The Phono Project

Exploring the history of the groove

Who’s Afraid of The Big Bad Wolf? By Frank Churchchill

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s favorite song. Why? This song quickly became an anthem to the Great Depression Era. Walt Disney’s original Silly Symphony #36 was based on one big metaphor. The Three Little Pigs was America, and the Big Bad Wolf was Hitler. So who really is afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? This song helped people get through this hard time.

Another message from this short film was how only the wealthy could survive the depression. If you did not have a strong house, it will be taken away from you due to the “wolf” or the depression.

It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1934. It played for months and months. What’s funny about it was how the theaters began to put beards on the film posters outside because they’ve been playing the short for so long. People really wanted to watch something that would make them feel good in such a dark time.

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