Three Bears and a Wolf

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Three Bears and a Wolf
ThreeBearsAndAWolfTitleCard.png
Xciep the Mongoose took three months to design the title card, which shows the forest, the two cottages and Yellowilocks' lock pick.
Written by Does the Mongoose
Directed by Peter the Mongoose
Produced by Ray the Mongoose
Distributed by Auspicious Films
Music by Is the Mongoose
Ten the Mongoose
Editing by Ten the Mongoose
The the Mongoose
Starring Alan the Mongoose
Harry the Mongoose
Barry the Mongoose
Charlie the Mongoose
Charles the Mongoose
Xciep the Mongoose
Running time 29 minutes
Release date(s) 8 November 2009 (Earth)
Country United Kingdom
Language Wolfish English
Budget 50 pence
Gross revenue 49 pence
Preceded by The Green Problem
Followed by Walnuts and Pears

Three Bears and a Wolf is a 2009 British fairy-tale short film created by the Auspicious Three, a team of thirteen mongooses. It was their first production whose script did not contain the word "therefore", and their second overall.

It draws from the fairy tales Little Red Riding Hood and The Story of the Three Bears, each about a little girl who either kills or does not kill her own grandmother/wolf and/or one or more bears, stealing characters and plot points from one, both, neither, both at the same time, and/or neither at completely different times. Its tagline was If you go down to the woods to— wait a minute, we didn't do that one.

The film was funded by director Peter the Mongoose's son, Samuel, giving up his pocket money for three weeks and selling his Razor scooter.

Unlike their first picture, some versions of which ran for over nine hours, Three Bears and a Wolf ran for just under half-an-hour (and president). This is said to be because Xciep the Mongoose spent all of the production budget on large quantities of nectarines and the occasional luxury yacht.

Plot[edit]

The film starts as Medium-Sized Purple Riding Hood (Alan the Mongoose) is skipping merrily through the woods. She picks flowers and catalogues them according to her botany textbook. She is being watched by Relatively Small Bad Wolf (Barry the Mongoose), who is sharpening his collection of high-quality knives which he got for only £29.99 with free delivery and a complimentary pen. The Wolf sells the knives to camera, and a phone number appears on screen (calling this number results in extortionate charges).

Once all of the knives have sold, we return to Purple, who meets Yellowilocks on the way home. Purple tells her that she was on her way to her Grandmother's cottage, and Yellowilocks says she is about to break into the cottage of a family of bears. Purple is interested in the latter, so she accompanies Yellowilocks as she picks the bears' lock (her famous yellow lock-pick is how she got her name) and enters their kitchen. On the bears' television, a news report warns them that a ravenous grandmother-impersonating wolf is in the woods, but they don't notice as Yellow knocks a bowl of hot porridge off the table; the bowl knocks her unconscious and the porridge burns her face. Purple tastes the other two bowls (which are different temperatures) and wonders why the bears didn't just put them all out at the same time.

Purple heaves the unconscious Yellow upstairs, smashing three chairs in the process. She places her onto a bed, and reads Once Upon a Time Magazine. She hears a sound outside, and sees the bears' car pulling into the drive from the window. She heaves Yellow back downstairs, and begins to climb out of the window, but the bears notice the open door and burst in.

A massive brawl ensues, involving many defenestrations: all of the bears attack the girls, and Yellow wakes up and helps Purple claw at them. Father Bear gets his hunting rifle out and begins aiming for the girls. They manage to wrestle it off him, and they accidentally shoot his son. They climb out of the window, covered in blood, glass shards, soot and injuries, and run to Purple's grandmother's cottage; they see a wanted poster with a picture of the Wolf on it on their way.

The Wolf is in the middle of a sales video, but he stops selling his Realistic 100% Rubber Grandma Mask to don it and hide under her bedcovers. They knock, and the Wolf calls for them to enter in an unrealistic high voice. Purple gestures to Yellow to be quiet, and engages in the traditional "all the better" dialogue while pointing a gun at the Wolf, who cannot see through the mask because it was manufactured without eye holes.

The wolf removes the mask, and hurls himself at the two, swearing ("Do you blow the pigs' house down with that mouth?!"); Purple shoots him before he can reach them, but he survives. Just as they are about to do it again, four pairs of bears' claws rest on their shoulders.

Themes[edit]

According to a review in The Scum newspaper, "The film explores death, revenge and predation, as well as the low low prices of quality silverware, but any positive lessons the film teaches are ruined by its violent and erratic presentation. Half an hour of fairytale fun for all the family!"

