Walt Disney Animation Collection: Classic Short Films, Vol. 2 - The Three Little Pigs [DVD]

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Lambert the Sheepish Lion
Narrated by the ubiqitous Sterling Holloway, the cartoon begins as Mr. Stork delivers a new batch of arrivals to a flock of mother sheep. But there's been a mixup at headquarters, and one of the little lambs turns out to be a baby lion named "Lambert". Be that as it may, one of the ewes adopts Lambert as her very own--and as the years go by, he grows into an enormous (and enormously clumsy) lion. Because of his seeming cowardice, his unwillingness to butt heads with his "brothers", and his weird appearance, Lambert is laughed at and treated as an outcast. All this changes when the flock is threatened by a hungry wolf, whereupon Lambert's lionine instincts go into full "courage" mode. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Big Bad Wolf
In the first of two sequels to Disney's Oscar-winning The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood stops to visit the porcine heroes while on her way to deliver "cakes and wine" to her bedridden Grandma. Despite the dire warnings of Practical Pig, his carefree brothers Fifer and Fiddler offer to escort Red through a shortcut in the deep dark woods, where resides their old nemesis the Big Bad Wolf. Determined to make a meal of Red and the pigs, Big Bad disguises himself first as Goldilocks the Fairy Queen (with appropriate ballet slippers), and then as Grandma (who bears a marked resemblance to Jimmy Durante). Inevitably, Practical Pig must come to the rescue of both Red and his two foolish siblings. This cartoon reprises the signature tune from The Three Little Pigs, the imperishable "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Chicken Little
One of four WW2-era Disney cartoon "specials" produced at the behest of the US Government, Chicken Little utilizes the titular fable to warn against the influence of Nazism. The story opens in a very cosmopolitan henhouse (complete with beauty parlor and dance hall!), overseen by "supervisor of egg production" Cocky Locky. Meanwhile, hungry Foxy Loxy lurks outside the high fence which protects the henhouse, trying to figure out a way to lure the fowl into his lair. Pulling out a book marked "Psychology", Foxy Loxy absorbs the volume's advice on how to influence the masses: the "Big Lie" theory, spreading rumors, discrediting authority figures, and exploiting the delusions of grandeur of the least intelligent members of society. In this instance, that "least intelligent" fellow is dimwitted Chicken Little, who thanks to Foxy Loxy's machinations becomes convinced that the sky is falling and quickly spreads his hysteria to the rest of the henhouse. In the original script for Chicken Little, the book consulted by Foxy Loxy was none other than Mein Kampf, but Walt Disney vetoed this idea so that the cartoon would become dated after the War. He did not, however, have any objections to the morbidly hilarious closing gag, which may not be suitable for very small children. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Three Blind Mouseketeers
They're not the "mouseketeers" of Mickey Mouse Club fame, but instead a trio of mice dressed as Porthos, Athos and Aramis--aka the Three Musketeers. And indeed, all three are blind, with the requisite dark glasses and using their swords as canes. Despite this handicap, our heroes are pretty sharp (no pun intended) at fencing, and quite adroit at stealing cheese from surly watchman Captain Katt. The villain has prepared a roomful of traps for the cunning mice, but they manage by guess and by gosh to elude capture, gorging not only on cheese but on wine and frankfurters. Finally, Captain Katt mounts a full frontal attack against the Mouseketeers, but the trio once again proves that the mouse is quicker than the eye with an arsenal of effervescent wine bottles. Song: "All for One, One for All". ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Three Little Wolves
In the second of two sequels to Disney's Oscar-winning The Three Little Pigs, Practical Pig builds an elaborate "Wolf Pacifier" machine (complete with a spanking device and a tar-and-feather dispenser) while his brothers Fifer and Fiddler dance and sing. Hoping to have a little fun, the two foolish pigs blow a warning horn, convincing Practical that the wolf is on his way. Realizing he's been hoodwinked, Practical warns his siblings that someday they may "cry wolf" once too often--which is precisely what happens when Big Bad Wolf and his three lookalike offspring set about to lure the pigs into their kitchen by impersonating Little Bo Peep and her sheep. In addition to the traditional "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf", Big Bad treats us to a novelty rendition of the old comic song "Iss Dad Nicht Ein Schnitzelbank?"--and we know exactly what "schnitzel" he has in mind. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Three Little Pigs
Originally produced in 1933 and the winner of an Academy Award for Best Cartoon Short Subject, Three Little Pigs tells the classic fairy tale of two hasty pigs, one smart one, and the Big Bad Wolf they're all trying to escape from. Featuring the song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?," the program also boasts the vocal talents of Dorothy Compton, Mary Moder, Pinto Colvig, and Billy Bletcher as the wolf. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi

Elmer Elephant
Little Elmer Elephant skips through the woods gathering a bouquet of flowers as a gift for Tillie Tiger, who is guest of honor at a birthday party. Tillie gives Elmer a kiss, whereupon the jealous animal kids decide to humilitate the pint-sized pachyderm by poking cruel fun at his huge trunk ("Look at Elmer's beezer, golly what a sneezer!") But Elmer teaches the youngsters a lesson when--with the help of such other odd-looking "outcasts" as Joe Giraffe and a trio of Durante-like pelicans--he uses his trunk to put out a fire which threatens the life of the terrified Tilly. Though it could have been oppressively cute and moralistic, this mid-1930s "Silly Symphony" delivers some solid laughs along with its message. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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