Today we have another Happy Friday post, a category that exists purely to highlight Disney and theme park things that makes me happy. Can you spare a minute to hear the gospel of Disney’s Peter & The Wolf cartoon short as narrated by Mr. Sterling Holloway? C’mon, don’t just stand that way! And don’t stand that way either.
DISNEY’S PETER & THE WOLF
Released in 1946 as part of Make Mine Music, Disney’s Peter & The Wolf doesn’t seem to get a ton of attention. This kind of makes sense since it features zero well-known Disney characters. I guess it’s a sort of answer to Warner Bros. Bugs Bunny/Wagner shorts, which are also great but shouldn’t overshadow Peter the way they do.
Of course, I might be biased: the ’40s are my favorite aesthetic era, and Prokofiev is my favorite composer. And yes, the fact that I have a favorite composer is kind of elitist. Don’t blame me; blame maternal conditioning. Perhaps at a certain point snobbery is baked into the DNA. 😂
Anyway, you know Prokofiev’s Peter & The Wolf, right? It’s one of those staple classical pieces written expressly for kids, like Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals, except since Peter is Russian it’s, like, WAY darker. I hate to break it to you, but the original Little Mermaid dissolves into seafoam, Cinderella’s stepsisters cut off parts of their feet in an effort to fit in her slipper, and Peter’s duck gets eaten by the wolf.
Not in the Disney version, though! Everyone gets a happy ending here (I assume the hunters were catch-and-release).
IT’S THE NARRATOR! STERLING HOLLOWAY
It all comes courtesy of our courageous narrator, none other than Disney Legend Sterling Holloway. Perhaps you know him better as Winnie the Pooh? Or Kaa? Roquefort? The Cheshire Cat? Read his Wikipedia page if you’d like to spend a couple minutes going OHHHHHH.
I just love Sterling Holloway’s voice – it’s so distinctively… fuzzy. Staticky? Like it’s been worn down by sand? Some voice actors you recognize because you’ve heard that voice before, but Sterling Holloway has one of those voices you recognize because it couldn’t possibly be anybody else.
(In researching this post, I also stumbled across a David Bowie version, which is all well and good but I’m going to stick to the ’40s for now.)
All of this is to say that Disney’s Peter & The Wolf deserves more love, and we are all going to collectively give it some… NOW. With an attractive 15 minute running time, this short fits perfectly into your lunch break. I hope you’re not having duck.
Click here to see the full cartoon with visuals and audio intact. (Unfortunately it won’t embed.)
Alternatively, you can just listen to the audio below. No wrong choices!
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