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10 Best Uses Of Classical Music In Classic Cartoons

I grew up watching Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry, and Popeye cartoons, because they were regularly shown on the independent stations here in St. Louis. (Disney cartoons weren’t readily available unless the Sunday night Wonderful World of Disney show featured one of them.) Those cartoons helped develop my love of classical music. (Sorry, Mom. You were a huge musical influence, but not quite as much as Bugs Bunny!) While the vast majority of the cartoons of the 1930s-1950s made excellent use of popular music and original compositions, they also used classical music to great effect, creating some of the finest animated masterpieces of all time.

Rossini’s overtures were popular with cartoonists, as were Liszt’s Hungarian rhapsodies and Brahms’ Hungarian dances. In cartoon-land, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata became synonymous with quiet, moonlit scenes, while the opening notes to his Fifth Symphony were used to introduce Nazis during World War II. The final movement of Liszt’s Les Preludes frequently introduced some cartoons. Any favorites you’d add to this list? Enjoy!


The Band Concert


Music: Rossini’s William Tell Overture

Made before the William Tell Overture became identified as The Lone Ranger’s theme, The Band Concert features bandleader Mickey leading an outdoor performance. While the band plows through the overture, Donald Duck continually interrupts by playing “Turkey in the Straw” on his recorder.


Pigs in a Polka


Music: Brahms’ Hungarian Dances #5, 7, 6 and 17 (they appear in that order)

The familiar story of the three little pigs was a popular vehicle for cartoonists. This Warner Bros. version cleverly syncs the action with Brahms’ music, so much so that the music seems like a fifth character.


Baton Bunny


Music: Von Suppe’s A Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna

Bugs is the conductor of a musician-less orchestra. He performs Von Suppe’s “Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna,” but with a twist: He turns part of it into a cowboys and Indians saga, using his ears as props.


Magical Maestro


Music: Largo al factotum aria from Rossini’s Barber of Seville opera

This famous aria was never showcased better in a cartoon than in this Tex Avery romp (although Long-Haired Hare comes close). After a two-bit magician fails to convince Poochini, the “world’s greatest baritone,” to let him into the opera singer’s act, the magician uses his wand to make life quite difficult for Poochini. It’s one of Avery’s absolute best. It’s often cut these days because of some unfortunate racial stereotypes, but you can still find the uncut original. Note: Watch for the fantastic bit where Poochini “breaks the fourth wall” and plucks a hair from the “film.”


Tom and Jerry in the Hollywood Bowl


Music: Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus

Tom is the conductor of an orchestra of cats. Naturally, Jerry wants in on the act, and of course, Tom repeatedly shoes him away. Excellent choreography in this one. And both Tom and Jerry look pretty sharp in those tuxes.


A Corny Concerto


Music: Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1, Strauss’ Tales from the Vienna Woods and The Blue Danube

Warner Bros. frequently poked fun at Disney, especially considering many animators migrated from Disney to Warner Bros. (and MGM). A Corny Concerto rips on Disney’s Fantasia (see #2), starting with Elmer appearing as an unshaven Stokowski introducing the two segments. The first segment is a wild romp in the Vienna woods with Bugs, Porky and an unnamed dog. The second is more standard fare of a duck protecting a family of swans from a vulture.


The Cat Concerto


Music: Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody #2

The Cat Concerto won the Academy Award for Short Subjects-Cartoons in 1946. Warner Bros. released a nearly identical cartoon the same year, Rhapsody Rabbit, which had many of the same gags. Both MGM and Warner Bros. accused the other of plagiarism, but nothing official came of it. It’s a toss-up as to whether The Cat Concerto or Rhapsody Rabbit is the better cartoon. Also watch Rhapsody in Rivets, an Oscar-nominated Warner Bros. cartoon that features the construction of the “Umpire State Building” while the foreman/conductor leaders the show.


The Rabbit of Seville


Music: Rossini’s Barber of Seville Overture

Bugs does Rossini in a beautifully timed and written masterpiece. Elmer chases Bugs into a theater. Bugs and an unwilling Elmer act out Rossini’s “Barber of Seville,” with Bugs giving Elmer a full head manicure. Best part: Bugs uses his ears to massage Elmer’s bald head. Some of the lyrics: “Hey you! Don’t look so perplexed/why must you be vexed/can’t you see you’re next? Yes, you’re next. You’re so next!” and this one: “There! You’re nice and clean! Although your face looks like it might have gone through a machine.” (Note: The music here is from the overture, while the music from #7 is from the famous aria of the opera.) The film quality is not good but this is the only English language version I could find on youtube.


The Sorcerer’s Apprentice


Music: Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Fantasia is one of Disney’s greatest films. It’s a safe bet to say that more people saw the segments of Fantasia as one-off cartoons on TV than actually saw the movie in the theater. The best part (and probably best-known) is the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, with Mickey as the apprentice who literally gets in over his head. The rest of the music featured in Fantasia was: Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, Ponchielli’s The Dance of the Hours, Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, and Schubert’s Ave Maria.


What’s Opera, Doc?

[dailymotion id=xelqe]

Music: Wagner’s Ring Cycle

Bugs and Elmer Fudd do Wagner in this Chuck Jones masterpiece. Some may have put Fantasia first, but this Bugs Bunny short is consistently ranked as the best Bugs Bunny cartoon of all time, and usually the best of all cartoon shorts. Jones reduces Wagner’s whole Ring saga to 6½ minutes in a hilarious parody — and it’s one of the only times Elmer actually “gets” Bugs. You’ll never listen to “Flight of the Valkyries” again without hearing Elmer sing, “Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit!”

