The Three Little Pigs


Original Medium: Theatrical Animation
Released by:
First Appeared: 1933
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It was the Great Depression that made this cartoon a hit, or so the story goes. Allegedly, when Disney released it as part of the Silly Symphony

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… series in 1933, the playful frivolity of "Who's Afraid of The Big Bad Wolf" helped people to forget the wolf at the door.

Be that as it may, Three Little Pigs won an Oscar for its director, Burt Gillett (Molly Moo Cow) — the second one ever given for animation. Its characteristic song became Disney's first musical hit.

It also sparked a number of sequels. The Big Bad Wolf (1934), directed by Gillett, Three Little Wolves (1936), directed by David Hand, and The Practical Pig (1939), directed by Dick Rickard, are less well known than the original, but at the time, they went far toward establishing both Pigs and Wolf as regular members of the Disney pantheon. Big Bad even made an appearance in Mickey's Polo Team (1936), directed by Hand.

In 1945, the Pigs became supporting characters in an unusual comic book series titled "Li'l Bad Wolf", which ran in the back pages of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories. There, they played foils to Li'l Bad's father, The Big Bad Wolf, in a series that has lasted decades, and still produces occasional new stories in various parts of the world.

As stars in their own right, the Pigs never made it big in either comics or cartoons. But as supporting characters, they've proven to be enduring favorites. And their original cartoon retains its appeal through good times as well as bad.


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Text ©1999-2010 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Walt Disney Co.