148. Pigs in a Polka – Friz Freleng

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SUMMARY: In another parody of Disney’s ‘Three Little Pigs’ by way of ‘Fantasia’, the story is set to the music of Brahms.

WHY IT’S HERE: Friz Freleng’s ‘Pigs in a Polka’ is a terrific parody of both Disney’s ‘Fantasia’ and Disney’s Oscar winning Silly Symphony ‘The Three Little Pigs’. Freleng, always a dab hand at the musical cartoons, sets the Three Little Pigs story to Brahms’ Hungarian Rhapsody. On first viewing, I was disappointed in the comparative lack of gags in the cartoon but I was missing the point. The humour here comes from the characters’ actions and how impeccably Freleng synchs them up with the music. The cartoon really comes to life the instant the high kicking Wolf makes his appearance. From hereon in, there is no dialogue whatsoever, just beautifully choreographed sequences in which the Wolf tries to gain access to the brick house of the third pig. Like the cartoon it parodies, ‘Pigs in a Polka’ was nominated for an Oscar but unfortunately, unlike Disney’s cartoon, it did not win. While it is less well known than it should be, ‘Pigs in a Polka’ still retains a high level of respect in animation fan circles and its cult reputation is richly deserved. You only have to look at the superb final moments in which the Wolf falls down an elevator shaft, collapses and the iris closes on his face all in perfect time to the music, to know that ‘Pigs in a Polka’ is a class act.

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