The Opera in cartoons
Among the many partnerships that the Opera and the entertainment business have there is one in particular which is dedicated to children. Just a few know that Opera has been cited on several occasions in the cartoons. It 'appeared, for example, in two episodes of the Looney Tunes. The famous Bugs Bunny, in fact, was involved in two shorts related to the subject!
The first short film, directed by Chuck Jones, was released in theaters in 1950. Rabbit of Seville starring Bugs and his friend Elmer whom, during their chase, end up entering into an amphitheater where is being presented The Barber of Seville. Between one gag and the other they end up to perform the entire opera by Gioacchino Rossini. Obviously Figaro is played by the hilarious rabbit.
The two friends are the protagonists of another short film released in 1957, also directed by Chuck Jones. This time in the “What's Opera, Doc?“ the two Looney Tunes borrow the works of the German composer Richard Wagner: The Ring of the Nibelung, The Flying Dutchman and Tannhäuser. Of course the central theme of the cartoon is always the chase between the two friends!
It is not only Warner Bros who embraced and adapted the opera for young audiences. There are two animated feature films that are inspired by two great opera masterpieces. The first is Aida of the Trees, freely inspired on Aida by Giuseppe Verdi. Quite rightly, being aimed at a young audience, the producers chose to give a happy ending to their story. However, it is really appreciable that, apart from the ending, the plot of this film does not differ that much from the Opera of the Master Verdi.
The second film is instead inspired by The Magic Flute, opera by Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Here the plot, however, compared to Aida of the trees, deviates more from the story from which it originates. In fact we can see that the cartoon, rather than reflect the work of Mozart, is inspired more by two famous Disney movies: Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. A sigh of relief in any case we can pull! The names of the characters and the air of the Queen of the Night were not changed.
Regardless of the loyalty of the plot, choose to animate an Opera is definitely a big step forward to start the little ones to the genre. Surely the children will remember the cartoons that have made them dream and will be curious and well predisposed to go and see from what they were inspired. Because children need to dream and the Opera can remind them of this magic!