Three Little Pigs | History


Perhaps the best known version of this story comes from Joseph Jacobs' rendition published in his English Fairy Tales (1898). Jacobs credits his source as James Orchard Halliwell in Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales (1849). Halliwell's version is one of the first known versions of the tale in print.

The tale bears many similarities to the Grimms' "The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids."

The tale has been popular in many incarnations in the United States, as well, most notably in several tales in Joel Chandler Harris' Tales of Uncle Remus (1880). You can read more about these tales on the Tales Similar to the Three Little Pigs page.

While Disney has influenced the continuing popularity of several fairy tales, its influence on The Three Little Pigs is perhaps one of the strongest. While the pigs were not the stars of a feature length film, they were given their own cartoon short in 1933 as part of Disney's Silly Symphonies. The cartoon predates the earliest Disney full-length fairy tale film, Snow White, by a few years. The cartoon, which included the song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?," became a success during the Depression, inspired people to overcome the "wolves" in their lives--poverty, starvation, unemployment, etc.


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