Chicken Little (1943 film)

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This article is about the 1943 film. For the 2005 film, see Chicken Little (2005 film).
Chicken Little
Chicken-little-movie-poster-1943.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Clyde Geronimi
Narrated by Frank Graham
Voices by Frank Graham
Clarence Nash
Florence Gill
Animation by Ollie Johnston
Milt Kahl
Norman Tate
Ward Kimball
John Lounsbery
Studio Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date(s) December 17, 1943
Color process Technicolor
Running time 8:44
Country United States
Language English

Chicken Little is a 1943 short film created by Walt Disney during World War II. Unlike the company's 2005 movie of the same name, this short was based on the fable The Sky is Falling itself.

Plot[edit]

It's a peaceful day at the local poultry farm, and our narrator introduces the audience to the locals, Cocky Locky, Henny Penny, Turkey Lurkey, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Loosey and the titular Chicken Little (a yo-yo wielding simpleton). The birds live happy and content existence in their farm yard knowing that they're well protected. But little do they know, outside the yard Foxy Loxy has happened along and is intent on catching himself a chicken dinner. However, he can't hop in and help himself, due to the high fence, the locks on the gate, and the farmer being armed with a shotgun. But Foxy Loxy is anything if not cunning; after all there are other ways to swipe a chicken. So taking advice from his psychology manual he states, "Why not get one, when you can get them all." He reads aloud a passage telling him that the best way to manipulate the whole flock is to begin with "the least intelligent".

After searching the yard Foxy identifies Chicken Little as the person to start with. He then breaks off a piece of wood from a fortune teller's sign, and then disorients Chicken Little with the suggestion of a thunderstorm before dropping it on his head. Pretending to be "the voice of doom" Loxy tells Little that the sky is falling, and a piece of it hit him on the head. He then goes on to tell him that he should run for his life. Chicken Little panics, he spreads the word to everyone. Little brings a crowd to where he believes the sky piece hit him, but the leader of the flock Cocky Locky inquires about the ordeal he immediately proves the story to be false. The crowd disperses leaving Chicken Little humiliated.

Miffed that his plan didn't work, Foxy Loxy refers to his book again to find something to deal with Cocky Locky. He finds a passage that tells him to "undermine the faith of the masses in their leaders". He heads over to where Henny Penny, Turkey Lurkey, and Ducky Lucky and Goosey Loosey's circles of friends to plant rumors about Cocky Locky's intelligence and leadership. This starts another rush of panic among the avians as they spread the rumor.

With the faith in Cocky Locky called into question, Foxy Loxy uses it to flatter Chicken Little, convincing him to stand up and challenge Cocky Locky's right of leadership. Filled with confidence, Little announces to a crowd that he is their new leader and states that he will save all their lives. But then Cocky Locky argues against him stating the sky isn't falling. The two argue about it until Cocky Locky states, "if the sky is falling, why doesn't it hit me on the head?" From his hiding place, Foxy Loxy uses a slingshot to shoot a star shaped piece of wood at him in the head, knocking him out. This shocks everyone and are convinced that Chicken Little was right about the sky all along. When they ask him what they should do, Foxy Loxy whispers to Little to lead them to "the cave." Believing this is the right thing to do, Chicken Little leads the panicked masses out of the farm, through the woods and into the cave, which is really Foxy Loxy's den. Once everyone's inside, Foxy Loxy goes in after them and seals up the entrance. The narrator reassures the audience that everything will be alright.

The cartoon closes with a pot-bellied Loxy picking his teeth and arranging the wishbones of the devoured birds in a row resembling a war cemetery. The narrator is shocked and insists that this isn't how the story was supposed to end. Foxy Loxy smirks evilly and reminds the narrator not to believe everything he reads.

Cast[edit]

  • Frank Graham as Narrator / Foxy Loxy / Chicken Little / Cocky Locky / Turkey Lurkey / Additional characters
  • Clarence Nash as Ducks (quacking sounds only)
  • Florence Gill as Hens (clucking sounds only)

Foxy Loxy and Mein Kampf[edit]

According to the audio commentary on the short's 2004 Walt Disney Treasures DVD release, the studio had the title of the book Foxy Loxy is reading changed from Hitler's Mein Kampf to Psychology. However, the passages Foxy Loxy reads are still from Mein Kampf.

Other appearances[edit]

Chicken Little makes a cameo appearance in the Toontown countryside in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

External links[edit]