"Corny-gie Hall" is the setting for the stately appearance of a distinguished musicologist. Piotr Tchaikovsky's "Piano Concerto No. 1" is heard over the opening credits. The "eminent personality" here is Elmer Fudd. "Wisten to the wippwing wefwain of the woodwind, as it wolls awound and awound, and it comes out here..." Elmer is unable to control his dicky, which keeps rolling up in the manner of a window shade into his face while he tries to introduce the "Vienna Woods" segment, and he ultimately tears it off.
Tales from the Vienna Woods
In tune with the rhythm of Strauss' waltz, Porky Pig and his unnamed hunting dog are in the woods, as Porky holds up the sign "I'm hunting that @!!*@ rabbit!!" and the dog holds a sign of his own which simply states "DITTO". Bugs Bunny, dancing to the beat of the music, outwits both Porky and his dog. As the dog points to Bugs' hiding hole, a sign stating "It ain't polite to point!" emerges from the hole along with Bugs' hands holding a book of etiquette, which he slams shut on the spherical nose at the tip of the dog's snout. Bugs then emerges from his hole, standing on a theater-style elevated platform, pirouettes out like a ballerina, dance-kicks the dog in the face and ties his tail to a tree, making the dog spring back and crash into the flimsy stump, breaking it.
Porky and the dog hide in a bush, only to find Bugs already there. Bugs confuses the duo and makes the dog jump in the bush, then runs out and pretends to be the dog, pointing to the bush. The dog pops out just before Porky pulls the trigger, followed by Bugs' grabbing the shotgun and throwing it into a tree's knothole, where a squirrel, irked by the entry of the object into his abode, fires the weapon. The impact of the gunshot causes each main character to assume his own fatal wounding. As Porky and the dog examine themselves and find no bullet mark, Bugs, appearing to be mortally hit, falls to the ground. Porky and the dog start mourning him, with Porky trying to undo Bugs' fingers around his chest. However, once he does so, Bugs is revealed to have a bra underneath! Emitting a scream of feminine modesty, he rises as a ballerina wearing a tutu and pointe shoes, slapping Porky's face three times, ties them to each other with the bra, and pirouettes into the distance, leaving his two antagonists with puzzled and dismayed expressions on their faces.
Returning for the introduction of the slightly-longer "Blue Danube" segment, Elmer's trousers fall down and elicit a final giggle of embarrassment.
The Blue Danube
Swimming down a river, The Ugly Duckling, is perfectly timed to the strains of the Strauss waltz. A mother swan is gliding with her brood, when a small black duck tries to join them. The mother shoos him away, and and he swims away with a big red handprint on his backside. When the lonesome little duckling tries again, using his underwater bubble tactic, the mother becomes angry at the little pest, now floating encased in a big bubble, and slaps him back to the water.
A large buzzard in "hep cat" hairdo spots the troupe using his eyes which can extend like binoculars. Salivating in anticipation of a meal, he sprinkles salt and pepper on one of the little swans, but the powdery substance makes the cygnet sneeze. Then, one by one, the buzzard picks off the baby swans, one propelled by a tiny outboard motor. He also picks up the little black duck, but immediately puts him back, stamping the apparently unpalatable creature with a 4F label for "unfit for duty". The mother swan turns around and, seeing her charges gone, panics, looks all over and even lifts the little duckling and peers underneath him, and then falls into a faint. The duckling sees the buzzard taking the cygnets away, and becomes enraged. Briefly shown morphed into a representation of the P-40 Warhawk fighter, he chases the buzzard, who flies past a clasp of trees which suddenly become alive as they react to the passing object. The buzzard sees the enraged duckling chasing him in the manner of a fighter plane and literally turns yellow, dropping the baby swans, each of whom opens a little parachute on the way down, allowing them to drop safely. The duckling continues chasing the buzzard and, as the buzzard is knocked out, hands him a drum of TNT and drops him from the sky. The big boom explodes the buzzard, who then strums on a harp while floating upwards, held aloft by a balloon tied to his tail.
