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In his autobiography, "Chuck Amuck", longtime animator and producer Chuck Jones relates that while this cartoon was in production, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's animation producer, Fred Quimby told new director, Tex Avery to be careful when caricaturing Adolf Hitler, saying, "After all, we don't know who's going to win the war". See more »
[coming up to the First Pig's house of straw; speaking in faux German]
Open the door! Or I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in!
But Adolf, that would break our treaty. You're a good guy. Why, you hate war. You wouldn't go back on your word.
Are you kidding?
[the wolf laughs and brings in "Der Mechanized Huffer und Puffer" to blow down the house, but the First Pig manages to escape]
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Closing message: The End of Adolf If You'll Buy a Stamp or Bond-- We'll Skin That Skunk Across the Pond. See more »
Disappointing by Avery standards but an entertaining enough piece of propaganda
Another 1942 Oscar nominee, another propaganda film, although perhaps this is all understandable given the period. This one retells the story of the 3 Little Pigs, with Adolf Wolf coming to destroy the houses of the pigs, who mostly are unprepared apart from the third pig who has built his house out of brick (as well as trenching around it and installing a battery of cannons on it too).
When I saw this film was from Tex Avery I was hoping it would be a little bit more than just simple flag-waving and to be fair mostly it is. It takes WWII motifs and puts them into the world of Tex Avery, with the style of animation and humor that we expect. The film opens with a disclaimer (or "claimer" I guess) which states that any similarity between the wolf and "that *&%$%!&* jerk Adolf" is entirely intentional and so it continues with Adolf Wolf getting a beating while the pigs defend their home. The humor is quite broad but mostly focused on making fun of Hitler, which is all fine and good. It is amusing even if it is a little disappointing when viewed next to the high standard of Avery at his best. The animation is good but of course there are the messages to be expected about buying war bonds and the usual racism towards the Japanese (and the sight of Tokyo wiped off the map with one good shell). All of this feels uncomfortable decades later of course, but is understandable in the context and at least is touched with Avery's humor so is a bit more palatable.
Overall, it is an enjoyable Tex Avery cartoon even if it is below the bar, but as a piece of American propaganda, at least it is touched with Avery's humor and style.
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