Director: Chuck Jones
Release Date: December 16, 1950
Stars: Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd
Rating: ★★★★★ ♕
The cartoon starts with an open air opera theater setting with the Elmer-Bugs chase quickly entering the scene. When Elmer hits the stage, Bugs quickly opens the curtains, prompting the orchestra to play ‘The Barber from Seville’ by Gioacchino Rossini. This leads to a wonderful aria by Bugs, and even Elmer joins in.
But the best part of the film is the silent comedy that follows on the music of the opera’s overture. During this sequence Bugs Bunny’s expressions are priceless, and the action is beautifully staged to the music, leading to a great finale in which Elmer and Bugs get married.
Throughout the picture Jones’s timing and staging are perfect. It improves on both Charlie Chaplin’s barber scene in ‘The Great Dictator’ (1940) and on the vaguely similar Woody Woodpecker cartoon ‘Barber of Seville‘ (1944). The result is no less than a masterpiece.
Surprisingly, this cartoon about ‘The Barber of Seville’ does not feature the famous ‘Largo el factotum’ aria from that opera. This is remarkable, for this aria was a staple in cartoons, and used extensively in e.g. ‘Barber of Seville’, the Tex Avery cartoon ‘Magical Maestro’ and Chuck Jones own Tom & Jerry cartoon ‘The Cat Above, The Mouse Below‘ (1964).
Watch ‘Rabbit of Seville’ yourself and tell me what you think:
‘Rabbit of Seville’ is available on the DVD set ‘Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Vol. 1’
This is Bugs Bunny cartoon No. 77
To the previous Bugs Bunny cartoon: Bushy Hare
To the next Bugs Bunny cartoon: Hare We Go