Listverse Staff

Listverse is a place for explorers. Together we seek out the most fascinating and rare gems of human knowledge. Three or more fact-packed lists daily.

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  • Matg14


  • corinthian0430

    Kill the Wabbit!!!

  • apepper

    Great list! I liked the Mozart Requiem being used in the short accompanying the Incredibles.

  • jhoyce07

    i like watching tom and jerry cartoons.. it’s funny.. and good for kids.. ü

  • jaz_lottay

    oh man i remember Magical Maestro!!!
    I recorded it on a tape once i still have that tape kickin around somewhere brings back so many good memories!!!!!

  • jhoyce07

    i wann ahave my pic posted too (here in the comment list) but how??

  • jhoyce07


  • Andee

    is it strange that I have never even seen any of these – let alone heard of any of them???

  • ag

    theres been a bit of a childrens show theme lately

  • tripsyman

    All good but sorcerers apprentice has to be my favourite

  • tripsyman

    Totally agree with ag – whats with all the cartoon related lists latley. Not a criticism(?) just an observation.

  • jhoyce07

    i want to request some bizaare/weird/underground list please..? anyone?? or another top 10 of mystery-something..

  • lee

    10 has got to be the earliest mash-up ever! and donald really looked like a duck

  • @jhoyce07 (12): coming soon :)

  • jhoyce07

    @jfrater (14): that’s so cool JFrat! thanks! ü I’ll wait for that..

  • Lalalilo

    God I remeber all of this music from when I was a kid but never knew the composers. Thanks listverse for reminding me that classical music is awesome.

  • Travis

    Ehh… What’s up, Doc?

  • astraya

    I saw a doco about Chuck Jones a couple of years ago and it showed (among his other creations listed here) a rendering of the Blue Danube where the musical notation comes to life and plays around on the page.

    And I ****love**** the Wagner item.

  • joliver


    i remmembered my childhood!

  • Jack Deth

    Brilliant list!

    Made me laugh and brought back some great memories, thanks!

  • Rachel

    What about the Smurfs?!

  • warrrreagl

    This is a fantastic list. I already show several of these to my Music Appreciation classes, and now I can buy and show the rest. Thanks!

    By the way, research verifies that up until 2nd grade, children actually prefer classical music to other forms when they’re given a choice. By the time the 3rd grade rolls around, they’re more susceptible to peer pressure, and they would never admit to liking classical music from that point on. Sad.

  • Jack Deth

    I’ve often wondered about that, warrrreagl.

    When I take the kids to nursery we have Classic FM on in the car, they actually listen to it. If I have something like BBC R2 on, they ignore it and chatter away!

  • wickeddavis

    “Welcome to my shop, let me cut your mop!”

    Somehow I knew “Rabbit of Seville” would be on here…
    It was always a childhood favorite!

  • I can happily say I’ve seen all of these growing up as a kid.

  • frushka

    Pure genius, these cartoon dudes! Chuck JOnes, Friz Freleng, Mel Blanc. So creative and funny. All those thpeech impediments would be considered terribly un-PC today.

    I’m a life-long, professional classical musician. When I was a kid I always enjoyed hens laying eggs to little Turkish Marches by Beethoven. Don’t remember specific cartoons, just that image and music.

    Thanks StLMo.
    (btw, grew up in KCMo)

  • Kathryn Lang

    What’s most amazing is how well they could present a story without ever saying a word. And these cartoons are the perfect way to get kids to listen to classical music without their ever knowing that is what you are doing ;).

  • MelBell

    I still love cartoons, and I’m 21. I’ve seen all these clips many, many times. My mother and Grandmother would watch them too. Classic.

    Too bad that some of these youtube vids are done by clowns who don’t know what a tripod is (rabbit of seville clip.) Honestly it was too distracting to even watch it.

  • Honsy

    Holy shit, I remember watching number 6 years ago! I loved that episode, right after the episode at the bowling alley.

  • nuriko

    love this list! :)

  • Spocker

    I totally knew “What’s Up Opera?” was going to be #1, even before and after considering Fantasia. Becfause growing up, you had more people who remember that than ‘Night on Bald Mountain’ simply for the fact that it ran more often on Saturday morning TV than in any theatrical release of Fantasia. I didn’t even watch Fantasia in it’s entirety until I had kids my own. But ‘The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour’ was my staple on Saturday AM.

    Does any one know where I can get this on DVD?

  • 7raul7

    Man, the last 4 lists have been so shitty, just feels like listverse HAS to cut on lists concerning music & cartoons. Frankly, they aren’t interesting or anything, just someone’s attemp to get something of his own on this website. Sucks.

  • warrrreagl

    7raul7, where is the list you submitted? Certainly, if you’re so opinionated about the quality of the site, then you MUST have submitted a much better list, right?


  • Guitar Exchange

    Great stuff here. I like Tom and Jerry, too. And the music of rock and roll.

    —-Messa Boogie Music is On.Dance, Dance, Dance!

  • oouchan

    Yay! I love this list, STLMo!
    I grew up on all of these and have seen them all. I also have everyone of them on my ipod. I think these cartoons are what gave me my taste in classics.
    I also wanted my kid to have the same feel for this type of music. So when she was born, I went out and got all of the old cartoons on dvd for her so she could grow up on them too. Needless to say, she has a few on her ipod as well. :D

    @7raul7 (32): I second warrrreagl. What list have you done?
    I understand if you don’t like a list but come back tomorrow. It’s always something different around here.

