RSS Feed

June 9

Posted on

June 9, 1934 – The Silly Symphony The Wise Little Hen Premieres in Theaters

“Who, me? Oh, no! I’ve got a bellyache!”

On June 9, 1934, the Silly Symphony The Wise Little Hen premiered in theaters. It was based on the folk tale The Little Red Hen, and was directed by Wilfred Jackson. It is notable for the debut of Donald Duck, voiced by Clarence “Ducky” Nash; it also stars Florence Gill as the Wise Little Hen, and Pinto Colvig as Peter Pig.

“There once was a wise little hen, who worried now and then, for fear that she’d be found in need when winter came again,” begins the narration in song for the short. The hen is seen stepping out her front door while all of her chicks play in the yard. With a basket of corn under her arm, she sets out to plant the kernels, and decides to ask her neighbors to help her plant her corn. She first stops at Peter Pig’s house, where Peter is playing an accordion and dancing a jig. But when she asks him for help, Peter feigns a stomachache and starts moaning. When she’s not looking, Peter sneaks a smile to the audience.

The first appearance of Donald Duck

Upset, but not discouraged, the hen moves on to Donald Duck’s houseboat, where he is also seen jovially dancing. When she asks for help, Donald also feigns a stomachache and begins to moan, also giving the audience a smile when she isn’t looking. Again, she is saddened by this, but decides she’ll just have to do it alone. With the help of her chicks, they dig the rows and plant the corn kernels.

The corn soon sprouts, and the hen and her chicks are excited to see how their crop has grown. She decides to visit Peter Pig and Donald Duck, to ask if they will help her harvest her crop. She finds the two at the “Idle Hour Club,” dancing and singing. When she asks for their help, once again, the two fake stomachaches, and go into their clubhouse, moaning. Part of their clubhouse wall falls down, revealing the two shaking hands and laughing at their supposed deception.

The hen and her chicks enjoying their corn feast that they alone planted and harvested

The hen winks at her chicks, getting an idea. She goes out and harvests her corn, and is soon seen at her oven, cooking and preparing many corn dishes. The entire family is shown around the dinner table, with the table piled high with delicious food, and everyone eating heartily. The Wise Little Hen looks out to see the pig and the duck dancing once again, and they feign stomachaches the moment they spot her, with more symptoms, like seeing spots. The hen asks them if they’ll help her eat her corn, and when they readily agree, she hands them a bottle of castor oil – for tummy aches. The singing narrators let us know that “she’ll eat the corn herself,” with Donald and Peter seen kicking each other for their foolishness.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: