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The Little Red Hen (1934)

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In this classic fable, a hen asks help with chores from other farm animals. None of the animals want to help do work, but they all want to share the fruits of the hen's labor.


Ub Iwerks (uncredited), Shamus Culhane (co-director) (uncredited) | 1 more credit »


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A hen and her chicks stumble across some wheat. The hen asks other farm animals to help her sow the wheat, but they all decline. They also refuse to help her water and harvest the wheat or bake bread with the resulting grains. She and her chicks manage to do all the work themselves, then delight in refusing to share the bread with the animals who would not help her to make it. Written by Melissa

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Release Date:

17 March 1934 (USA) See more »

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Color (Cinecolor)
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Featured in Pee-wee's Playhouse: Front Page Pee-wee (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

Working for food
8 June 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

While not one of my favourites, Ub Iwerks was responsible for a lot of interesting work. Especially when working with Walt Disney, his oldest friend and one of his best, and co-creating one of animation's most famous characters in Mickey Mouse. His career since opening his own studio had interest value but the quality was variable, often being successful in the animation and music but wanting in the story and variable in gags, lead characters and tone.

1933 to 1936 saw twenty five cartoons, mostly based on famous fairytales and familiar stories, as part of Iwerks's "ComiColor" series. The "ComiColor" series is very much worth watching and interesting, as is the case with many series some cartoons are better than others but there are no real animation nadirs. 1934's 'The Little Red Hen' is a pretty good pleasant watch, with a few issues but a lot of big strengths.

'The Little Red Hen', while faithfully adhering to the basic details of the story while putting its own spin, is slight and is at times a little too cutesy and lays on its admittedly important and still relevant moral a bit too thick.

However, 'The Little Red Hen' in no way disgraces the story and has enough freshness to stop it from being stale. It avoids the over sentimental factor and is never dull.

There are amusing gags, that aren't too corny and never repetitive, it's very charming, endearingly wild at times and there is a genuine likeability and cuteness. The characters drive 'The Little Red Hen' well, with a very likeable titular character whose antics can be surprisingly inventive.

Furthermore, the animation is great. Meticulously detailed, fluid in drawing, vibrant in colour and often rich in imagination and visual wit. The music is cleverly and lushly orchestrated, is infectiously catchy and adds a lot to the cartoon. The song is very memorable and clever.

Overall, pretty good. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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