Three Little Wolves (film)

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Three Little Wolves
The Big Bad Wolf as Bo Peep.jpg
The wolf dresses up as Bo Peep to trick the pigs into his house.
Directed by David Hand
Produced by Walt Disney
StarringAlice Ardell
Billy Bletcher
Pinto Colvig
Leone Ledoux
Music by Frank Churchill
Animation by Norm Ferguson
Fred Moore
Eric Larson
Bill Roberts [1]
Layouts byFerdinand Horvath
Backgrounds byMique Nelson
Color process Technicolor
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • April 18, 1936 (1936-04-18)
Running time
9 minutes
CountryUnited States

Three Little Wolves is a Silly Symphony cartoon. Released on April 18, 1936, and directed by Dave Hand. It was the third Silly Symphony cartoon starring the Three Little Pigs. It is loosely based on The Boy Who Cried Wolf . It introduces the Big Bad Wolf's sons, the Three Little Wolves, all of them just as eager for a taste of the pigs as their father. [2]



While the Wolf describing to his sons the edible parts of a pig, Fifer and Fiddler Pig discover a wolf alarm (which is in the form of a horn) and then they discover their brother Practical Pig building a contraption called a Wolf Pacifier. Fifer and Fiddler play around with the alarm to get Practical's attention and, when he discovers that it was just a trick, he warns his brothers who if they get caught by the Wolf and they'll blow that horn, he can think that's a trick. [3]

Unbeknownst to Fifer and Fiddler, however, the Big Bad Wolf and his three sons are stalking them. The Wolf dresses as Little Bo Peep and sadly tells the pigs that he/she lost his/her sheep and doesn't know where to find them. The pigs discover the "sheep" (the wolf cubs in disguise) and the Wolf and his sons, still in disguise, run home to their cave, and the pigs follow. The Wolf then locks the door and swallows the key. At first, the pigs embarrassedly think that "Bo Peep" has romantic intentions, but the wolves spring their trap and overwhelm the pigs. They try to blow the wolf alarm horn, but Practical doesn't come. Soon Fifer and Fiddler are soon put in a roasting pan by the wolves and they tauntingly blow the horn repeatedly. Still hoping for Practical to come to their rescue, the pigs challenge a wolf cub to blow the horn louder. He tries to, but can't, and the pigs taunt him by telling him that it was "a sissy blow", so the Big Bad Wolf blows the horn to prove what the Wolf family is made of. This time it is so loud that Practical hears and goes to the rescue, pulling the Wolf Pacifier mechanism along behind him. [3]

While the Wolf is about to place the pigs in the oven, he hears a knock on the door: it's Practical, disguised as an Italian vegetable peddler. He is giving a free sample on tomatoes, and the Wolf accepts the offer and comes out. He tells him to "let him have it", which Practical does - throwing a tomato in the Wolf's face. In anger, the Wolf chases Practical into the Wolf Pacifier contraption. The result is the Wolf getting assaulted by the contraption's many mechanisms: buzzsawed, bashed on the head by rolling pins, kicked by boots, punched by boxing gloves, tarred, feathered and being shot out of a cannon, with his sons following him. So the Three Little Pigs emerging from the Wolf's den, recreating Archibald Willard's The Spirit of '76 painting, playing Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? patriotically (with Fifer playing a flute, Fiddler beating a homemade drum and Practical holding a white flag, which is the Wolf's pair of Bo Peep bloomers). [3]

Voice cast


While Disney produced the sequels in order to capitalize on the success of the Three Little Pigs as characters, this film in particular was also a symbolic message about the threatening danger of European fascism, and can be seen as an indication of the levels of fear and patriotism it aroused in the American populace. In the opening scene, the Big Bad Wolf is instructing his three rowdy wolf pups in "German", pointing to a chart of pork cuts and saying "Ist das nicht ein Sausage Meat", etc., reinforcing the interpretation that he is a stand-in for Adolf Hitler. [5]

While the hapless Fifer and Fiddler have their naval garb, musical instruments, and professed bravado—a possible critique of European military allies who were unable to stop Hitler's advances—their confidence cannot save them from being trussed and on the verge of being deposited in the oven by the time that Practical Pig comes to their rescue. Practical Pig, the industrious "American" brother, in workman's overalls, relies on the "Italian" character for distraction, and while the Wolf is focused on his free sample of tomatoes, he is pulled into an elaborate mechanical contraption, which points to the idea that technological superiority is the secret to winning the impending war. [5] At one point, while receiving the mechanized pummeling from the machine, the Wolf's hair is parted and slicked down the center, producing a brief resemblance to Hitler.

Comic adaptation

The Silly Symphony Sunday comic strip ran a seven-month-long adaptation of Three Little Wolves called "The Further Adventures of the Three Little Pigs" from January 19 to August 23, 1936. [6]

Home media

The short was released on the 2001 Walt Disney Treasures DVD box set Silly Symphonies . [2]

Related Research Articles

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