Western Animation / A Corny Concerto


"A Corny Concerto" (pronounced "Con-Shir-To") is a Merrie Melodies short from 1943, directed by Bob Clampett, with the story by Frank Tashlin.

The short is a parody of Walt Disney's Fantasia, keeping the musical aspect fully intact, but throws Fantasia's highbrow attitude right out the window in favor of slapstick and hilarious sight gags (as well as throwing in sound effects and Voice Grunting). The short is split into two segments, both based on two classic waltzes by Johann Strauss Jr; "Tales from the Vienna Woods", which is centered on one of the very few times Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig have shared screentime, and "Blue Danube", which is a retelling of "The Ugly Duckling" with Daffy Duck (or a baby version of him at any rate).

This short is in the public domain (in fact, if you were a child of the 1980s and 1990s and had a VCR and a family who loved to watch videos, then you may have seen this short on a lot of gray market, public domain videos) and can be viewed here.

Tropes Used By This Short:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of Fantasia.
    • Also of the Silly Symphonies, in particular the "Blue Danube" sequence, basically a retelling of the Ugly Duckling tale, which had been done twice by Disney in his series. And the name of the cartoon is clearly a take-off on the name of Disney's cartoon series.
  • Children in Tow: A mother swan and her cygnets in the "Blue Danube" segment.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: The titular Ugly Duckling.
  • Digital Destruction: The print used on Golden Collection Vol. 2 used digital interlacing, which caused a lot of frame ghosting on it. The print used in Vol. 4 via the "Bugs Bunny Superstar" documentary uses a much better print, however.
  • Disney Death: Bugs in "Vienna Woods".
  • Faking the Dead: Bugs does this.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Conductor Elmer's dickey, which keeps rising against his will.
  • Green Around the Gills: Bugs after he's supposedly shot.
  • Mickey Mousing
  • Mortal Wound Reveal: Porky and his Dog discover they're fine; Bugs fakes having a mortal wound.
  • Most Annoying Sound: In-Universe, the swans consider the Ugly Duckling to be this.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Porky, in the usual role of Elmer Fudd, mourns Bugs after Bugs has apparently been shot by an angry chipmunk. (Though Porky didn't actually fire the bullet, he'd been hunting Bugs to begin with.)
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Two waltzes by Johann Strauss Jr, and the opening title is an excerpt from Tchaikovsky's "Piano Concerto No. 1".
  • Shout-Out: Elmer refers to the 1935 song "The Music Goes Round and Round."
  • Something Else Also Rises: Elmer's dickey.
  • Talking with Signs: Porky holds up a sign to the audience telling them that he's "hunting that @!#! rabbit", and his dog holds up a sign reading "ditto".
    • Bugs also holds up a book on etiquette telling the dog it "ain't polite to point".
  • Through a Face Full of Fur: Bugs' face turns green (pictured above) after he's been 'shot'.
    • In the "Blue Danube" segment, rather through a feathery face, the frightened buzzard turns yellow when he realizes he's about to be done for and flees as the black duckling (possibly Daffy) comes chasing after him.
  • Stealth Pun: Elmer's rising dickey.
  • Swans A-Swimming
  • Toothy Bird
  • Voice Grunting: The segments don't exactly follow Fantasia's presentation, y'know...
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Bugs, who is wearing a brassiere.
  • Winged Soul Flies Off at Death: The buzzard. Though due to Rule of Funny, he flies not with his wings (which are busy playing a harp), but with a balloon attached to his rear end.