Chicken Little (1943 film)

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Chicken Little
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Clyde Geronimi
Produced by Walt Disney
Narrated by Frank Graham
Voices by Frank Graham
Clarence Nash
Florence Gill
Animation by Character Animators:
Ollie Johnston
Milt Kahl
Norman Tate
Ward Kimball
John Lounsbery
Effects Animators:
Edwin Aardal
George Rowley
Andy Engman [1]
Studio Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date(s) December 17, 1943
Color process Technicolor
Running time 8:44
Country United States
Language English

Chicken Little is a 1943 short film created by Walt Disney during World War II. The short was closely based on the fable Henny Penny. It is an anti-Nazi film showing the evils of mass hysteria.[2]


It's a peaceful day at the local poultry farm, and our narrator introduces the audience to the locals, Cocky Locky, Henny Penny, Turkey Lurkey, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Poosie and the titular Chicken Little (a yo-yo wielding simpleton). The birds live a happy and content existence in their farm yard knowing that they're well protected. But little do they know, outside the yard Foxy Loxy has happened along and is intent on catching himself a chicken dinner. However, he can't hop in and help himself, due to the high fence, the locks on the gate, and the farmer being armed with a shotgun. But Foxy Loxy is anything if not cunning; after all there are other ways to swipe a chicken. So taking advice from his psychology manual he states, "Why should I just get one, when I could get 'em all." He reads aloud a passage telling him that the best way to manipulate the whole flock is to begin with "the least intelligent".

After searching the yard Foxy identifies Chicken Little as the person to start with. He then breaks off a piece of wood from a fortune teller's sign, and then disorients Chicken Little with the suggestion of a thunderstorm before dropping it on his head. Pretending to be "the voice of doom" Loxy tells Little that the sky is falling, and a piece of it hit him on the head. He then goes on to tell him that he should run for his life. Chicken Little panics, he spreads the word to everyone. Little brings a crowd to where he believes the sky piece hit him, but the leader of the flock Cocky Locky inquires about the ordeal he immediately proves the story to be false. The crowd disperses leaving Chicken Little humiliated.

Miffed that his plan didn't work, Foxy Loxy refers to his book again to find something to deal with Cocky Locky. He finds a passage that tells him to "undermine the faith of the masses in their leaders". He heads over to where Henny Penny, Turkey Lurkey, and Ducky Lucky and Goosey Loosey's circles of friends to plant rumors about Cocky Locky's intelligence and leadership. This starts another rush of panic among the avians as they spread the rumor.

With the faith in Cocky Locky called into question, Foxy Loxy uses it to flatter Chicken Little, convincing him to stand up and challenge Cocky Locky's right of leadership. Filled with confidence, Little announces to a crowd that he is their new leader and states that he will save all their lives. But then Cocky Locky argues against him stating the sky isn't falling. The two argue about it until Cocky Locky states, "if the sky is falling, why doesn't it hit me on the head?" From his hiding place, Foxy Loxy uses a slingshot to shoot a star shaped piece of wood at him in the head, knocking him out. This shocks everyone and are convinced that Chicken Little was right about the sky all along. When they ask him what they should do, Foxy Loxy whispers to Little to lead them to "the cave." Believing this is the right thing to do, Chicken Little leads the panicked masses out of the farm, through the woods and into the cave, which is really Foxy Loxy's den. Once everyone's inside, Foxy Loxy goes in after them and seals up the entrance. The narrator reassures the audience that everything will be alright.

The cartoon closes with a fat bloated Loxy picking his teeth and arranging the wishbones of the devoured birds in a row resembling a war cemetery. The narrator is shocked and insists that this isn't how the story was supposed to end. Foxy Loxy smirks evilly and reminds the narrator not to believe everything he reads. [3]


  • Frank Graham as Narrator / Foxy Loxy / Chicken Little / Cocky Locky / Turkey Lurkey / Additional characters
  • Clarence Nash as Ducks (quacking sounds only)
  • Florence Gill as Hens (clucking sounds only)


Foxy Loxy and Mein Kampf

According to the audio commentary on the short's 2004 Walt Disney Treasures DVD release, the studio had the title of the book that Foxy Loxy reads changed from Hitler's Mein Kampf to the generic Psychology in attempt to prevent the short from becoming dated after the war.[5]

Other appearances

Chicken Little makes a cameo appearance in the Toontown countryside in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

See also


  1. ^ Disney's "Chicken Little" Cartoon from 1943-Cartoon Research
  2. ^ Thomas, Bob (1994). Walt Disney: an American original (1st ed.). New York, NY: Hyperion. p. 176. ISBN 0-7868-6027-8.
  3. ^ FilmAffinity
  4. ^
  5. ^ Deja View: Chicken Little 1943

External links

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