  • 7raul7

    i submitted 2 … apparently none have been given a look …

  • damien_karras

    Hahahaha… best list I’ve seen in awhile. Can’t find Looney Tunes on T.V. anymore which are genius compared to todays cartoon fare.

    Elmer: Oh, Bwoonhilda, you’re so wovely.

    Bugs: Yes, I know it, I can’t help it.

    Seriously, that was one of the few times I remember Elmer being so pissed off.

  • Hammerfuck

    Listen, Frater, you childish squib – I apologize for my intemperence – but I simply must express my displeasure at the recent content of your formerly wonderful and entertaining site……will you please knock it off with the cartoons and science stuff and get back to the baser elements of pop culture for your lists….can we see more celebrity scandals, film and music, serial killers and the like?? Honestly, I would be suprised if many people really give a shit about a lot of the stuff you’re compiling of late.
    Sorry again for being a prick but hey, you should see me on Youtube….now that’s an asshole for you.

  • callie19

    There’s an episode of Boy Meets World where Mr. Feeny takes Eric to the opera and Eric gets really bored and wants to leave, and as he turns his back they start playing Ride of the Valkyries and Eric turns around and screams out “It’s Bigs Bunny!!!!!” and Mr. Feeny says “no, it’s Wagner” and Eric just stares at him. I think of it every time I hear the song.

    ….I’m weird.

  • STLMo

    I’d say Jamie is doing just fine aministering his own site (from the “About” section):

    1.5 million unique readers
    4.5 million pageviews
    Alexa Rank: US Top 5,000

    965 Articles
    12,000 Feed Subscribers
    6,327 Registered Users

  • 7raul7

    Umm, 2 lists which were, IMHO, way more interestin than these lists, were, for reasons unknown, rejected. (sorry for the commas, im helpless) I’m not an admin, so of course i dunno the reason of them not being published. (Most likely, they weren’t relavent to the prevalent ‘mood’ on listverse, as it said in the email sent to me after i submitted the list).

    I assure you, a list related to sports, scandals, politics, warfare etc. is goin to garner more views, debates & comments, unlike such childish lists which serve no purpose whatsoever. And to be honest, such lists make me angry as to whatever happened to the great listverse which served the high purpose of educating & enlightening. There are a number of other sites which entertain such lists (cartoon, kids, etc.), but there is precisely one reason why i, like most of my friends whom i introduced to LV, like it, & that is, LV publishes list which are interesting, intriguing, funny & educative while at the same time, are humourous. There is absolutely no wrong in publishing a list like this from time to time, but publishing lists which are boring, to be accurate, in quick succession, make no sense. Or is there a conspiracy to undermine LV’s reputation by some rival list website. :-)

    Anyways, some of you would say that this site caters to the taste of a wide spectrum of people, so that is why these kind of lists are published. Of course it isn’t wrong, but ignoring other potentially better list is just plain ignorance.

    forgive me for being such a pain, but i want my beloved LV to be better than all, & i assume it will be, as it also is.

  • steeveedee

    Despite what some of the detractors are saying, this is a really fun idea for a list! People need to lighten the hell up. I think Listverse has always been incredibly diverse, going from the lighthearted to the heavier or more controversial subjects. Kudos JFrater for keeping the lists interesting and varied. I say, if you want lists that are deeper, do the research and submit a list of your own!

    As for this list, I grew up with these cartoons. It’s a shame they are so hard to find on regular TV anymore. My only suggested change would have been to use the entire Fantasia film, not just The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The whole film was nothing less that genius. (Fantasia 2000 had it’s moments as well, particularly the “Rhapsody in Blue” segment.)

    Also, Warner Brothers use of music in their cartoons is legendary. Not just the classical stuff either. The scoring was amazing and truly an integral part of the shorts. In fact, it’s clearly identifiable with the WB characters. Check out the CD “The Carl Stalling Project’ for an amazing collection of cartoon music from a time when cartoons weren’t just slapped together.

  • damien_karras

    I keep remembering a hilarious Woody Woodpecker cartoon that had no dialouge; it was Woody furiously playing a grand piano atop a speeding train while being chased. I don’t remember the song he was playing but I remember the entire sequence was brilliant.

  • Lifeschool’s Vacation Nic.

    Hey again. I remember a few of these from my childhood – especially the fantasia one – with all the brooms. I’ll have to check into some of the others when I return home next week. Very unique topic there STLMo – kudos from me.

    @callie19 (39): It’s good to be a werdo sometimes – we’re not at all boring :)

    @7raul7 (41): Submitting a list can be fun, but it may not get published straight away. JF has a HUGE backlog of lists I imagine, and I guess he selects them in terms of relevance, and a kind of day-by-day continuity. A good 50% of my lists have appeared so far, so don’t worry, them may show up in good time.

  • oouchan

    @7raul7 (41): Not all lists need to be serious or educational. Some can be just for fun and entertainment. That’s what I took from this list.

    Anyways, some of you would say that this site caters to the taste of a wide spectrum of people, so that is why these kind of lists are published. Of course it isn’t wrong, but ignoring other potentially better list is just plain ignorance.

