Little Hiawatha

Last updated

Little Hiawatha
Little Hiawatha (Disney film).jpg
Theatrical re-release poster
Directed by David Hand
Produced by Walt Disney
StarringSally Noble, Mary Rosetti, Millie Walters [1]
Narrated by Gayne Whitman
Music by Albert Hay Malotte
Animation by Dick Huemer
Charles Thorson
Ollie Johnston
Fred Moore
Frank Thomas
Color process Technicolor
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • May 15, 1937 (1937-05-15)(U.S.)
CountryUnited States

Little Hiawatha (also called Hiawatha) is a 1937 animated cartoon produced by Walt Disney Productions, inspired by the poem The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It does not appear to have historical correlation to legendary Mohawk leader and peacemaker Hiawatha. It is the last Silly Symphonies short to be released by United Artists. [1]



Over opening narration, a Native American boy named Little Hiawatha is seen paddling his canoe down a river – at one point backwards – on his way to hunt game. Upon reaching land, he steps out and immediately falls down a hidden hole in the water, bringing about the laughter of the animals in the forest. Hiawatha gives chase to them – with his pants often falling down as the cartoon's running gag.

Hiawatha pursues a grasshopper, but is foiled when it spits in his face, much to the amusement of the other animals. He chases them again and manages to corner a baby rabbit on a tree stump; he finds, however, that he cannot bring himself to kill it, especially when it repeatedly gives him sad glances, and even after he arms it with a spare bow and arrow. Frustrated, he shoos it back to its family and then breaks his bow and arrow, to the animals' great delight.

Shortly afterwards, Hiawatha comes across a set of bear tracks, which leads him to a face-to-face encounter with a bear cub. He chases after it, but runs into the cub's protective mother, who aggressively chases him through the forest. In gratitude for Hiawatha sparing their lives, the other animals band together to keep him out of the bear's clutches, including raccoons using a vine to trip the bear, opossums flinging Hiawatha through the air, and beavers cutting down trees in the bear's path, among other things. Finally returned safely to his canoe, Hiawatha rows off into the sunset as the animals gather together and bid him farewell.


The Silly Symphony Sunday comic strip featured an adaptation of Little Hiawatha for eight months, from November 10, 1940, to July 12, 1942, based on drawings from Charlie Thorson. [2] [3]

The character moved to comic book stories in 1943. First, he appeared as a secondary character (named "Little Bear") in a story featuring Flower in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories No. 30 (March 1943). [4] This was followed a year later with an 8-page story headlined by Little Minnehaha (Hiawatha's best friend) in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories No. 43 (April 1944). [5] Two more "Little Minnehaha" stories were printed in 1944, followed by appearances in the Vacation Parade specials in 1950 and 1951. Little Hiawatha returned as a regular feature in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories starting with issue No. 143 (August 1952), [6] and by the end of the year, he got his own one-shot comic: Four Color No. 439 (December 1952). [7]

In Europe, locally drawn Hiawatha comics ran in the local Donald Duck comic magazines well into the 21st century. [8]

Home media

The short was released on the 2000 DVD release of Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World and again on December 19, 2006, on Walt Disney Treasures: More Silly Symphonies, Volume Two . [1]

It was released on Blu-ray in 2012 on Pocahontas .

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pluto (Disney)</span> Disney cartoon character

Pluto is a cartoon character created by The Walt Disney Company. He is a yellow-orange color, medium-sized, short-haired dog with black ears. Unlike most Disney characters, Pluto is not anthropomorphic beyond some characteristics such as facial expression. He is Mickey's pet. Officially a mixed-breed dog, he made his debut as a bloodhound in the Mickey Mouse cartoon The Chain Gang. Together with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and Goofy, Pluto is one of the "Sensational Six"—the biggest stars in the Disney universe. Though all six are non-human animals, Pluto alone is not dressed as a human.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Al Taliaferro</span> American comics artist

Charles Alfred Taliaferro, known simply as Al Taliaferro, was an American Disney comics artist who produced Disney comic strips for King Features Syndicate. Taliaferro is best known for his work on the Donald Duck comic strip. Many of his strips were written by Bob Karp.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ted Osborne</span> Creator of Walt Disney Cartoon Characters

Theodore H. Osborne was an American writer of comics, radio shows and animated films, remembered for his contributions to the creation and refinement, during the 1930s, of Walt Disney cartoon characters.

<i>Silly Symphony</i> Series of animated short films produced by Walt Disney Productions from 1929 to 1939

Silly Symphony is an American animated series of 75 musical short films produced by Walt Disney Productions from 1929 to 1939. As the series name implies, the Silly Symphonies were originally intended as whimsical accompaniments to pieces of music. As such, the films usually had independent continuity and did not feature continuing characters, unlike the Mickey Mouse shorts produced by Disney at the same time. The series is notable for its innovation with Technicolor and the multiplane motion picture camera, as well as its introduction of the character Donald Duck making his first appearance in the Silly Symphony cartoon The Wise Little Hen in 1934. Seven shorts won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

Disney comics are comic books and comic strips featuring characters created by the Walt Disney Company, including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sniffles (Merrie Melodies)</span> Warner Bros. theatrical cartoon character

Sniffles is an animated cartoon and comic-book mouse character in the Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes series of cartoons and comics.

Bucky Bug is a beetle who appears in Disney comics. He first appeared in the Silly Symphony Sunday comic strip, and later appeared as a regular feature in the comic book Walt Disney's Comics and Stories.

