Chicken Little (1943 film)

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Chicken Little
Chicken-little-movie-poster-1943.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byClyde Geronimi
Produced byWalt Disney
Narrated byFrank Graham
Voices byFrank Graham
Clarence Nash
Florence Gill
Animation byCharacter Animators:
Ollie Johnston
Milt Kahl
Norman Tate
Ward Kimball
John Lounsbery
Effects Animators:
Edwin Aardal
George Rowley
Andy Engman [1]
StudioWalt Disney Productions
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release date(s)December 17, 1943 [2]
Color processTechnicolor
Running time8:44
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Chicken Little is a 1943 short film created by Walt Disney during World War II[3] and directed by Clyde Geronimi. The short was closely based on the fable Henny Penny. It is an anti-Nazi film showing the evils of mass hysteria.[4]

Plot[edit]

The narrator introduces the audience to the happy and content locals at the local poultry farm: Cocky Locky, Henny Penny, Turkey Lurkey, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Poosie and the titular Chicken Little (a yo-yo wielding simpleton)-all 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 cannot hop in and help himself due to the high fence, locked gates and a well-armed farmer. But Foxy Loxy is anything if not cunning for there are other ways to swipe a chicken. So taking advice from his psychology book, he states "Why should I just get one, when I could get 'em all." He reads aloud a passage telling him that the best way to manipulate the whole flock is to begin with "the least intelligent" (identifying Chicken Little after searching the yard).

Loxy then breaks off a piece of wood from a fortune teller's sign, and then disorients 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 and then goes on to tell him that he should run for his life. Little panics spreading the word to everyone thus bringing 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 and afterwards, the crowd disperses leaving Chicken Little humiliated.

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

With Locky's leadership in question, Loxy uses it to flatter Little convincing him to stand up and challenge Locky's right of leadership as (filled with confidence) Little announces to a crowd that he is their new leader and states that he will save all their lives. Locky argues against him stating the sky is not falling. The two argue about it until Locky states, "if the sky is falling, why doesn't it hit me on the head?" From his hiding place, 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 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. Little leads the panicked masses out of the farm, through the woods and into the cave (which is actually Loxy's den) and once everyone is inside, Loxy goes in after them and seals up the entrance. The narrator reassures the audience that everything will be alright, but the cartoon closes with a stuffed 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 is not how the story was supposed to end. Foxy Loxy smirks evilly and reminds the narrator not to believe everything he reads. [5]

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)

[6]

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 that Foxy Loxy reads changed from Hitler's Mein Kampf to the generic Psychology in attempt to prevent the short from becoming dated after the war.[7]

Other appearances[edit]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Disney's "Chicken Little" Cartoon from 1943-Cartoon Research
  2. ^ Chicken Little (film)-D23
  3. ^ Foxy Loxy-Obscure Disney characters-Pictures-CBS News
  4. ^ Thomas, Bob (1994). Walt Disney: an American original (1st ed.). New York, NY: Hyperion. p. 176. ISBN 0-7868-6027-8.
  5. ^ FilmAffinity
  6. ^ BCDB.com
  7. ^ Deja View: Chicken Little 1943

External links[edit]