The heroic black duckling, savior of the family, is now part of the mother swan's brood, "quacking" along to the beat rhythm of the waltz's finale, with only his own little water-borne reflection having a hard time keeping up with the rest of them and banging into a tree.
- (1977) Beta - Fantasia (Bootleg)
- A parody of Disney's 1940 feature Fantasia, the film uses two of Johann Strauss II's best known waltzes, "Tales from the Vienna Woods" and "The Blue Danube", adapted by the cartoon unit's music director, Carl Stalling and orchestrated by its arranger and later, Stalling's successor, Milt Franklyn.
- Long considered a classic for its sly humor and impeccable timing with the music, it was voted #47 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field in 1994.
- The title, in tune with the name of the unit's other cartoon series, Looney Tunes, suggests another Disney titling parody, that of the pioneering series Silly Symphonies. Some prints of the cartoon consider it a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
- This cartoon was a milestone as it was the first Warner Bros. cartoon ever to feature more than two of their major characters in starring roles (though not all appeared on screen at the same time); not counting "I Haven't Got a Hat", which was the debut for a number of characters. Elmer Fudd appears as the musicologist/composer (as Deems Taylor was in Fantasia) introducing each segment. The first segment, "Tales from the Vienna Woods", stars Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig, the former as the prey and the latter as the hunter. In addition, a number of people consider the main character in the second segment, "The Blue Danube", to be a young Daffy Duck.
- This was the only cartoon in the "classic" era to feature Bugs and Porky starring together. Two other cartoons have one making a cameo in the other's cartoon: "Porky Pig's Feat" features Bugs in a cameo as another patron locked in the hotel Daffy and Porky stayed at, and the 1964 version of "Dumb Patrol" (with Bugs and Yosemite Sam) has Porky in a cameo as a World War I soldier. Also, in 1938's "Porky's Hare Hunt", Porky hunts a Bugs Bunny prototype.
- Several other cartoons made by WB would follow the casting formula that debuted in this cartoon. Among these cartoons are 1947's "Crowing Pains" (which stars Foghorn Leghorn, the Barnyard Dawg, Sylvester, and Henery Hawk), 1950's "The Scarlet Pumpernickel" (starring Daffy, Elmer, Porky, and Sylvester, among others), 1965's "The Wild Chase" (starring Sylvester, Speedy Gonzales, and Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner), a series of cartoons from 1951-53 featuring both Bugs and Daffy as potential game for Elmer, AKA the "Hunter's Trilogy" and "Duck Season/Rabbit Season Trilogy" (consisting of "Rabbit Fire", "Rabbit Seasoning", and "Duck! Rabbit, Duck!"), and 1995's "Carrotblanca" (starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, Tweety, Yosemite Sam, Pepe Le Pew and Penelope Pussycat).
- This cartoon would be used in the documentary Bugs Bunny: Superstar. In the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 4 release, this short was played mistakenly with "A Wild Hare" 1944 reissue opening title card.
- The USA Turner "dubbed version" replaces the original end music with the 1938-41 ending cue. The European dubbed print, however, does not have this edit.
- Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig don't speak in this short.
- With the exception of the two commentary segments featuring Elmer Fudd at the beginning and middle of the cartoon, there is no dialogue.
- This cartoon entered the Public Domain in 1971 after United Artists failed to renew its copyright in time.
- The scream Bugs makes when his female clothes are revealed is recycled from the 1933 WB film Mystery of the Wax Museum. The scream was recorded by that film's leading lady, Fay Wray.
- Some public domain AAP prints replace the original series title card with the rings and Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodies title card from "A Day at the Zoo"; the opening rendition of "Merrily We Roll Along" is also cut short on such prints.
- This cartoon does not use the "Reclining Bugs" special intro despite Bugs Bunny being in it.