Stokowski, Leopold

Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 22, 2004

    One of the greatest and most controversial symphonic conductors of the 20th century, his flowing mane of hair and unique style -- he disdained batons -- made him easily recognizable and a popular target of caricature. Bugs Bunny’s turn as Leopold in Long Haired Hare (Jones, 1949) captures many of these mannerisms, including the baton-less conducting style. Compare Bugs’ performance with that of Leopold himself in Fantasia, and you can see the similarities.

    Caricatures of Stokowski appear in Speaking of the Weather (Tashlin, 1938) on the cover of The Etude, and briefly skatting in an Eastern European accent. In Hollywood Steps Out (Avery, 1941) he is shown conducting a conga in a hairnet, and in Slick Hare (Freleng, 1947) he is shown conducting his Chifava Five: a jukebox. He is also caricatured as “Leopold Bowwowski”, a rather elegant looking poodle, in Hollywood Canine Canteen (McKimson, 1946).

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