High Note
Directed byChuck Jones
Story byMichael Maltese
Produced byJohn Burton Sr.
StarringMel Blanc
Edited byTreg Brown[1]
Music byMilt Franklyn
Animation byKen Harris
Richard Thompson
Layouts byMaurice Noble
Backgrounds byWilliam Butler
Philip DeGuard
Color processTechnicolor
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
December 3, 1960
Running time
6:31 minutes

High Note is a 1960 American animated short film directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese.[2] It was originally released by Warner Bros. Pictures on December 3, 1960 as part of the Looney Tunes series.[3] It features no dialogue, relying solely on the animation and music to carry the plot. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Film (Cartoon) in 1961, losing to Gene Deitch's Munro.[2]


Various musical notes set up sheet music in preparation for a performance of "The Blue Danube." As the music begins, however, it becomes apparent that a note is missing. The note (a red-faced "High Note") is revealed to be drunk, staggering out of the "Little Brown Jug" sheet music.

The irritated music-note conductor chases the intoxicated note, intending to put him back in his place so the waltz can properly continue. Throughout the pursuit, many objects are created from the simple musical notes: a dog, a slide, a clothes hanger, a lasso, horses, and more. Eventually, the rogue note is put back into place, but is again missing when the performance starts over. This time, though, the balance of the remaining music is also gone. The conductor discovers that all the notes have gone into the "Little Brown Jug" to get drunk. The original High Note, who is in Irving Berlin's "How Dry I Am," replaces the "I" with "We."



Animation historian Jerry Beck writes, "In today's world, where vintage cartoons are typically mistaken for children's fare, masterpieces like High Note set the record straight — with a healthy dose of classically adult booze humor."[4]

Home media

This short is featured as part of the Looney Tunes: Musical Masterpieces DVD, as well as Disc 2 of the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume 3 set.

See also


  1. ^ a b "High Note". BCDB.com. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Beck, Jerry; Friedwald, Will (1989). Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Henry Holt and Co. p. 328. ISBN 0-8050-0894-2.
  3. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 100–102. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  4. ^ Beck, Jerry, ed. (2020). The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes Cartoons. Insight Editions. p. 97. ISBN 978-1-64722-137-9.