10 Lessons Kids Can Learn From Porky Pig
The lovable and overweight Porky Pig was the very first Warner Brothers cartoon “star,” starring in a staggering number of shorts and even being tapped to close out each show with his signature stammered, “that’s all, folks!” For a generation of kids discovering Looney Tunes, there is a veritable goldmine of life lessons to be gleaned from this adorable little pig.
- Obstacles Can Be Overcome – Despite his speech impediment (which was a result of the original voice actor’s real-life stutter) Porky Pig went on to become a favorite Warner Brothers character with fans and studio heads alike. Though his reign as the number-one draw was short, he has enjoyed a spot near the top since his creation.
- Controversy Will Blow Over – In 1991, the National Stuttering Project of San Francisco protested Porky, claiming that he encouraged the “belittling” of child stutterers. The NSP demanded that Warner Brothers use the character as an advocate, which the studio refused. Eventually, the studio granted $12,000 to the Stuttering Foundation of America and allowed Porky to do a series of anti-bullying public service announcements. As a result, the controversy eventually faded away and Porky’s popularity wasn’t diminished.
- Being Yourself is the Key to Success – The stuttering, chubby cartoon pig proves that being exactly who you are is the best way to be successful. Instead of bowing to the demands of detractors, Warner Brothers stuck to their guns and allowed Porky to flourish as the same character he was created to be.
- A Good Attitude Goes A Long Way – Because of the positive and endearing attitude that was one of Porky Pig’s trademarks, Warner Brothers directors often tapped him for the straight man roles opposite more flamboyant characters. As a sentimental favorite of most studio heads and directors, Porky’s never suffered for want of work.
- You’re Never Too Small to Make a Difference – Porky might be just one small pig, but he was at the helm of a large public service announcement campaign in the mid-1990’s. His likeness and stutter were used in a crusade against bullying, proving that even little guys can make a big difference.
- Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Optimism is a staple of Porky Pig’s personality; this ability to look on the bright side is one of the reasons why Warner Brothers directors feel such a soft spot for him. Watching Porky can teach kids that seeing the glass as half full is one of the best ways to succeed and to enjoy life.
- There’s Nothing Wrong With Being the Sidekick – For the majority of Porky’s career, he’s been the sidekick or the supporting actor for the more bombastic leading men played by Daffy Duck and Sylvester. Learning to share the spotlight is a difficult lesson for many kids, but is one that can be absorbed by watching Porky joyfully do the same.
- No One is All Good, or All Bad – The good-natured Porky Pig might be known for his positivity, but there is a strong lesson to be learned about duality and human nature from observing his turns as a duck hunter bent on catching his co-star Daffy Duck.
- It’s Important to Pay Attention to Your Surroundings – In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, Porky enjoyed a run of shorts in which he played the crotchety owner of what he believed was an ill-behaved cat, not realizing that Sylvester was, in fact, saving him time after time from certain harm. The lesson in being attentive and observant isn’t lost, even on the youngest of audiences.
- A Sense of Humor is Helpful – At the end of the full-length theatrical feature Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Porky and his controversial co-star Speedy Gonzales poke fun at themselves and their politically-incorrect labels, proving that a sense of humor is the best way to weather a stormy situation.
And.. “Th.th.th.That’s all, folks!”
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