tootin'-high-falootin'-noisy shootin' Closer! They're gettin' closer With shot-guns, pistols, bows and arrows, riffles, knives, and other deadly trifles Scram now! While I'm still able You're nuts if you think that I'm gonna end up on somebody's dinner table
Sooooo, Good-bye! So long now! Woo-hoo, woo-hoo, woo-hoo, woo-hoo, woo-hoo, woo-hoo, woo-hoo, woo-hoo, woo-hoo!
Sonic and Tails get Bugs to come perform the Carnival of the Animals finale with Daffy. When it Proves to be a sucsess, Daffy an idea: showing music videos from classic Looney Tunes shorts. After that they all decide to do 2 more acts.
In a performance of Bugs exacts his revenge against Jones first by hammering the roof of the "acoustically perfect" concert hall (presumably the Hollywood Bowl, due to its shape) to disrupt the singer's vocals, then by spraying his throat with "alum" which shrinks his head as well his voice.
Next, Bugs dresses up as an adoring teenage female fan and asks Jones for an autograph, only the pen is a stick of dynamite.
Finally, for the coup de grâce, Bugs poses as the highly respected "Leopold" (Stokoswki) to take over the conducting duties. Bugs conducts Jones through a virtuoso (albeit unorthodox) performance before administering the final blow: holding a singular note until Jones can hardly endure the strain (at one point, Bugs leaves his glove hovering in the air and steps outside to order a pair of ear muffs). Giovanni's face turns different colors as his tuxedo unravels under the pressure (collar detaches, vestee bursts off, dickey rolls into face, suspenders give and slacks fall around ankles). Bugs returns to his glove to find Jones on the floor banging his fists in what's left of his torn apart tuxedo and flowered boxer shorts. Eventually the concert roof comes crumbling down on top of the unfortunate singer. When Jones climbs out of the rubble, he takes a bow in shreds that were once a tuxedo. His face is beaten in and bruised purple and blue. Bugs again cues Jones to sing the same note so that a boulder, precariously balanced on a steel girder, falls and crushes the singer's head.
To add insult to injury, Bugs removes his wig and closes out the performance by strumming the old vaudeville-era four-note tune, "Good Eve-ning Frieeeeends", on a banjo.
For The Finale They All go All Out:
- Warner Bros. Fanfare and Intro from "Merrie Melodies"
- "Baton Bunny" (Music by Franz von Suppé)
- "What's Up, Doc?"
- "Rhapsody Rabbit"
- "I Love to Singa" (music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg)
- "Zoom and Bored"
- "Home Tweet Home"
- "The Rabbit of Seville" (music by Gioacchino Rossini)
- A Corny Concerto
- Long-Haired Hare
- What's Opera Doc?
- "Back Alley Oproar" (Figaro Scene)
- "Zoom and Bored"
- "The Rabbit of Seville" (music by Gioacchino Rossini)
- "I Tawt I Taw A Puddy Tat"
- "Coyote Falls"
- "Robin Hood Daffy" (scenes)
- "Duck Amuck"
- "Merrie Melodies Closing Theme" - "That's all Folks!"
A comination of all these score and one BIG coda!
- Baton Bunny (the first event; retried again as the last event which was ruined by a fly)
- Daffy Duck and Porky Pig in The William Tell Overture (the second event)
- Back Alley Oproar (used when Sylvester tried to ruin Elmer's Hungarian Rhapsody)
- Rabbit of Seville (the Fourth Event)
- What's Opera, Doc? (the 5th on the agenda but Bugs tried Baton Bunny again after)
- Rhapsody Rabbit(6th event)
- Tortoise wins by a Hare
- Daffy's Rhapsody
- Bugs And Daffy's Carnival of The Animals Finale
- Yankee Doodle Daffy
- Long Haired Hare
At the end of the Rhapsody Rabbit performance, Bugs make a reference to Tom & Jerry's The Cat Concerto. The same year Warner Bros. released Rhapsody Rabbit, MGM produced The Cat Concerto, which features Tom being distracted by Jerry while playing in a concert. Most of the gags are identical to both cartoons, and they used the same music that was played. The Cat Concerto won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.