Pigs Is Pigs (1937 film)

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Not to be confused with Pigs Is Pigs (1954 film).
Pigs is Pigs
Merrie Melodies (Piggy) series
Directed by Friz Freleng
Produced by Leon Schlesinger
Voices by Billy Bletcher
Music by Carl W. Stalling
Animation by Bob McKimson
Paul J. Smith
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) January 30, 1937 U.S. premiere
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7 minutes
Language English

Pigs Is Pigs, is a 1937 Merrie Melodies cartoon that featured Piggy and the Hamhock family, in what would be Piggy's final appearance in the Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes repertory in the Golden Age of American animation.


Piggy Hamhock (not to be confused with Porky Pig) is always hungry, thinking ofeating and stealing food whenever he can. And no matter how much he eats, he never fills up. Piggy's mother is continuously vexed by his seemingly insatiable appetite and inability to control himself. Piggy's gluttony causes his mother and the rest of his large family considerable annoyance, especially at mealtimes.

After falling asleep following dinner, Piggy wakes up and meets a mysterious old man who offers him a large feast. The old man is soon revealed to be a mad scientist, who desires to use Piggy as a test subject for his experiments. The intentions of the experiments are revealed when the scientist unveils his "Feed-A-Matic" machine, which he uses to force-feed Piggy with the intention of filling him with as much food as possible. The scientist uses the Feed-A-Matic and other machines to continuously force-feed Piggy over the course of several hours. The mad scientist eventually relents, allowing Piggy to leave the laboratory at the end of the day after he has gained a considerable amount of weight.

Piggy attempts to return home, only to find a fresh turkey which the scientist had placed out for him earlier. Piggy takes a bite from one of the turkey's drumsticks, with the added pressure on top of his previous weight gain causing him to explode. Piggy wakes up in his own bed immediately thereafter, revealing the scientist's experiments and his own weight gain as a dream. Piggy then responds to his mother calling him to breakfast with a new round of gluttony, having already forgotten the events of the previous night's dream.

Pigs Is Pigs in other works[edit]

Over the years, various writers have incorporated themes and settings similar to Pigs is Pigs into their works.

Andy Panda[edit]

In "Apple Andy" (1946, Walter Lantz Studio), Andy Panda is tempted by the Devil to cross a fence to eat apples in an orchard. An angel appears to remind him of what might happen if he follows the devil. After giving in to temptation, Andy dreams that he has gone to hell and is strapped into the Feed-A-Matic machine, with the devil operating the controls. A turning lathe force-feeds red apples to him, followed by a worm shoving fistfuls of applesauce into his mouth, and a dead apple tree pouring apple cider down his throat.

Little Audrey[edit]

Near to the end of "Butterscotch and Soda", in which Little Audrey gathered so much candy that she got sick to her stomach. The bag, where she gathered the candy in, came to life and sang "The Tummyache Blues". Various candy came to life to torture her, and they strap her to a chair and force candy down her throat.

The Gumby Show[edit]

Art Clokey did a full re-imaging of this cartoon in 1967 as part of The Gumby Show. "Grub Grabber Gumby" recast Gumby in Piggy’s role. Like Piggy, Gumby has been developing a liking for eating, and he starts the day by eating almost all the cookies on the kitchen table. Then he eats Pokey's sandwich and steals one of the pies Mrs. Applebee left out to cool (as Piggy did at the beginning). With a full stomach, he falls asleep and later awakes to find himself in the clutches of a bipedal equine named "Mr. Stuff".

Mr. Stuff: Hee, hee, hee -- so, you're the boy who likes to eat!
Gumby: Who are you?
Mr. Stuff: Don't worry, just call me Mr. Stuff. I'm going to do you a favor; how'd you like to have all the goodies you can hold?

Like Piggy, Gumby's face lights up with joy at the offer. Mr. Stuff is true to his word, using a conveyor belt to cram thousands of scoops of vanilla ice cream into Gumby's eagerly waiting mouth. After that a tank car of soda pop is brought over and its contents is pumped into his stomach, followed by a large batch of hamburgers. This all leaves it swollen and bloated; However, Mr. Stuff won't quit until Gumby is totally stuffed.

The Lost Saucer[edit]

In the Sid and Marty Krofft series, The Lost Saucer episode, "Fatropolis," Jerry and his babysitter Alice wander into a city where fat is the law. The Mayor declares them guilty of breaking the law, and sentences them to the "Fattenarium" until they each weigh 500 pounds.

Treehouse of Horror IV[edit]

In The Simpsons fourth Halloween episode segment "The Devil and Homer Simpson," Homer Simpson spends a day in Hell. In the "Ironic Punishment Department," a demon has Homer strapped in the Feed-A-Matic chair (recreated in exact detail) forcing him to eat "all the doughnuts in the world!" The punishment fails, however, when Homer does eat all the doughnuts in the world, and still asks for more. The demon says "I don't understand it. James Coco went mad in fifteen minutes!" Simpsons creator Matt Groening has gone to say on record (according to the season five DVD set audio commentaries) that the torture sequence in "Pigs is Pigs" is his favorite scene in all of animation and his inspiration for the sequence in this episode of The Simpsons.


  • The animation appears crude by later Warner standards and contains some goofs.
    • Piggy’s design includes a set of distinctive birthmarks on him; in the beginning, he has 3 – one on his head, one on his rear-end, and one on his right knee. Throughout the rest of the film, he has only the ones on his head and rear-end.
    • During the scene where Piggy and his family are having dinner, when they first sit down at the table, all of the plates on it are empty. When the family says grace, however, the plates are filled with spaghetti.
    • The birthmark on his head keeps changing sides.
    • At the end, when the scientist is letting him go, he is standing behind Piggy, yet (for a moment) his toe is in front of Piggy’s fat belly.
  • This film was the second (and last) featuring the Family Hamhock, which Friz Freleng had apparently intended as a series of recurring characters. They made their first appearance in At Your Service Madame [1] – this presented Mrs. Hamhock as a widow to whom her late husband had left a sizable inheritance. Rooted in the concept of morality, each of her 7 children embodied one of the Seven Deadly Sins; Piggy, of course, represented gluttony and was a clean freak. Leon Schlesinger didn't like this idea and Mrs. Hamhock's children would never appear again after this film. Mrs. Hamhock herself would make one last appearance in what would have been the next short in the series, "Wholly Smoke" (1938), with Porky Pig cast as her only child.
  • The scene at the end of Piggy leaping out of bed to dash downstairs to breakfast was reused footage of the shot that first introduced him in "At Your Service Madame".
  • Pigs Is Pigs is considered significant because it is the first ever appearance of Freleng "hold the onions" gag.
  • Some aspects of Piggy and his family were revived by Steven Spielberg in his Tiny Toon Adventures animated series. The character of Hamton J. Pig and his parents are a clear reflection of the Hamhocks. Like Piggy, Hamton has an incessant appetite and is a clean freak.
  • This short appears in the laser disc collection "The Golden Age of Looney Tunes", volume 3 and the DVD collection "Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 3".
  • A clip of this short was seen as a Toonami montage for its 10th anniversary.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Holt Paperbacks. 1989. ISBN 978-0-8050-0894-4. 
  • Schneider, Steve (1990). That's All Folks!: The Art of Warner Bros. Animation. Henry Holt & Co.
  • Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Holt Paperbacks. 1989. ISBN 978-0-8050-0894-4. 

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