“Th-th-th-th- that’s all folks!” was the famous line that became the identity for this fat little pig character animated by Bob Clampett for Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. Porky Pig was the first animated character that gained popularity based on his star power and personality, giving an opportunity to the animators to create several small and big cartoon series and famous movies, using the little character. The movies and cartoon series casting Porky Pig, along with other Looney Tunes characters, gained a lot of popularity amongst cinema lovers, even after he was superseded by later characters, like the Daffy Duck. Read to find interesting and amazing information on the history, origin and background of the popular character, Porky Pig.
Interesting & Amazing Information On Origin & Background Of Porky Pig
The character of Porky Pig was designed by animator Bob Clampett and was introduced in a short titled “I Haven’t Got a Hat” on March 2, 1935. The studio head, Leon Schlesinger advised the short director, Friz Freleng to come up with a cartoon version of the popular film “Our Gang” thus, resulting in “I Haven’t got a Hat”. Though the character of Porky had a small role in the movie, the little stuttering pig became quite popular. The character got his name from two brothers who were childhood classmates of Freleng and nicknamed “Porky” and “Piggy”. With the animation team of Hug Harman and Rudolf Ising leaving the studios in 1933, their creation, Bosko, who ruled the cartoon world also left, leaving the Looney Tunes series with few insipid and bland cartoon characters.
The introduction of Porky Pig in the year 1935 got some spark of hope back to the studios. Tex Avery was hired to the studio by Warner Bros. in 1935. His movie “Gold Diggers of ’49” reused the crew of the movie “I Haven’t Got a Hat”, albeit in different roles. Porky was transformed from a shy little boy into an immensely fat adult in the movie. Though still in supporting roles, he got most of the laughs. The large fan following made the directors realize that they had a star in disguise. Porky got his stutter from a voice actor named Joe Dougherty. Joe had a stammering problem in real life and because he couldn’t at times control his stutter, a new voice recorder was hired. The versatile Mel Blanc replaced Dougherty in 1937, to become the new voice of Porky Pig.
“Porky’s Duck Hunt” was Porky Pig’s first major break as a lead role that was released by the Warner Bros. Pictures in 1937. The movie was also the first for Mel Blanc, who voiced for Porky and hence, became the permanent voice for Porky, until his death in 1937. Porky was then voiced by another talented voice artist, Bob Bergen. Porky stared in a series of movies after his first hit in the late 30s. However, the directors had no hold on the age, appearance and personality of the character. Porky appeared in different age groups, with different personalities and roles in different movies. Several cartoon series projected Porky as a child with parents; father ‘Phineas’ and an unnamed mom. It was then that Bob Clampett, reformed and fixed the character of Porky for his future screen appearances. Hence, Porky became a permanent young adult with a cuter, slimmer and more appealing personality and with less stutter.
As per Clampett’s imagination, Porky was an innocent character who loves traveling and wishes to experience the wonders of the world. This imagination of Clampett came alive in Porky’s next film cast “Porky in Wackyland”. This movie was selected by the National Film Registry for preservation in the year 2000, as in the movie Porky sets on a voyage to find out the last of the ‘Dodos’. Porky’s popularity in a lead role, however, was short lived. Tex Avery had cast Porky against a feisty black duck named ‘Daffy’ in the year 1937. Daffy’s courageous character soon gained popularity and became the studio’s biggest star, dwarfing the popularity gained by Porky the Pig. Porky’s fading fame was also visible in his future casts. The cartoons to follow posted Daffy as a protagonist and dumped Porky down as a duck hunter after Daffy. Since then, most films and cartoons saw Porky and Daffy Duck sharing the screen together.
Jones had also cast Porky against Sylvester in a series of cartoons in the late 40s and early half of 50s. In these cartoon series, Porky plays the role of a guff owner of a cat. Porky’s popularity as an individual character saw the limelight again in the Saturday morning shows ‘The Porky Pig Show’, from 1964 to 1967. He also starred in a show called ‘Porky Pig and Friends’ in the year 1971. Apart from these old-theatrical collections, Porky appeared in a series of classic film-feature compilations during the 1970s and 1980s. The film “Porky Pig in Hollywood” that released in 1986 featured Porky in his adventurous mood. He also appeared in the 1990s animated series “Tiny Toon Adventures”. Despite the ups and downs, Porky Pig has truly been one of the most lovable and adorable cartoon characters of all times.