Composer Frank Churchill’s toe-tapping “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” featured in Disney’s 1933 animated short “Three Little Pigs,” raised the spirits of countless Depression-weary audiences who adopted the song as a resilient national anthem of hope. Shortly after release of the Academy Award®-winning cartoon, Frank spoke of the song’s surprising success when more than 39,000 copies of sheet music sold within three days of publication in New York City alone.
Quoted in Photoplay magazine, he said, “It seems to be on every phonograph record … and practically every orchestra in the country is featuring this number.”
Inspired by the film’s success, Walt Disney entrusted Frank to compose music for his first feature-length animated motion picture “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” along with fellow Legend Leigh Harline. Ultimately, it was the composer’s musical genius that helped bridge the Studio’s daring transition from animated shorts to features in 1937.
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