    To say that your lists are better than others is rude. I have submitted 2 lists, one was used. I don’t think my lists are better than anyone elses. They cater to certain people and if they liked it, then great for me. But don’t assume that other lists are better than others. It just shows us what type of person you are.

    I will be waiting until Jaime decides to use my other list…patiently….for the most part. :D
    I suggest you do the same and keep checking back. If I don’t like a list…I move on and wait for another day.

  • Jotafrisco

    OMFG, #4 is my childhood. Thank you so much, great list.

  • Kreachure

    Awesome list, thanks STLMo.

    I love, love, LOVE classical music and cartoons, and I’m not ashamed of saying so. The cartoons on this list are part of a wonderful golden age of animation, and classical music was a big part of the greatness of that age. The animation was incredible, the humor was amazing, and the music grand. I grew up with most of these, but I was only able to watch, them on TV on very rare occasions; which means that, sadly, kids today are barely able to see these masterpieces anywhere on TV.

    Thanks for the memories :)

  • gabi319

    Ignore the complainers, STL and JFray. I think this is a great list and a wonderful “other view” to egernunge’s list yesterday which (at the typing of this comment) has received 139 comments so I’m still hard pressed to believe that there weren’t any interested viewers. Oh look at that. I used a period instead of a comma. Wonder of wonders, miracles of miracles.

    I work with a wide age range but deal more with the little kiddies at work so to connect with them, I am familiar with Max & Ruby, Yo Gabba Gabba, Backyardigans, etc. because it gives us a conversational piece more at their comfort zone, but THESE cartoons… These are what I watched when I was little and these pieces are what I grew up playing as a musician. Incidentally, I’ve gotten in trouble for singing “Oh Brunhilda, you’re so wovewy!” when rehearsing Flight of the Valkyries. No worries though, because it only took that little bit to get the conductor to start muttering “Kill the wabbit! Kill the wabbit!!” haha… thanks, STL, for that walk down memory lane.

  • AshleyR

    that scene from fantaisa has always been my favorite. my grandma had fantaisa and she gave it to us…my mom would have to rewind his part so many times haha.

  • Heymon

    im surprised Swan lake didnt make the list…

  • STLMo

    Heymon – what cartoon was Swan Lake in that you’re thinking of? I know it was used often, but did you have one in mind?

  • Carole

    Thank You for this wonderful list It brought back so many memories. I am a huge Opera and Classical music fan today because of these cartoons
    Hey! if you don’t like the recent lists, just pass them by
    or make your own. Nah.That would require some effort

  • Maggot

    @7raul7 (41): Occasionally there is a list published that I don’t care for. Within seconds of experiencing that minor disappointment, I do something I like to call getting over it. Give it a try.

  • blogball

    Nice original idea for a list STLMo. I really enjoyed it. Not sure if this would qualify but It’s one of my favorite Bugs Bunny Cartoons called Rhapsody Rabbit

  • Maggot

    @blogball (54): Not sure if this would qualify but It’s one of my favorite Bugs Bunny Cartoons called Rhapsody Rabbit

    blogball, I can’t believe a seasoned list-writer and commenter like you didn’t read the text entries. Read number 4. :-)

  • 7raul7

    #53 of course, anything is worth a try (in such circumstances)

  • redcaboose

    What a fun list, and a walk down memory lane to boot. I grew up in Los Angeles and we had plenty of Disney cartoons to watch on local tv channels. Also, I remember going to Disneyland shortly after it opened (mid 50’s) and seeing the entire Fantasia in a movie theater. What a blast.

    And Maggot said it best: get over it, all you whiners. I cannot think of a list that would make everyone 100% satisfied.

  • blogball

    Maggot, guilty as charged. I have seen most of the cartoons on this list and the ones that I didn’t I watched. Then I read all the comments to see if any one had mentioned Rhapsody Rabbit. Then I did what drives me crazy when I see other people do it. I didn’t read the full descriptions. Sorry about that.

  • undaunted warrior

    Great list, I can still recall sitting in the movie house, many many years ago, and they always showed you the cartoons before a few clips of the next attraction, thereafter the main movie would start.

    When a cartoon finished you would get that – THAT IS ALL FOLKS on the screen, often we were lucky and they showed you two and all you heard was YEAH and the rustling of 200 kids putting their hands into the popcorn packets all at once, ready for the next one.

    I used to enjoy the Road Runner, and that very fast mouse, I cant recall the name now.

    Thanks STLMo. – well done.

  • Abs

    OMG!! Im only 21 but I remember most of these from when I was a kid! memories!! :) its a shame kids nowadays grow up watching absolute dribble compared to these masterpieces. great list!

  • oouchan

    @undaunted warrior (59): Speedy Gonzalez. I liked his cousin, Slowpoke Rodriguez. He made me laugh!

  • grant

    I saw “Flight of the Valkyries” many years ago and loved when you could hear the audience singing very lowly but still audible “Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit!”.
    You could also hear a bunch of pissed off girlfriends/ wives ‘sushing’ to be quiet!

  • gabi319

    Hey STL Mo, found another English version of Rabbit of Seville. It’s another one of those “I’ll videotape the tv” deals but the dude used a tripod and the sound’s much better.

  • Chineapplepunk

    @Abs (60): I’m 23 and I second what you said!!!

  • bucslim

    This looks like a job for STOOOOOPER DUCK!!

  • bucslim

    @oouchan (45):

    I think your lists are better than others.

  • oouchan

    @Abs (60): I’m 34. I still watch cartoons and one of my favorites to watch right now is Spongebob.