Paul Murry was an American cartoonist and comics artist. He is best known for his Disney comics, which appeared in Dell Comics and Gold Key Comics from 1946 to 1984, particularly the Mickey Mouse and Goofy three-part adventure stories in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories.

<i>Walt Disney Treasures</i> Limited Edition 2-disc DVD Collection

Walt Disney Treasures is a series of two-disc DVD collections of Disney cartoons, television episodes and other material. They cover material from the studio's earliest days to its more recent work. There were nine waves, each containing two to four sets, for a total of 30 titles. All content is presented uncensored and uncut with digitally restored picture and remastered sound.

<i>Three Little Pigs</i> (film) 1933 short animated film directed by Burt Gillett

Three Little Pigs is an animated short film released on May 25, 1933 by United Artists, produced by Walt Disney and directed by Burt Gillett. Based on the fable of the same name, the Silly Symphony won the 1934 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film of 1933. The short cost $22,000 and grossed $250,000.

Scamp is a canine Disney comics character, the son of Lady and Tramp, all of whom appear in the 1955 animated movie Lady and the Tramp. Scamp is featured in comic strips and comic books of his own since the 1950s. In the final scene of the film, the dogs have a litter of puppies, including three girl pups who look like Lady, and a mischievous, restless boy pup who resembles Tramp. The puppies are unnamed in the film and only appear in one scene, but the little boy puppy made an impression, and King Features Syndicate launched a comic strip a few months after the film's release.

Winnie the Pooh is a 1978-1988 daily comic strip based on the Winnie-the-Pooh characters created by A.A. Milne in his 1920s books. The strip ran from June 19, 1978, until April 2, 1988. This is one of many Disney comic strips that have run in newspapers since 1930.

Riley A. Thomson Jr. was an American animator and comics artist who spent most of his career working with Walt Disney films and characters. He directed six Disney short films including The Nifty Nineties and Symphony Hour.

<i>Bugs in Love</i> 1932 film

Bugs in Love is a Silly Symphonies animated Disney short film. It was released in 1932, and was the final Symphony to be shot with black-and-white film.

<i>Farmyard Symphony</i> 1938 American film

Farmyard Symphony is a 1938 Silly Symphonies animated short film. It can be seen as a precursor to Fantasia due to using various pieces of classical music in one short. The film was directed by Jack Cutting and produced by Walt Disney.

<i>Silly Symphonies: The Complete Disney Classics</i>

Silly Symphonies: The Complete Disney Classics is a book series which reprints Walt Disney's Silly Symphony Sunday comic strip, drawn by several different Disney artists from 1932 to 1945. The strip was published by King Features Syndicate. The strip often introduced new Disney characters to the public, including its first comic character, Bucky Bug. The series was published by The Library of American Comics from 2016 to 2019.

Donald Duck is an American comic strip by the Walt Disney Company starring Donald Duck, distributed by King Features Syndicate. The first daily Donald Duck strip debuted in American newspapers on February 7, 1938. On December 10, 1939, the strip expanded to a Sunday page as well. Writer Bob Karp and artist Al Taliaferro worked together on the strip for more than 30 years. The strip ended in May 1995.

<i>Mickey Mouse Magazine</i> 1935-1940 American Disney comics magazine

Mickey Mouse Magazine is an American Disney comics publication that preceded the popular 1940 anthology comic book Walt Disney's Comics and Stories. There were three versions of the title – two promotional giveaway magazines published from 1933 to 1935, and a newsstand magazine published from 1935 to 1940. The publication gradually evolved from a 16-page booklet of illustrated text stories and single-page comic panels into a 64-page comic book featuring reprints of the Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck comic strips.

Silly Symphony, initially titled Silly Symphonies, is a weekly Disney comic strip that debuted on January 10, 1932 as a topper for the Mickey Mouse strip's Sunday page. The strip featured adaptations of Walt Disney's popular short film series, Silly Symphony, which released 75 cartoons from 1929 to 1939, as well as other cartoons and animated films. The comic strip outlived its parent series by six years, ending on October 7, 1945.

Uncle Remus and His Tales of Br'er Rabbit is an American Disney comic strip that ran on Sundays from October 14, 1945, to December 31, 1972. It first appeared as a topper strip for the Mickey Mouse Sunday page, but after the first few years, almost always appeared on its own. The strip replaced the 1932-1945 Silly Symphony strip, which had spent its final year on gag strips featuring Panchito from The Three Caballeros.


  1. 1 2 3 Merritt, Russell; Kaufman, J. B. (2016). Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies: A Companion to the Classic Cartoon Series (2nd ed.). Glendale, CA: Disney Editions. pp. 190–191. ISBN   978-1-4847-5132-9.
  2. Walz, Eugene (1998). Cartoon Charlie: The Life and Art of Animation Pioneer Charles Thorson . Great Plains Publications. pp.  26. ISBN   0-9697804-9-4.
  3. Holtz, Allan (2012). American Newspaper Comics: An Encyclopedic Reference Guide. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. p. 351. ISBN   9780472117567.
  4. "Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #30". Inducks . Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  5. "Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #43". Inducks . Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  6. "Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #143". Inducks . Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  7. "Little Hiawatha – One Shots #439". Inducks . Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  8. "Hiawatha" (in Dutch). Retrieved October 26, 2021.