Three Little Wolves

A Silly Symphony

Release Date : April 18, 1936

Running Time : 9:21

Synopsis

A Disney take on "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" as Fifer Pig and Fiddler Pig continually set off the wolf alarm to Practical Pig's annoyance. Unbeknownst to them, they are being stalked by the Big Bad Wolves' sons.

Characters

Three Little Pigs
Big Bad Wolf
Three Little Wolves

Credits

Director
Dave Hand
Asst. Director
Jack Cutting
Animation
Norm Ferguson
Fred Moore
Eric Larson
Bill Roberts
Backgrounds
Mique Nelson
Layout
Ferdinand Horvath
Story
Bill Cottrell
Joe Grant
Bob Kuwahara
Music
Frank Churchill
Voices
Alice Ardell
Billy Bletcher
Pinto Colvig
Leone Ledoux

Video

United States
Favorite Stories : The Three Little Pigs
Silly Symphonies
Germany
Verrückte Musikanten
France
Silly Symphonies Volume 1
Italy
Silly Symphonies Volume 2

Laserdiscs

United States
Paul Bunyan / The Three Little Pigs
Silly Symphonies / Animals Two by Two
Japan
The Three Little Pigs
More Silly Symphonies

DVD

United States
Walt Disney Animation Collection : Volume 2 : The Three Little Pigs
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Germany
Zauberhafte Marchenwelt 5
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
France
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Italy
Walt Disney Le Fiabe 4
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
United Kingdom
Walt Disney's Fables : Volume 5
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 33: In the Nursery with the Silly Symphonies
The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 19: The Big Bad Wolves

Original Animator's Drafts


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Page 8

Page 9

Technical Specification

Color Type: Technicolor
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Released by United Artists Pictures

Comments

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Once again, for everyone who has told me time and time again that Walt didn’t do sequels (even some complaining about Toy Story 3), I will point you to Three Little Wolves, the third entry in the Big Bad Wolf/Three Little Pigs drama. New elements get added to this one in the form of the title characters.

The Big Bad Wolf has picked up some sidekicks here, in the form of three smaller wolves who join him in his plot to catch and eat the Three Little Pigs. They’re neat little characters, well designed and interesting, but not developed individually.

In many ways, the Three Little Wolves emulate what was going on with Mickey’s nephews, Morty and Ferdie, and are precursors to Huey, Dewey and Louie. This seems like a type of character that Walt wanted to establish in some way – a trio of mischievous youngsters. It would not take root here, but eventually, with the ducks, it did.

The story of this short is more centered around a variation of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” with the boy in this case becoming the two pigs who previously have gotten into scrapes with the Big Bad Wolf. While their older, wiser, brick-building brother works on a top secret “Wolf Pacifier,” the other two blow the wolf alarm horn, just as a joke.

After his obvious anger, you know what had to come next. The wolf dresses up as Little Bo Peep, and says that she’s lost her sheep. We get the nice gag of the little wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing, and the thankful Bo Peep gets invited over to the pigs’ house.

My favorite gag in the whole short comes next. As the wolf comes inside, he turns around and eyes the pigs, then locks the door and swallows the key. Rather than jump in fear, the pigs blush. They’re expecting romance with Bo Peep, not the wolf that jumps out at them. It’s rather funny and a little more grown up than other Disney shorts.

The scenes of the wolves chasing the pigs through the underground while the Big Bad Wolf leans leisurely against a wall are both amusing and menacing. When the pigs are captured, they at least manage to play some tricks on the wolves, taunting one of the younger wolves to blow the alarm horn. Then, they get the windbag Big Bad Wolf to blow the horn, bringing their brother running, after he ignored their pleas and the other blows on the horn.

We finally get to see the Rube Goldberg-esque Wolf Pacifier in action, and it’s a doozy. The short is worth it just for that, no joke. What is interesting is that Disney did not go further in making the Three Little Pigs more of series. They might not have much story potential, but using the characters in different ways could have given us different Disney cartoon stars. Imagine a world where we have Three Little Pigs meet and greets in the parks rather than Donald Duck? It could have happened.


From Mac : This is one of my absolute favorites. Wonderful music, colors, animation, inventiveness, characters... and it's funny too! I agree that it's nonsense that Walt must have hated sequels. However, what is even more ridiculous is that some people have used the Three Little Pigs cartoons as a way of justifying the DTV sequels of recent years as something Walt would have done. Luckily no one's done that here!

It's interesting to compare Three Little Wolves to the original Three Little Pigs. Although the later cartoon was not the sensation that its predecessor was, it shows great advancement in terms of animation and art and is thoroughly entertaining. From a technical stand point it is among the most advanced we've seen so far, nothing cheap about it. If we were to compare 'Aladdin' to 'The Return of the Jafar' it's a very different story. Everything about the sequel is cheaper and flatter, not all the original voice cast is used, Magic Carpet looks completely different it was made for a fast buck and it shows (and sadly it worked - the sequel made a fortune as did the dozens of DTVs that followed).

Anyway, Three Little Wolves is a lot of fun. I like how the sneaking-behind-the-trees scene from the original cartoon is replicated here with all four wolves! Plus it's nice to see Fiddler and Fifer have a good idea of their own for a change when they trick Big Bad into blowing the horn.

