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Western Animation / Rhapsody in Rivets

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Rhapsody in Rivets is a 1941 Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Friz Freleng.

This cartoon does not feature Bugs, Daffy, or any of the other Looney Tunes regulars. Instead, it shows a bunch of anthropomorphic animals on a construction crew. The foreman comes out of his hut, rolls out the blueprints, and proceeds to conduct the construction crew as a symphony orchestra. The crew then builds a skyscraper in sync with "Hungarian Rhapsody #2" by Franz Liszt, with hammers, steam shovels, and other construction tools serving as instruments.

"Hungarian Rhapsody #2" became a Standard Snippet in cartoons, also appearing in Rhapsody Rabbit and The Cat Concerto with Tom and Jerry, along with many others. (The first known use of this piece was in a Mickey Mouse cartoon from 1929.)



  • Alliterative Title: Rhapsody in Rivets
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: At one point, we see two big guys with tiny hammers and a little guy with a big hammer. Later, a different big guy with a big hammer and a different little guy with a tiny hammer.
  • Brick Joke: Literally. The little guy with the hammer slams the door shut. The building begins to crack and shake, and then collapses into a pile of rubble. The foreman and the little guy pop up out of the wreckage. The foreman is about to throttle the little guy when three bricks fall from the sky and conk him on the head, in time with the last three notes of the piece.
  • Cartoon Conductor: The foreman conducts his crew, with all the standard dramatic gestures of a cartoon conductor.
  • Construction Is Awesome: Is there a cloud in the way as your building is rising? Detour around it!
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  • Construction Zone Calamity: All the wacky misadventures of the construction crew making the skyscraper end with the whole building collapsing after a worker shuts the front door. Maybe timing one's construction work to a concerto is a bad idea.
  • Funny Octopus: One of the construction workers was an octopus who was laying down some quick brickwork thanks to his multiple tentacles.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: No dialogue.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction: A skyscraper is built in the time it takes to play Liszt's ''Hungarian Rhapsody #2". By the end of the cartoon, the pace seems to be about five floors a second.