    @bucslim (65): Yoikes and Away!!!

    @bucslim (66): You were being facetious there, weren’t you? :D

  • mom424

    Great – I’m old and have seen all of these – Nostalgia ftw!
    My favorite is sadly absent. Long Haired Hare. The famous battle between Bugs and the classic opera singer.


    @jhoyce07 (6): go to gravatar and pick your pic…

  • blogball

    Much better Gabbi. Did anybody notice on the shaky one or one might call it the Blair Witch Project version of The Rabbit of Seville you can see the reflection of a window complete with trees blowing in the wind?

  • blogball

    Sorry Gabi not Gabbi, I think I need more coffee this morning

  • Emz

    While I enjoy the light, fun lists as well as those more serious ones, it is (IMHO)a little tedious to have so darn many lately. I actually felt a little annoyed to see yet another cartoon list when I checked LV this morning. Again, just my opinion and it certainly won’t stop me from visiting the site :)

  • undaunted warrior

    @ oouchan (61) Thanks Speedy Gonzales I completely forgot his name, and the laid back Gonzales.

  • fifthsonata

    I only wish that cartoons today used music as these cartoons did. When I taught music in public schools, I found that most children couldn’t even recognize the melodies from some of these noted pieces. Classical music was still kept alive in the mainstream media through these shows – now the only cartoon I know of that keeps these pieces alive is Family Guy, and the typically use musicals.

    Maybe one day….

  • joanne

    wtf is wrong with listverse – we’ve had enough cartoon- and disney-related lists already! is LV having midlife crisis??

  • ViolaWoman

    Wow; brings back memories. I too am a life-long classical musician, a violist and have played in both the road orchestras of Disney and Warner Brothers. I can honestly say, that Warner Brothers Orchestra was one of the most enjoyable gigs I ever played. Having grown up with all of this, it took me back to childhood and the fun. My folks loved these cartoons, too. There not just for kids. Great list!

  • pick

    keep up the good work jfrater

  • brad p

    LOL @ Pigs in a Polka! Love that bird than slams his nest on the brick chimney!

  • psychosurfer

    @7raul7 (41): Raul, I don´t mean to be rude or anything (or do I?), but I will never forget your Football list, it was one of the weakest, least researched and most biased I have ever read (that´s why I remember it).
    In fact it created so much controversy among the readers (500 + comments if I recall correctly), that maybe that´s why your current lists are being held.
    No offense man, your lists may be controversial, but not “interestin” [sic], let alone “educating & enlightening” as you brag about.

  • psychosurfer

    God I like parenthesis! (a lot)

  • doober

    you ever seen a bugs bunny cartoon….on WEED?!?!

  • jazzmoose

    This list is far too narrow in scope, and should be called the best use in Warner Bros cartoons.

  • STLMo

    Uhh, jazzmouse:

    #10 and #2 – Disney

    #7, #6 and #4 – MGM

    Only #9, #8, #5, #3 and #1 are Warner

  • STLMo

    Mom424 – See #7. I agree, Chuck Jones’ Long-Haired Hare is absolutely terrific, but I like Tex Avery’s zanier Magical Maestro just a tad bit more. (It was a tough choice, but I already had The Grey Hare featured three times.)

  • Josh P

    haha when i clicked on this site i was listening to ‘Wachet Auf, Ruft Uns Die Stimme (BWV 140)’ Pretty cool. You should listen to it, it is as if it almost as if the whole song is life itself.beautiful

  • STLMo

    ViolaWoman – Wow! What’s it like to play with those traveling shows?

  • ringtailroxy

    @7raul7 (41):
    since when was Listverse 7raul7verse? i am not always thrilled with the lists, but i read 99.75% of them (becausde if it really isn’t interesting to me i just scan the comments)

    if you don’t like the quality of the resent lists, just blog about it elsewhere. i have been an avid LVer since the early days, and it has been a very long time since a submitted list would be featured the next day…i can even remember when Jay would hold contests for best lists to feature while he went about his world travels!

    this list was fun & entertaining. brought back some amazing memories of my childhood & drunken evenings watching banned cartoons…

    personally, the science/weird/bizarre/obscure/dark/historical/nature lists appeal to me…but i do enjoy the ones just for fun…music/pop trivia/extremem sports…

    the food/team sports/classic music ones are meh…but i always can learn & laugh & read the comments, which are often more interesting than the lists!


  • Awesome list! I remember almost all of these. <3

  • postman1

    As someone said…………..Kill the wabbit, it still makes me laugh

  • copperdragon

    One of my favorites is the piano duet/duel between Daffy and Donald in the Ink & Paint Club in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”.

    I don’t know the name of the classical music piece they are fighting through, tho. Anyone?

  • saraheleanor17

    Haha old cartoons are so awesome! Especially Mickey :D

  • copperdragon

    just found it on IMDB – Hungarian Rhapsody #2 by Liszt

  • tpicco

    I love Bugs Bunny and I hate “What’s Opera Doc?”

    As far as I am concerned, that cartoon has nothing to do with Bugs Bunny. It’s like they took the whole premise of the Bugs Bunny cartoon series and ignored it just to show off. It is missing all the things that make a Bugs Bunny cartoon great: the voice, the attitude, the jokes and comments, etc.

    As Bugs says: “Eh. It stinks.”

  • trfan

    “What’s Opera Doc” was definitely one of the best short cartoons ever. :) I especially liked Bug’s tag line: “What did you expect in an opera, a happy ending?”

