Shrunken Cinema/Termite Terrace/Three Little Bops

From Eccentric Flower

The Three Little Bops

1956

Summary: A jazz rework of The Three Little Pigs. The wolf wants to play in their combo, but is too square.

Director: Friz Freleng

Writer: Warren Foster

Featuring: No regulars.

Onreel

2:19 "I wish my brother George was here" - this plus the facial expression are a Liberace joke.

4:37 The wolf comes in playing the Charleston on the ukelele, and wearing the hat and fur coat of a collegiate from the same era as the Charleston - the 1920's.

5:29 The deflating drum is the only genuine sound effect in this cartoon - everything else was performed by the musicians. The sound cue behind the wolf's drum performance may be "Don't Give Up the Ship," another song from the back catalog of the ubiquitous Harry Warren.

Offreel

This is a very unusual cartoon even by late-1950's rules:

  • Mel Blanc did not do any voices. All the voices, including the narration, are Stan Freberg.
  • It's one of the only two times Mel Blanc's exclusive-voice-credit contractual clause is breached.
  • It shows the title card, which is fully animated, after the crew credits.
  • It has a plain "The End" card instead of one of the standard Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies closings.
  • Neither Carl Stalling nor Milt Franklyn scored this cartoon. The entire cartoon is set to what amounts to a continuous jazz session, with almost all the sound effects incorporated into the music, and with only two references to other pieces of music (noted above). The music was composed by trumpeter Shorty Rogers.

This page has some informed speculation as to the identities of the other players in the jazz combo.

This cartoon relies on the jazz-hipster culture of the late 1950's for its general tone and design, but I don't think anything in it is too obscure now in terms of usage or in-jokes. I imagine that the term "square" to denote someone hopelessly uncool will still be around for a long time to come (as will "cool" and "uncool").

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