When I was little, my Nan used to own a collection of VHS video tapes, which contained various clips of cartoons she had recovered on TV over the years. Random snippets of Disney’s ‘Tailspin’, the ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ cartoon would cut in throughout the course of a tape, while shows like ‘Tom & Jerry’ and ‘Looney Tunes’ were always available to watch in full.
One Disney cartoon that was included on a tape, and was in full, was the short ‘Three Little Pigs’. This short is the earliest memory I have of seeing something Disney-related, and I watched it numerous times in my childhood. However, this is a short that I have not watched since then and has now been readily available on Disney+.
‘Three Little Pigs’ is an 8-minute short film that was made in 1933. Accompanied by a song that is performed by the titular characters, the film tells the story of three pigs who build their own houses to protect themselves from the wolf. One builds their house out of hay, second builds it out of sticks and the third builds one out of bricks and cement. The three characters then get chased by the wolf, who easily destroys the first two houses but fails with bringing down the brick house.
While I vividly remember the story, there are other aspects that I don’t remember. The short is more fast paced than I remember it being and feels a lot shorter because of this. The hand drawn animation is beautiful and memorable, and the colours and imagery are vibrant. It does have a slightly violent, but similar, sense of humour to cartoons like ‘Tom & Jerry’ and ‘Looney Tunes’, which works here.
An example of this is towards the end, when the wolf tries to get into the brick house via the chimney and consequently gets his behind burnt by the fire below; this was another aspect that I didn’t remember at all.
The message of the short is timeless and still relevant today: hard work and dedication to your work pays off. While the first two pigs quickly put their houses together, the third pig spends a lot of time perfecting his house using bricks and cement, making his home a lot stronger. The other pigs prioritize play before work, and they suffer the consequences because of this.
‘Three Little Pigs’ was a delight to revisit after so many years and felt extremely nostalgic, given my memories associated with the short. Disney+ features most of, if not all, of their originals shorts from the 1930’s and I would highly recommend giving them a watch, including this one.
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