The Three Little Pigs was a landmark animated short film released on May 27, 1933. It was produced by Walt Disney (though distributed through United Artists). Based on the fairy tale of the same name, Three Little Pigs won the 1934 Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoons. In addition to critical acclaim, the cartoon was a smash hit, so much that it was still running in theaters months after its debut, and became Disney's biggest financial success. To this day, it remains the single-most successful animated short ever made.Animator Chuck Jones said, "That was the first time that anybody ever brought characters to life [in an animated cartoon]. They were three characters who looked alike and acted differently". The film is also notable for being the first animated short to be musically scored like a feature, rather than the standard cartoon scores of the time, which tended to be stitched together from staple songs.The Three Little Pigs holds eleventh place on the The 50 Greatest Cartoons list. In 2007, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
In the original cut of the original short, the wolf attempts to gain access to Practical Pig's house by disguising himself as a Jewish peddler. After World War II, however, the shots of his Jewish peddler disguise were reanimated to depict him as a Fuller Brush Man (sans the Jew-mask), albeit still with the original version's audio (thus he still speaks with the Yiddish accent).
Some TV airings of the short further excise this, by not only omitting his Jew-mask, but also dubbing the audio, so that he no longer has the aforementioned accent.
Comic Book Adaptation: There are many comics starring the characters, usually focusing on Zeke Wolf's never-ending schemes to catch the pigs.
The comics also frequently guest star Br'er Bear, usually as a foil to Zeke. In these stories, B'rer Bear is generally portrayed as more of a good guy than he was in Song of the South, even being friendly with the pigs and Li'l Wolf — although he's still stupid and violent, with Zeke as the most frequent target for his violent tantrums. note In fact, Br'er Bear in these comics is notable as one of the only people in a Disney comic who could shoot at someone with a shotgun and actually hit him. Zeke always survived being shot, though. Br'er Fox and Br'er Rabbit also make sporadic appearances, with their original characterizations more or less intact.
Crying Wolf: Part of the plot of Three Little Wolves. Fifer and Fiddler discover their brother's wolf alarm (a horn), and start blowing it, ignoring his warnings that overusing it may cause him to ignore an actual alarm.
Disneyfication: In Disney's version, the first two pigs manage to escape the Wolf after he destroys their houses and seek refuge in Practical's house. Several other retellings of the story, such as the Richard Scarry version, also went with this.
Divergent Character Evolution: The Li'l Wolves went through this. Three Little Wolves introduced the Big Bad Wolf's three sons, all of whom were just as determined to eat pork as their father. This short and its follow up, The Practical Pig, were changed in later adapations to two Bad Li'l Wolves and one Good Li'l Wolf, who feels sorry for Fifer and Fiddler and helps them escape. This Good Li'l Wolf eventually evolved into Li'l (Bad) Wolf, Zeke's only son and the Pigs' best friend.
Forged Letter: The Wolf captures two of the pigs and writes a letter to Practical Pig pretending to be from his brothers in an attempt to lure him out. Practical doesn't fall for it: along with the bad penmanship, he recognizes the Wolf's breath when he blows it under the door.
Savage Wolf: The wolf is depicted as a villain out to eat the heroes of the story.
Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: The Big Bad Wolf on two legs becomes enraged at not being able to enter the brick house of the third little pig. In a VillainousBreakdown, Animorphism kicks in. Gloves and his hat fly off, and desperate breaths to blow the brick house down break his suspenders. Ultimately, he steps out of his pants, completely naked, and acting fully like a wild four-legged wolf for the rest of the cartoon.
Spared by the Adaptation: In the original fairy tale, the first two pigs are killed and eaten by the wolf — who, in turn, is killed by the boiling pot.
Took a Level in Dumbass: Fifer and Fiddler in the sequels, not only suffering from instant Aesop Amnesia but also completely falling for tricks and disguises of the sort they were able to see through at once in the first cartoon.