  • nolod1207

    Great list! I loved these growing up.

  • segues

    @redcaboose (57): I hope you got to go to the Hollywood Bowl’s annual Tribute to Warner Bros Cartoons!
    Every year the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra performs the classical music made so familiar to so many through the cartoons. They bring down a huge screen and run the cartoon (silently) and just play the music. It’s always a sold-out show! Of adults! I’d go every year and take my kids, all of whom had grown up on the Warner Bros. cartoons, as had I, with the result that all of us had a hard time at the opera keeping a straight face at times.
    Oh! But what fun!

  • deeeekay

    I’ve always loved the fat horse in “What’s Opera, Doc”

  • damien_karras

    Ha! I found the “Convict Concerto” cartoon I mentioned earlier. Not sure if it qualifies as classical music, but it’s pretty funny and has a great score.

  • archangel

    OMG I loved those cartoons! And definitely, the classical music made them just brilliant, especially with the timing.

  • ringtailroxy

    @deeeekay (96):
    oh my dog! me tooo! i especially like it when the fat horse has a disapproving look as Bugs runs coyly around while he flirts with Elmer…


  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    I was going to be very disapointed if number one was anything else. Brings back memories of the good old fashioned cartoons.

  • BooRadley

    STLMo: Thank you for one of the best times I’ve had on line in a while! I remember watching these as a kid, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching each of them again tonight. I remember my little brother and I were together when we first saw the Bugs Bunny version of the Barber of Seville. We were literally howling with laughter… it’s still a fond memory between us. Thanks for bringing that all back so well today. Bravo!

  • 7raul7

    @86: 7raul7verse .. LOL :-)

    @76: i never said that MY lists were enlightening or educational, i said LV usually features many of such kind.

    Writing a football list is way more difficult than this kiddish, cartoon related lists. For 20 players, you have to choose between nearly a hundred players who all deserve the same respect & recognition. It created controversy because everyone supports different players & has a different choice, just like my choice is to not like this list, but at the same time there are hundreds of others who like this list & are (…) defending it. Also, i never said that such lists are to be banned, only that their frequency of appearance should be decreased.

  • STLMo

    You know, 7raul7, you’re coming off as a childish sourpuss. If you don’t like something on a site, then complain directly to the site owner via his e-mail. MOST of the people who commented on this list enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

  • 7raul7

    okay … i concede defeat … Forgive me, for i have committed a hideous sin. I shalt not ever again complain, im so very f**ckin sorry.

  • oouchan

    @7raul7 (102): I agree with STLMo. Why are you whining? This site caters to many…not just a select group. Please knock off your pointless rantings. I am aware you can have your opinion, but you are carrying it too far here.

    Also, i never said that such lists are to be banned, only that their frequency of appearance should be decreased.

    It’s not your website. If you have suggestions, please bring it directly to Jaime’s attention. Thank you.

  • oouchan

    @7raul7 (104): No need to become defeated. Just stop rambling about how you feel the direction of someone else’s website should be run on a list. Email Jaime directly. It will go to the intended target….and won’t make you one.

  • Guitar Man

    Great list of cartoons. I hope Spongebob OST was included here since technically the music there is really of superior quality.

    Messa Boogie Man is here! Google it now!

  • Mad Professor

    Absolutely fantastic list!!

  • moshmonster

    I LOVE all the ones with Bugs Bunny. His wisecracking nature is the perfect foil for classical music. Baton Bunny is a scream, as is “What’s Opera, Doc?”

  • Looser


  • lsguardado

    @102 &104 LOL

    I remember all of those cartoons, i love it! Good job jfrater!!

  • reviewstew

    Really nice list! Great work putting it together.

    One very nitpicky comment:

    though the “Kill da Wabbit” theme is from Die Valkure, part of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, most of the other music is from another Wagner opera: Die Meistersinger (not in the Ring Cycle)

  • uziman

    If you hadn’t picked “Kill The Wabbit” as your #1, something was gonna get blowed up!

  • bigski

    How does someone think up a list like this ? I know,because when you were little ,on Saturday mornings you were up early glued to the T.V.

    Just like the rest of us.

    Nice list.

    I made straight C`s in Punctuation.

  • bigski

    When I seen the Football list I thought it was American style. Didn`t know but a couple guys on there.

    Dallas Cowboys will be in the next Super Bowl !

    F Pittsburg.

  • Garry Margolis

    Nice list!. One correction: in “Corny Concerto,” Elmer Fudd is doing commentator (and sometime composer) Deems Taylor, not Stokowski. Bugs, with his marcelled ears and long index fingers, is doing Stokowski (aka “Leopold”) in “Long-Haired Hare.”

    Kill da wabbit!

  • Mikey

    Fantastic list!!!

    A lot of these pieces (and how they relate to other cartoons and pop culture) can be found at:

    Kickass Classical

  • Lomedhi

    In The Band Concert, Donald is playing a flute, not a recorder. A recorder is not played transversely.

  • turik

    “Sellenger’s Round” (“The Beginning of the World”) was often used in the Farmer Gray cartoons. Also some other great classical music, which got me started on my classical-music-loving ways, but I could never track it down.

  • gabi319

    @Lomedhi (118):
    Not all flutes are played transversely. For example, there’s the ocarina, the tin whistle, and, yes, the recorder.

    Donald is not playing the transverse flute or recorder but is actually playing the fife.

