Monday, 28 July 2008


The above screen-captures are from a rival Big Bad Wolf cartoon short made by Walt Disney's former partner and leading animator Ub Iwerks in 1936.
Ub Iwerks (1901-71) was Walt's partner and collague since their youth in Kansas where they founded together a commercial art venture. Later, when Walt moved to Hollywood, he followed and joined the Disney Studio as a junior partner holding 20 percent of the shares (semi-official Disney histories, eager to elevate Walt, downplay Iwerks as a mere employee, but that is incorrect). Iwerks was also the studio's leading animator, and it was he who co-created, with Walt, Mickey Mouse and single-handedly animated all the early Mouse cartoons. However, he was apparently frustrated with Walt bossing around, interfering with his art work, such as going over his sheets and re-timing the exposures at night after Iwerks had gone home. In January 1930, he left Disney Studios, selling off his rights for a mere sum of under 3,000 US dlrs, when he received a seemingly more lucrative offer to set up another studio. In the 1940s, he would return to Disney, this time indeed as an employee.
Iwerks' Big Bad Wolf (1936) cartoon short dates from this era when he was working outside Disney. Earlier, Disney Studios had made the phenomenally successful cartoon short Three Little Pigs (1933), where the Big Bad Wolf had debutted, and followed-up with the sequel Big Bad Wolf (1934). While Disney's Big Bad Wolf was based on the fable 'Little Red Riding Hood', Iwerks' cartoon of the exact same title was based on the nursery rhyme 'Little Bo Peep', both of which feature a wolf as a villain. In 1936, the year Iwerks made his Big Bad Wolf , Disney also produced Three Little Wolves, again featuring the Big Bad Wolf, but I couldn't establish which one of the two cartoons from the same year preceeded the other in terms of production. Nevertheless, both feature similar scenes of the Big Bad Wolf sharpening his knives..
I am sorry I couldn't manage better-looking screen captures from Iwerks' Big Bad Wolf, but the whole short can be viewed in its entirety from here:

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