Three Little Wolves (film)

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Three Little Wolves
Three Little Wolves.jpg
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
Production
company
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • April 18, 1936 (1936-04-18)
Running time
9 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

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]

Contents

Plot

The Big Bad Wolf as Bo Peep The Big Bad Wolf as Bo Peep.jpg
The Big Bad Wolf as Bo Peep

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

However, the Big Bad Wolf and his three sons are stalking Fifer Pig and Fiddler Pig. The Wolf disguises himself as Little Bo Peep and sadly tells the pigs that he/she lost his/her sheep and doesn't know where to find them. Then the pigs discover the Wolf's three sons disguised as sheep, and they all run home to their cave. Then the Wolf locks the door and swallows the key. In the first place, 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, but Practical Pig doesn't come to the rescue. Soon Fifer Pig and Fiddler Pig are put in a roasting pan by the wolves and they repeatedly blow the wolf alarm. Still hoping for Practical Pig to come to the rescue, the pigs challenge the wolf cub blowing the wolf alarm to blow it really loudly. He tries to, but he can't, and the pigs tell him by that it was just a "sissy blow". So the Big Bad Wolf blows the wolf alarm to prove what the wolf family is made of. This time, it is so loud that Practical Pig hears it and hurries to the rescue, pulling the Wolf Pacifier along behind him.

While the Wolf is about to put the pigs in the oven, he hears a knock at the door. It is Practical Pig 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: "Let me have it", but Practical Pig throws a tomato in the Wolf's face instead. The Wolf angrily chases Practical Pig into the Wolf Pacifier. The result is that the Wolf gets assaulted by the contraption's many mechanisms: buzzsawed, smashed the head by rolling pins, kicked by boots, punched by boxing gloves, tarred, feathered, and shot out of a cannon, with his sons following him. Then the pigs emerge from the wolves' den, playing Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? patriotically, with Fifer Pig playing a flute, Fiddler Pig playing a drum, and Practical Pig holding a white flag, which is the Wolf's pair of Bo Peep bloomers.

Voice cast

Symbolism

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. [3]

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. [3] 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. [4]

Home media

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

Related Research Articles

The Three Little Pigs

"The Three Little Pigs" also is "The 3 Little Pigs and The 3 Pigs" is a fable about three pigs who build three houses of different materials. A Big Bad Wolf blows down the first two pigs' houses, made of straw and sticks respectively, but is unable to destroy the third pig's house, made of bricks. Printed versions date back to the 1840s, but the story itself is thought to be much older. The phrases used in the story, and the various morals drawn from it, have become embedded in Western culture. Many versions of The Three Little Pigs have been recreated and modified over the years, sometimes making the wolf a kind character. It is a type B124 folktale in the Aarne–Thompson classification system.

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

Silly Symphony is a series of 75 animated musical short films produced by Walt Disney Productions from 1929 to 1939. As their 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.

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Dorothy Compton was an American voice actress born in the early 1900s. An early friend of Walt Disney, she made her first acting debut in The Three Little Pigs (1933) as the voice of Fifer Pig. From 1933 onward she made more appearances in the next 3 installments of the Three Little Pigs: The Big Bad Wolf (1934), The Three Little Wolves (1936) and The Practical Pig (1939) along with minor appearances in It's Great to Be Alive (1933) and I Married an Angel (1942).

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The Practical Pig is a Silly Symphonies cartoon. It was released on February 24, 1939, and directed by Dick Rickard. It was the fourth and final cartoon starring The Three Pigs. Like its prequels, The Practical Pig incorporates the song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?". Unlike its prequels however, this was labeled as a standalone "Three Little Pigs Cartoon", suggesting that they were to get their own series of cartoons. It is also the second-to-last Silly Symphonies cartoon.

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"Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" is a popular song written by Frank Churchill with additional lyrics by Ann Ronell, which originally featured in the 1933 Disney cartoon Three Little Pigs, where it was sung by Fiddler Pig and Fifer Pig as they arrogantly believe the Big Bad Wolf is not a serious threat. The song's theme made it a huge hit during the 1930s and it remains one of the most well-known Disney songs, being covered by numerous artists and musical groups. Additionally, it was the inspiration for the title of Edward Albee's 1963 play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

<i>Mother Goose Goes Hollywood</i> 1938 Silly Symphony cartoon

Mother Goose Goes Hollywood is a 1938 animated short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and distributed by RKO Radio Pictures. The short was released on December 23, 1938. The film parodies several Mother Goose nursery rhymes using caricatures of popular Hollywood film stars of the 1930s. The film was directed by Wilfred Jackson and was the third-to-last Silly Symphony produced.

<i>The Big Bad Wolf</i> (1934 film)

The Big Bad Wolf is an animated short released on April 13, 1934 by United Artists, produced by Walt Disney and directed by Burt Gillett as part of the Silly Symphony series. Acting partly as a sequel to the wildly successful adaptation of The Three Little Pigs of the previous year, this film also acts as an adaptation of the fairy-tale Little Red Riding Hood, with the Big Bad Wolf from 1933's Three Little Pigs acting as the adversary to Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother.

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<i>Three Blind Mouseketeers</i>

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References

  1. Michael Barrier (8 April 1999). Hollywood Cartoons : American Animation in Its Golden Age: American Animation in Its Golden Age. Oxford University Press. p. 150. ISBN   978-0-19-802079-0 . Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  2. 1 2 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. 172–173. ISBN   978-1-4847-5132-9.
  3. 1 2 Geoffrey Cocks (1 January 2004). The Wolf at the Door: Stanley Kubrick, History, and the Holocaust. Peter Lang. pp. 34–. ISBN   978-0-8204-7115-0 . Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  4. Taliaferro, Al; Osborne, Ted; De Maris, Merrill (2016). Silly Symphonies: The Complete Disney Classics, vol 2. San Diego: IDW Publishing. ISBN   978-1631408045.