Although the pigs and wolves aren't as big now as Mickey and Donald, they have always remained somewhat popular. There's still one more cartoon to go in their series and they'll continue to pop up in animated form here and there. Then of course they're a staple of the Disney comics. In the 90's I grew up with comic stories involving Zeke (AKA the Big Bad Wolf) and his son Lil' Bad Wolf – who was actually friends with the pigs. Interestingly, in the comics, they lived in the same woods as the Song of the South characters.


From Jerry Edwards : There are several interesting scenes in this short for me. The opening scene shows the Big Bad Wolf instructing the Three Little Wolves on the edible parts of a pig. The little wolves show they're a hand full when they use sling shots to pelt the Big Bad Wolf. When he threatens them, they go into the "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" song and the scene dissolves into Fiddler and Fifer Pig dancing and singing the same song. The Big Bad Wolf dresses up as Little Bo Peep with the little wolves as sheep to lure the pigs into his cave. When "Bo Peep" locks the door and swallows the key, the two pigs act embarrassed as if "she" had sexual intentions - a very odd scene, indeed! The Practical Pig's "Wolf Pacifier" invention is a lot of fun. The wolf is subjected to an assembly line of being kicked by boots, hit by rolling pins, punched by boxing gloves, tarred and feathered, and shot out of a cannon.
From Atsuko : While a lot of people seem to feel the first Three Little Pigs cartoon was the best and the three that followed were weaker, I've always liked this one and 1939's The Practical Pig the best of all four. There is a lot of fun in this one, especially when the Big Bad Wolf fools the pigs in his Bo Peep disguise. The Wolf Pacifier is very interesting and well done. It seems to me to be a more fitting punishment than what the wolf got in the last two cartoons, plus there's a lot of gags as the helpless wolf is subjected to the assorted functions of the machine.
From Ryan : I used to own this short on a video. I remember one time I accidentally taped a small segment of some stupid 1970's cartoon over a short scene of this short. Let me tell ya somethin' this short is better than that cartoon or any other 70's cartoon for that matter. I really can't determine whether I like the original Three Little Pigs or this sequel better. I liked the beginning of this short where the Big Bad Wolf was singing the parts of the pig to his three sons to the tune of an old German folk song. "Ist da schnictein sausage meat?" The funniest part, however, was when the wolf was lured into Practical Pig's "Wolf Pacifier." He was tarred and feathered, kicked in the butt with three or four boots, hit on the head with some rolling pins, and shot out of a cannon. He made an impression in the clouds and of course clouds are just fog.
From Ajisai : As a little girl, this was one of my favorite cartoons, and I think I've seen it more times than the original Three Little Pigs short.

In spite of serving as the introduction of the Wolf's sons- who, let's be blunt, are a bunch of little creeps that make even Donald's nephews look like angels- once again it's daddy who steals the show, with his dressing up as Little Bo Peep. Oddly, the pigs call him "little girl" even though he still towers over them! It's also interesting how they think "she" has amorous intentions when they're locked in by "Bo Peep"! I always thought it was funny that the Wolf, even after taking off the rest of the diguise, still has those frilly white bloomers on for the rest of the short.

The Wolf Pacifier sequence is the real highlight of the cartoon by far. The Wolf gets chased by a buzzsaw, whacked on the head with rolling pins, kicked in the butt by boots, punched by boxing gloves, dipped in tar and covered with feathers before being shot out of a cannon. Talk about harsh! The whole thing goes along to a sort of twisted version of "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?", and it's all so surreal and kinda twisted (especially the Wolf getting strapped into a chair with its bottom cut out!) There's a lot of great animation during this scene though, with all sorts of machinery moving and chugging in the background. There's some really funny imagery in the background too, making up the machine: soup cans, barrels, a bicycle, and those things the boxing gloves are attached to are old wooden telephones holders!

If you look at the blueprints, you might notice one part that apparently didn't make it in: the machine was going to poke the Wolf with a pitchfork!


From Baruch Weiss : This and The Practical Pig were the only two cartoons in the three little pigs series starring the three little wolves. I loved the part where Practical Pig dressed up as a tomato salesman and said "Nice ripe tomatoes I'm giving a free sample!". However, what Walt Disney said was true, "You can't top pigs with pigs." In other words, sequels are not as good as the original.
From Gijs Grob : The third cartoon in the "Three Little Pigs" series introduces the Wolf's three sons, who anticipate Huey, Dewey and Louie. They even speak in a similar way. The wolf, on the other hand, suddenly has an inexplicable German accent. In this cartoon he dresses up ridiculously again, this time as Bo-Beep, but he does manage to lure two of the little pigs to his house. When he closes the door, the pigs turn red and say "why, Bo-Beep!", as if they're being seduced. Of course, the wise pig comes to the rescue, this timing using an elaborate Rube Goldberg machine, called the "wolf pacifier."

The three little wolves would return in the last 'three little pigs'-cartoon, The Practical Pig (1939), but in the subsequent comic strip only one would remain, and he eventually would befriend the pigs, contrary to his look-alikes in this cartoon, who are even more aggressive than their father. The endshot has been reused in the propaganda film "Food Will Win the War" (1942).


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