Three Little Bops

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Three Little Bops
Three Little Bops throw out the wolf.png
The Three Little Bops throw the Big Bad Wolf out of the House of Straw.
Directed byFriz Freleng
Produced byEddie Selzer
Story byWarren Foster
StarringStan Freberg (All)
Music byShorty Rogers
Edited byTreg Brown
Animation byGerry Chiniquy
Bob Matz
Layouts byHawley Pratt
Backgrounds byIrv Wyner
Color processTechnicolor
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date
January 5, 1957 (US)
Running time
7 minutes

Three Little Bops is a 1957 American animated musical comedy short film in the Looney Tunes series and directed by Friz Freleng, with voices provided 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 was released by Warner Bros. Pictures on January 5, 1957. The short 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.


The short opens with a display of the book that shows the Three Little Pigs who used to play pipes and dance jigs, then focuses to the present day, revealing the pigs now playing modern instruments and performing hip, current music as The Three Little Bops.

During a gig at the House of Straw, the Big Bad Wolf appears and, to prove he is friendly, he shakes their hands; he then announces he is joining the band. His instrument of choice is a trumpet, and it is immediately evident that he plays terribly; the pigs throw him out. Insulted that he was not allowed to get into the swing, 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. Like the pigs, the people watching also think his playing is horrible, so they call for the pigs to "throw the square out", which they do. Again, the Wolf retaliates; he blows down the Dew Drop Inn. The pigs then realize that in order to escape the Wolf's "windy tricks", they will have to 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 trying to blow away the club, and then thinks he can get in by disguising himself. He enters wearing a fur coat and playing a perfect rendition of the Charleston on his ukelele; his performance is cut short by a strategically thrown banana peel. Pretending to be a houseplant, he manages to return with his trumpet but, when he begins to play, the pig playing the double bass fires a plunger from the strings and blasts the Wolf outside.

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". The drummer pig throws a dart into the drum, deflating it and leaving the Wolf to exit in humiliation; 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 the place up!". The flame is extinguished the first time, so he carries the bomb some distance from the door to light it. Unfortunately for him, he is too far away and, while he is dashing back to the target with it, the TNT explodes, killing the Big Bad Wolf.

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, the piano playing pig 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. The band alters its name to "The Three Little Bops Plus One".


Musical credits are believed to be:

  • Vocals - Stan Freberg (credited on the short)
  • Baritone Saxophone - Jimmy Giuffre (or possibly Pepper Adams as suggested by JazzWax)
  • Trumpet/flugelhorn - Shorty Rogers (credited on the short)
  • Piano - Pete Jolly
  • Guitar - Barney Kessel
  • Bass - Red Mitchell (or possibly Red Callendar as suggested by JazzWax from Stan Freberg recalling a "Red"(?))
  • Drums - Stan Levey (or possibly Shelly Manne as suggested by JazzWax)

Although there is great speculation on the actual Drums/Bass/and Saxophonist, there is great probability that Shorty would use his "Giants" to record the cartoon music track (Rogers, Jolly, and Giuffre) and utilize the top session men hip to the West Coast Jazz scene such as heavy-hitting drummer Levey and "Wrecking Crew" member, Barney Kessel. Rogers would record with all speculated session men at some point within the production of this cartoon during 1956. Regardless, they've all played in groups at one point all together as the top West Coast Jazz players in Los Angeles.

This is one of few Warner Bros. cartoons 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 Bros. cartoons during this time, none of the others were credited.

Later appearances[edit]

  • 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.

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