Animator Rudolf Ising introduced Piggy as a second character after Foxy to star in the Merrie Melodies series Ising was directing for film producer Leon Schlesinger. Nonetheless, Ising had only made two Piggy shorts in 1931 before he went on to create Goopy Geer. The animators who took over the Merrie Melodies cartoons dropped the Piggy character (as well as his girlfriend Fluffy) and turned the series into a string of one-shots.
Despite their cliched lead character, Ising's two Piggy shorts are well received by some critics. The first is the 1931 short "You Don't Know What You're Doin'!" Here, Piggy visits a surreal night club where he heckles and plays with the club's jazz band. This was followed by "Hittin' the Trail for Hallelujah Land", also in 1931. Here, Piggy plays a steamboat captain who must rescue a drowning Uncle Tom. Due to its stereotypical portrayal of the Uncle Tom character, the cartoon is included among the so-called "Censored 11", Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts that are withheld from circulation due to their heavy use of ethnic stereotypes.
He appeared as a fat, black pig who wears a pair of shorts with buttons on the front. His coloration and dress are identical to those of the Walt Disney character Mickey Mouse before the advent of color film. John Kenworthy argues that, considering the fact that some sketches of mice which Hugh Harman had drawn in 1925 were the inspiration for the creation of Mickey Mouse, Harman and Ising never intended to copy Disney.
Piggy only appeared in the Merrie Melodies series.
- Full shorts (1931)
- Ending cards only (1931-1932)
- "Red-Headed Baby"
- "Pagan Moon"
- "Freddy the Freshman"
- "Crosby, Columbo, and Vallee"
- "Goopy Geer"
- "It's Got Me Again!"
- "Moonlight for Two"
- "The Queen Was in the Parlor"
- "I Love a Parade"
- ↑ Kenworthy, John The Hand Behind the Mouse, Disney Editions: New York, 2001. p. 54