Three Little Bops
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Three Little Bops is a 1957 Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Friz Freleng, with voices by Stan Freberg and music by jazz composer/trumpeter Shorty Rogers. A funny animal takeoff on The Three Little Pigs, told as a hip, jazzy musical, it is currently available on the DVD box-set Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 2 and the Blu-ray set Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume 1.
|Three Little Bops|
|Looney Tunes series|
The Three Little Bops throw the Big Bad Wolf out of the House of Straw.
|Directed by||Friz Freleng|
|Story by||Warren Foster|
|Voices by||Stan Freberg (All)|
|Music by||Shorty Rogers|
|Layouts by||Hawley Pratt|
|Backgrounds by||Irv Wyner|
|Studio||Warner Bros. Cartoons|
Warner Bros. Pictures|
The Vitaphone Corporation
|Release date(s)||January 5, 1957 (US)|
|Running time||7 minutes|
The short opens with a display of the book that shows the Three Little Pigs who used to play pipes and dance jigs. The short then focuses to the present day and reveals the pigs now play modern instruments and perform as The Three Little Bops.
During a gig at the House of Straw, the Big Bad Wolf appears and proves he is friendly by stating that he wants to join the band. The Wolf happens to be terrible at playing his choice instrument (a trumpet) so the pigs throw him out. Feeling insulted, the Wolf retaliates by blowing down the straw house using his trumpet, forcing the pigs to go to the Dew Drop Inn, the House of Sticks.
Things go well (including the piano playing pig doing an imitation of Liberace's "I wish my brother George was here"), until the Wolf comes in and attempts to play his trumpet again. Like the pigs, the people watching also think the wolf's playing is corny, so they call for the pigs to "throw the square out", which they do. Again, the Wolf retaliates by blowing down the Dew Drop Inn. The pigs then realize that in order to escape the Wolf's "windy tricks," they will go to the House of Bricks (built in May 1, 1776, according to a cornerstone).
The House of Bricks has a "No Wolves Allowed" rule, so when the Wolf tries to get in, he is punched in the face by a bouncer. Then he tries to ram the door down with a log but with no success. The Wolf runs out of breath in trying to blow away the club, but thinks he can get in by disguising himself. He reenters in fur coat and ukulele with his perfect rendition of the Charleston song (cut short by slipping on a strategically thrown banana peel). He returns in the disguise of a houseplant with his trumpet but gets blasted outside by a plunger shot from the double bass. For his third try, the Wolf shows up in a drum major outfit playing a big bass drum to the tune of "Don't Give Up the Ship". A dart is shot into the drum to deflate it, leaving him to exit in humiliation before the pigs shut and lock the door to ensure he can't get in again.
Not the least bit deterred, he shows up with a large cylinder of TNT and snaps, "I'll show those pigs that I'm not stuck! If I can't blow it down, I'll blow it up!" The fuse is blown out on his first try, so he steps back a bit and lights it from there. Unfortunately for him, he is too far away and his weapon explodes while he is carrying it to his target.
The narrator reveals that the explosion did not send the Wolf to Heaven but down to "the other place", where his trumpet playing improves. When the pigs hear this, one of them says, "The Big Bad Wolf, he learned the rule: you gotta get hot to play real cool!" The Wolf's spirit then rises up through the floor and, now playing expertly, joins in for the final notes prompting one of the pigs to alter their band's name to "The Three Little Bops Plus One".
Instrument credits are believed to be:
- Vocals - Stan Freberg (credited on the short)
- Saxophone - Pepper Adams (or possibly Jimmy Giuffre)
- Trumpet/flugelhorn - Shorty Rogers (credited on the short)
- Piano - Pete Jolly
- Guitar - Barney Kessel
- Bass - Red Callender (or possibly Red Mitchell)
- Drums - Stan Levey (or possibly Shelly Manne)
This is the only Warner Brothers cartoon to not feature Mel Blanc doing voice characterizations during the period of Blanc's exclusive contract with the studio. It is also one of only three from that period that gives a voice credit to anyone other than Blanc (the others were The Mouse that Jack Built, which credits the cast of The Jack Benny Program, of which Blanc was a cast member and thus was credited accordingly, and The Unmentionables, which credits Blanc and Ralph James). Even though Freberg contributed voices to many other Warner Brothers cartoons during this time, none of the others were credited.
- The Big Bad Wolf, who first appeared in Pigs in a Polka and had previously appeared as Uncle Big Bad in The Turn-Tale Wolf, would appear in another two Golden Age cartoons: Now Hare This and False Hare, also as Uncle Big Bad. That was his only Golden Age appearance in a Friz Freleng cartoon.
- This cartoon was included (in slightly edited form) as part of the 1981 film The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie; presented as part of a fictitious awards show, it features brief "interviews" with both the Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs as they arrive at the theater during the awards pre-show.
- The Big Bad Wolf made an appearance in the 1983 film Daffy Duck's Fantastic Island. He was standing in the line where everybody is getting their wishes from the island's famous wishing well, but he was wearing shoes instead of showing his bare feet.
- The Three Little Pigs and The Big Bad Wolf make a cameo appearance on the bleachers watching the basketball playoff against the Monstars and the Toon Squad in Space Jam.