Three Little Bops

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Three Little Bops
3LittleBops-TC.png
Title card
Directed by Friz Freleng
Produced by Eddie Selzer
Story by Warren Foster
Starring Stan Freberg
Music by Shorty Rogers
Edited by Treg Brown
Animation by Gerry Chiniquy
Bob Matz
Harry Love
Layouts by Hawley Pratt
Backgrounds by Irv Wyner
Color process Technicolor
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date
  • January 5, 1957 (1957-01-05)
Running time
6:43
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Three Little Bops is a 1957 American animated comedy short film directed by Friz Freleng and written by Warren Foster. [1] A takeoff on The Three Little Pigs told as a hip, jazzy musical, the short features the voice of Stan Freberg, with music provided by jazz composer/trumpeter Shorty Rogers. [2] It was released by Warner Bros. Pictures on January 5, 1957 as part of the Looney Tunes series. [3]

Contents

Plot

The short opens with a display of the book that shows the Three Little Pigs who used to play pipes and dance jigs. The short then focuses to the present day and reveals the pigs now play modern instruments and perform as The Three Little Bops.

During a gig at the House of Straw, the Big Bad Wolf appears and proves he is friendly by stating that he wants to join the band. The Wolf happens to be terrible at playing his choice instrument (a trumpet) so the pigs throw him out. Feeling insulted, the Wolf retaliates by blowing down the straw house using his trumpet, forcing the pigs to go to the Dew Drop Inn, the House of Sticks.

Things go well (including the piano playing pig doing an imitation of Liberace's "I wish my brother George was here"), until the Wolf comes in and attempts to play his trumpet again. Like the pigs, the people watching also think the wolf's playing is corny, so they call for the pigs to "throw the square out", which they do. Again, the Wolf retaliates by blowing down the Dew Drop Inn. The pigs then realize that to escape the Wolf's "windy tricks," they will go to the House of Bricks (built on May 1, 1776, according to a cornerstone).

The House of Bricks has a "No Wolves Allowed" rule, so when the Wolf tries to get in, he is punched in the face by a bouncer. Then he tries to ram the door down with a log but with no success. The Wolf runs out of breath in trying to blow away the club, but thinks he can get in by disguising himself. He reenters in fur coat and ukulele with his perfect rendition of the Charleston song (cut short by slipping on a strategically thrown banana peel). He returns in the disguise of a houseplant with his trumpet but gets blasted outside by a plunger shot from the double bass. For his third try, the Wolf shows up in a drum major outfit playing a big bass drum to the tune of "Don't Give Up the Ship". A dart is shot into the drum to deflate it, leaving him to exit in humiliation before the pigs shut and lock the door to ensure he can't get in again.

Not the least bit deterred, he shows up with a large cylinder of TNT and snaps, "I'll show those pigs that I'm not stuck! If I can't blow it down, I'll blow it up!" The fuse is blown out on his first try, so he steps back a bit and lights it from there. Unfortunately for him, he is too far away and his weapon explodes while he is carrying it to his target, killing the Big Bad Wolf.

The narrator reveals that the explosion did not send the Wolf to Heaven but down to " the other place ", where his trumpet playing improves. When the pigs hear this, one of them says, "The Big Bad Wolf, he learned the rule: you gotta get hot to play real cool!" The Wolf's spirit then rises up through the floor and, now playing expertly, joins in for the final notes prompting one of the pigs to alter their band's name to "The Three Little Bops Plus One".

Credits

Instrument credits are believed to be: [4]

This is one of few Warner Brothers cartoons to not feature Mel Blanc doing voice characterizations during the period of Blanc's exclusive contract with the studio. It is also one of only three from that period that gives a voice credit to anyone other than Blanc (the others were The Mouse that Jack Built , which credits the cast of The Jack Benny Program , of which Blanc was a cast member and thus was credited accordingly, and The Unmentionables , which credits Blanc and Ralph James). Even though Freberg contributed voices to many other Warner Brothers cartoons during this time, none of the others were credited. It is also one of the few Looney Tunes shorts not to use the "That's all, Folks" endline.

Reception

Professor of musicology Daniel Goldmark writes, "Three Little Bops is a return to the swinging sounds that once dominated the Warner Bros. cartoons. Los Angeles boasted a thriving jazz scene in the 1950s, so not only was the studio able to feature trumpeter Shorty Rogers, it also made great use of comedian (and voice artist) Stan Freberg as the cartoon's hep narrator. The entire cartoon is told in scatlike rhyme, and the pigs really play some smokin' jazz — as does the wolf once he finally gets 'hot' down in hell." [5]

Home media

Later appearances

See also

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References

  1. Schneider, Steve (1988). That's All, Folks! : The Art of Warner Bros. Animation. Henry Holt and Co. pp. 123–124. ISBN   0-8050-0889-6.
  2. Beck, Jerry; Friedwald, Will (1989). Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Henry Holt and Co. p. 294. 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 June 6, 2020.
  4. Three Little Bops + Two Peppers at JazzWax
  5. Beck, Jerry, ed. (2020). The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes Cartoons. Insight Editions. p. 185. ISBN   978-1-64722-137-9.