Peter and the Wolf (1946 film)
|Peter and the Wolf|
|Directed by||Clyde Geronimi|
|Produced by||Walt Disney|
|Written by||Eric Gurney
|Based on||Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev|
|Narrated by||Sterling Holloway|
|Music by||Edward H. Plumb
Kurt Graunke (conductor)
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures|
Peter and the Wolf is an 1946 animated short based on the 1936 musical composition/fairy tale by Sergei Prokofiev, produced by Walt Disney and narrated by Sterling Holloway. It was originally released theatrically as a segment in Make Mine Music. It was re-issued the following year accompanying a re-issue of Fantasia (as a short subject before the film), then released separately on home video in the 1990s.
Prokofiev, while touring the West in 1938, visited Los Angeles and met Walt Disney. Prokofiev performed the piano version of Peter and the Wolf for "le papa de Mickey Mouse", as Prokofiev described him in a letter to his sons. Disney was impressed, and considered adding an animated version of Peter and the Wolf to Fantasia, which was to be released in 1940. Due to the war, these plans fell through, and it was not until 1946 that Disney released his version of Peter and the Wolf. It is not known if Prokofiev, by that point behind the Iron Curtain, was aware of this.
In Disney's animated adaptation of Prokofiev's masterpiece, in which every character is represented musically by a different instrument, a young Peter decides to go hunting for the wolf that's been prowling around the village. Along the way, he is joined by his friends Sasha the bird, Sonia the duck and Ivan the cat.
Differences from the original
This version makes several changes to the original story, for example:
- During the character introduction, the animals are given names: "Sasha" the bird, "Sonia" the duck, and "Ivan" the cat.
- As the cartoon begins, Peter and his friends already know there is a wolf nearby, and are preparing to catch him.
- The hunters get names at a later point in the story: "Misha", "Yasha" and "Vladimir".
- Peter day-dreams of hunting and catching the wolf and exits the garden carrying a wooden "pop-gun" rifle with the purpose of hunting the wolf down.
- At the end, in a complete reversal of the original (and to make the story more child-friendly), it turns out that the duck has not been eaten by the wolf. (The wolf is shown chasing the duck, who hides in an old tree's hollow trunk. The wolf attacks out of view, and returns in view with some of the duck's feathers in his mouth and licking his jaws in visible satisfaction. Peter, the cat, and the bird assume the duck has been eaten. After the wolf has been caught, the bird is shown mourning the duck. The duck comes out of the tree trunk at that point and they are happily reunited).
In other media
An audio recording of this version with expanded narration by Sterling Holloway was released on Disneyland Records (DQ-1242).
In Belle's Tales of Friendship, the Disney version of Peter and the Wolf is featured and narrated by Belle instead of Sterling Holloway. This version of Peter and the Wolf was featured in House of Mouse and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
- "Peter and the Wolf (1946): Trivia". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- Bartig, Kevin. Composing for the Red Screen: Prokofiev and Soviet Film. Oxford University Press. p. 61. ISBN 9780199967605.
- Rocher, Jean-Marc. "Peter and the Wolf (1946): Plot Summary". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 24 June 2014.