One of my earliest exposures to classical music was the Bugs Bunny cartoon “What’s Opera, Doc?” Does this get played anywhere, anymore? Do kids today get to see this? Shoot, two generations of kids grew up knowing the theme from Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” because we all heard Elmer Fudd singing it here as “Kill the Wabbit!”
Wikipedia’s article on this one is really good; it gives all the original operatic influences that are lampooned in the animated short, and lauds it superlatively:
Originally released to theaters by Warner Bros. on July 6, 1957, What’s Opera, Doc? features the speaking and singing voices of Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan as Bugs and Elmer respectively. In 1994, What’s Opera, Doc? was voted #1 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by 1000 members of the animation field….
In 1992, it became the first cartoon short to be deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress, and thus was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.