December 17, 1943 – The Wartime Propaganda Short Film Chicken Little is Released to Theaters
“As our story continues, we find all our fine feathered friends happy and contented. And why not? Didn’t they have a big strong fence protecting them?
On December 17, 1943, the wartime propaganda special short film Chicken Little premiered in theaters. The short was a piece about persuasion and falling under the sway of leaders with sinister agendas. Originally it was supposed to have explicit connotations of World War II, with Foxy Logy reading Mein Kampf, but was left generic to be used in potential future cases. The short was directed by Clyde Geronimi.
The story begins in a small peaceful farmyard, and introduces the characters: the mayor rooster Cocky Locky, local gossip Henny Penny, intellectual Turkey Lurkey, the carefree Jitterbirds, bar regulars Goosey Poosey and Ducky Lucky, and the main character Chicken Little. The entire community feels safe with a large fence protecting them, and don’t seem to notice Foxy Loxy taking an interest in the chickens. He decides to use psychology to get all of the chickens, and begins with Chicken Little, pegging him to be the least intelligent of the lot. He tricks Chicken Little into thinking the sky is falling with a bit of show and a piece of a sign. Chicken Little believes the lie Foxy Loxy told him, and it spreads like wildfire. Cocky Locky doesn’t believe it, and reassures the group that it was just a piece of wood that hit Chicken Little on the head. Undeterred, Foxy Loxy changes strategy to make the chickens lose faith in Cocky Locky. Through holes in the fence, Foxy Loxy manages to spread rumors and false information to each different group within the community, and again it spreads through the community. He then eggs on Chicken Little to assume the leadership, and through his whispers, he convinces Chicken Little to take the entire community to the cave – right where Foxy Loxy is lying in wait. Cocky Locky is left as the lone chicken in the yar, with Foxy Loxy devouring every last chicken.