    To be even more obnoxious, Clara Belle is playing her flute the wrong way until at the very end when it is flipped inside out.

  • gabi319

    @bigski (115):
    I’m with ya, bigski. Not on cowboys, but the ‘f Pitt’ bit. I’m surrounded by way too many of them lately and I don’t even live in Pittsburgh or even close to it!. (plus i’m still a bit bitter about the whole place because of the Pittsburgh penguins)

  • abdulQahhar

    I loved the weird little cartoon with the myna bird that walked out imperturbably no matter what was done around/to/with him. It was 40+ years later that I discovered the soundtrack was the Hebrides Overture from Mendelsohn.

  • Tom

    Bugs Bunny’s Rabbit of Seville is just genius. It’s probably my favourite classic cartoon clip ever.

  • Titanis

    Personally, my favorite bit of Fantasia was the Rite of Spring bit, because FUCK YEAH DINOSAURS.

  • gokarm

    I whole-heartedly agree with the #1, due to the use of one, well-placed word that cracks me up after what must be 1 million viewings. “SMOG!!!!!”

  • Remi Rotthaus

    Thank you for posting this! I enjoyed it very much!

  • schiesl
  • Tina


    Thanks for remembering these very cool cartoons. Do you remember one with Nutcracker music involving little elves doing things along to the music? I want to show my 7 year old and I’m having trouble finding it.


  • choirtime

    does anyone know how I can download the top 10 and burn them onto a dvd. I would like to use these in my general music classroom but I cannot open any utube videos because of the filter.

  • Nick

    It’s like a nostalgia to me to see those wonderful cartoons again. Very good compilation! I love classical music, and I always found it a pity that only few people have found access to classical music and the great joy it can bring to our lives. That’s why I have recently written an article on how to enable “newbies” an easy access to it. I posted it on my blog and would very much appreciate your comments and ideas on how to make it even easier for beginners to get to know classical music.
    A Guide to Enjoy Classical Music
    Would be great to hear from you!
    Thank you,

  • KarenTC

    Thanks for this list. I’m teaching a few students about classical music and this will be a perfect addition to it. For many kids, they will remember the cartoon, the music WITH the composer. Thanks for your work! I’ll be sending this to other teachers and homeschoolers.

  • sam

    Manning’s injury may be more serious than reported. That might lead to more turnovers. The giants have not been playing well lately. Time to put them out of their misery.

  • diamonddave247

    i probably would have never heard all this classical music, as a poor kid who grew up in the 1960’s, had it not been for these cartoons. thanks to everyone involved for bringing the classics to the masses! some of my best childhood memories involved watching cartoons and listening to the music on a saturday morning eating my favorite breakfast cereal! =:o)

  • @diamonddave247 (133): Dave, many of us had that same experience! Now fast forward to your adulthood, and your first visit to the Philharmonic…try, just try, getting through getting “The Barber of Seville” without bursting into laughter (the sound of Elmer Fudd singing “Get da Wabbit,get da Wabbit!” sounding firmly in your brain).
    It can’t be done!
    So many of the cartoons used great classical pieces, that the first time at the Philharmonic, all you can do is suppress the laughter.
    One of my favorite memories from school (my school went from K – 8), was a weekly music program, where classical music was piped into the classrooms, and we had to draw what the music felt like to us…how it made us feel. A wonderful program!

  • rick

    i remember a cartoon of animals building a ship from the keel up all the while being conducted by a mestro(think it was a lion)to a classical piece of music. anyone remember it’s name or where to find it thanks

  • Stephen Treadwell

    If you want great music, watch The Pink Panther or the version of Tom and Jerry where they're friends!

  • marcus dengate

    Erm…re "What's Opera Doc?' shouldn't some (most) of the credit go to Carl Stalling for his genius musical adaptation and arrangement? By the way, Allegro non Troppo is a glaring omission from this list. It probably should be at number one IMHO!

    • I do think it must be pointed out that the first use of classical music in cartoons goes to Max Fleisher (with his brother, Dave), who in 1926 began using classical music as the soundtrack for their Merrie Melodies and Happy Harmonies…I once worked with a couple of Fleisher’s grandkids or great-grandkids. They’d bring 16mm reels in every once in awhile and we’d all watch those beautiful, old cartoons.

  • Name


  • Betsy

    Nice choices. But I’d have put Pigs in a Polka higher on the list. I think of that cartoon every time I hear the Hungarian Dances!

  • Len

    me and brother watched a lot of tom and jerry when we were kids. one of my favorite cartoon shows.

  • Frede

    You missed the best one of all!! Peter and the Wolf

  • vgyixkpqmjo.efoujtu, Eriacta, XwBCbPV.

    Compliments for this post, I am glad I noticed this website on yahoo.

  • Elmer as Siegfried (singing) : “Oh Bwunhida, you’re so wovwey “, Bugs Bunny as Brunhilde (singing) : “Yes I know it, I can’t help it”

    • Sooooooooooo funny!

      As a kid, I was totally addicted to cartoons: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Roadrunner and the like. When I got a bit older, and began to attend Symphony, Opera, and Ballet I could see the cartoon playing in front of me. I had a difficult time not bursting into laughter.

      • To segues : and also on the list is the Bugs Bunny version of Rossini’s “The Barber Of Seville” with, again, Bugs and Elmer. When you listen to it carefully (that is the cartoon) see if you can pick out a small 5 second part of that cartoon containing Felix Mendelssohn’s “The Wedding March” from “A Midsummer’s Night Dream”. The one that I remember the best was when Bugs was sitting next to his rabbit hole and playing all of these different instruments (not all at the same time). In the meantime, right down from Bugs is a very big man with an operatic baritone voice and he is practicing in his mansion and gearing up for a recital. You quickly find out that the opera singer is very upset with Bugs interrupting as he is playing all of these instruments and the opera singer can’t concentrate. Well, the night of this singer’s recital was rearing to go. And Bugs with his quote “of course you know, this means war” goes to the concert hall and is dressed up like the great 20th century conductor Leopold Stowkowski. As he enters, the musicians whisper in an almost synchronization by repeatingly whispering “Leopold”. Bugs (Leopold) has his war face on, takes over the podium, and begins to destruct the singer. I could not stop laughing. And one more is also a Warner Bros. cartoon of these construction workers who are animals (dogs, cats, pigs, monkeys, etc.) and build a skyscaper in synchronization to Franz Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody, No.2. I have been searching in vain for that and I do hope that I find it…..

        • I also want to mention that around the late 1980’s, my father and I had tickets to see “The Barber Of Seville” in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The cartoon is actually the overture to the opera and the name of the cartoon is “The Rabbit Of Seville”. So when the overture began playing, I did everything that I could to stop laughing or else, I probably would have been kicked out

          • Every year the Hollywood Bowl has a Cartoon Night. The orchestra plays the music live while the various cartoons are screened on huge screens. The audience is usually in tears they are laughing so hard.

            When I was first at Uni, the theater building had a large auditorium. For a few weeks every year the music majors, at a certain level of study, would get to play at the direction of the current conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The practice sessions weren’t open to the public but was open to Music, Theater, and Art majors. I never missed those practice sessions, even though it was all I could do not to laugh when they played “cartoon music”!

          • peter, you’re welcome.

            I got my first computer 28 years ago!

            I have seen the Pink Floyd vid. It’s funny. It’s amazing. Thanks for reminding me about it.

        • Sorry, that one’s just Bugs conducting.

          Here is construction workers!!!

          • To segues : I am in absolute and in total amazement that you found the cartoon with the animals building the skyscrapers in synch with Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 as its entitled “Rhapsody In Rivets” so quickly. I have owned my computer for 3 years now I had not even come close to finding it. I just watched it as I clicked on to your http information. I cannot even begin to Thank You ever so much for finding it as I have written down the title of the cartoon, but also the http connection to it on my notepad. You should be working for Encyclopedia Brittanica or the World Book Encyclopedia as far as I am concerned. My day is now complete as well as my week and my year. Have you ever attempted “The Wizard Of Oz “/ Pink Floyd “Dark Side Of The Moon” synchronization thing. If you haven’t you can find it again……on You Tube. What I find to be an anecdote is that the drummer for Pink Floyd in an interview with him, swears that he has never even seen the movie which I find hard to believe, but anyhow, Thank You ever so much !!!

  • Sondarue

    I am trying to find the name of a classical piece used in cartoons…and it is probably Bugs Bunny…damn Warner Brothers for making this more difficult to track!!

  • Hello Sondarue. Bugs Bunny Cartoons and classical music. Go on to You Tube and try the following. 1 ).”The Rabbit Of Seville” with Bugs and Elmer which is a parody of Rossini’s “The Barber Of Seville”, 2 ). “Whats Opera Doc” which is the all too famous parody (also with Bugs and Elmer) of Wagner’s “Ring Of The Nibelung”, 3 ). “Rhapsody in Rivets” which is a number of construction workers (animals of course) building a skyscraper in synchronization to Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody, No.2” and try “Corny Concerto” which is somewhat of a Warner Bros. spoof on the original Disney’s “Fantasia”. In “Fantasia” you have the great Leopold Stowkoski as conductor, where in “Corny Concerto” its once again Elmer. Have fun and good lick. Yes, I am a 49 year old Bugs Bunny fan, and love it !! You will notice that 3 of the 4 that I have mentioned are on this list. Maybe you can come up with some more specifics and I may be able to help you.

  • Bob

    Fantasia is Number 1 because of Stokowski

  • Neeraj

    Thank you so much for this! its amazing! brought back childhood memories!

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  • omalee mckeever

    My husband and I were once looking for a copy of Wagner in a very stuffy highbrow classical music store. BUT we could not for the life of us remember the name so we began singing “I shot the wabbit…” After a line or so the clerk joined in. After we finished we were amused to realize 3 or 4 business men, dressed in expensive suits and bearing all the tools of the trade (Lawyers perhaps) had sung with us too. Everyone left the store smiling and singing or whistling. And, we got the cassette. (It was a while ago

  • petet2112

    @ omalee mckeever. The Warner Brother Cartoon that you are seeking can be found right on YOU TUBE. Its entitled “What’s Opera Doc” where Elmer as Siegfried yells “Kill da Wabbit, Kill da Wabbit” and has a comcbinatiopn of four different Operas of Wagner : “Tannhauser”, “Die Walkure” “Lohengrin” and “Gotterdamerung”. Another one with both Elmer and Bugs is entitled “The Rabbit Of Seville” which of course is a complete parody of Rossini’s “The Barber Of Seville” and the other won you should watch is entitled “Rhapsody In Rivets” which is an older cartoon of these animals as construction workers who build a skyscraper in rhythm to Franz Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody, No.2”

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