Cast[edit]

Character Actor
Medium-Sized Purple Riding Hood Alan the Mongoose
Yellowilocks Harry the Mongoose
Relatively Small Bad Wolf Barry the Mongoose
Father Bear/Bear the First Charlie the Mongoose
Mother Bear/Bear the Middle One Charles the Mongoose
Child Bear/Bear the Final Xciep the Mongoose (animation/voice)
Reporter Ian the Mongoose

Presentation[edit]

“It's our most immersive experience yet!”

~ Does the Mongoose

“They showed it at SeaWorld.”

~ Is the Mongoose

“You don't have to undermine my argument, I'm trying to promote the film!”

~ Does the Mongoose

“Well, you should at least do it well.”

~ Is the Mongoose

WHAT?!

~ Does the Mongoose

I SAID, YOU SHOULD AT LEAST DO IT WELL!!!!!!

~ Is the Mongoose

“Okay... I'm just going to go now...”

~ our interviewer

YOU'RE NOT GOING ANYWHERE!!

~ Does the Mongoose

Four versions of the film were made: 1D, 2D, 3D and 4D.

1D This version of the film has no depth, which attracted criticism, but it is the only version suitable for people who have not yet upgraded their television with a second dimension.
2D This version was released on DVD, but critics remarked that the plot and characters were rather two-dimensional, then sniggered softly to themselves and took a bite of shortbread.
3D The film was shot in 3D on a special camera, but most of the tape was wasted when Ten the Mongoose decided to film himself making offensive hand gestures for 48 hours. It really does look like his hand's coming out at you, though.
4D The 4D version of the film, which was shown at SeaWorld, SeaParks, SeaWorks, WaterWorks, TheWholeWorks and SeaAllTheFish, required a special theatre setup where a nozzle was fitted in the back of every chair to squirt the person behind them with water at certain intervals to make the film more immersive; there were no specific points at which the water was relevant to the story, so the nozzles went off at random intervals.

In one screening, there was a plumbing fault, and the experience was so immersive that the audience never left.

Production[edit]

The history and works of the
Auspicious Three
Three dark red letter 'A's, the middle one upside down so they slot into each other.
Members
CharlesHarryIanCharlieAlan
XciepTenRayPeterTheDoes
IsBarry
Topics
History
Breesdale incident
Films
The Green Problem (2009)
Three Bears and a Wolf (2009)
Walnuts and Pears (2010)
CategoryTemplate

The film was given the code name of Project Woods during production.

The mongooses were more familiar with the process of filmmaking now, yet they were still completely useless at it. Despite it being much shorter, the team allowed themselves a month to make Three Bears and a Wolf to ensure it was the best possible quality. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the worst quality it could possibly be while still resembling the script.

Writing[edit]

Peter and Ray the Mongoose, who wrote The Green Problem, were promoted to director and producer respectively, and the script was written by Does the Mongoose on a napkin he got from Starbucks and had already used to wipe his mouth but he couldn't find a piece of paper so what are you going to do?

The team had brainstormed several different film ideas, and eventually decided to rip off stories in the public domain so they didn't have to write anything original. They decided to spare the world another adaption of The Hound of the Baskervilles, but unfortunately went for something almost as common.

Unfortunately, before this decision was made, a large dog had already been hired and covered in fluorescent paint: it wreaked havoc on the set, and terrorised ADs first, second and third.

Filming[edit]

Filming was done in the Forest of Dean, and disrupted the habitat of many creatures. Members of the crew amused themselves by destroying various nests and dens between takes. This prompted complaints from animal rights group TEPID (Treat Everything with the Peace and tranquility which It Deserves), and producer Ray the Mongoose gave an official statement:

“Eat yourselves.”

~ producer Ray the Mongoose

Special 3D cameras were used, but filming took a long time because people were constantly stealing the camera to see what it would look like if they recorded themselves making rude gestures and played it back in an IMAX cinema and using it to record stupid DVD extras.

Animation[edit]

Child Bear was animated and voiced by Xciep the Mongoose over live-action footage. This proved difficult for actors, partly because they didn't know where to look and it was hard to deliver their lines without somebody there, but mostly because they were just really bad actors.

Xciep has said that the animation process contains two of the following: blood, sweat and tears. He will not say which ones.

Editing[edit]

Ten the Mongoose and The the Mongoose edited the film, with the former cutting up the negative with his teeth, and the latter taping it back together in a vaguely sensible order.

They were offered a digital editing suite, but Ten trashed it and kicked the editor in the ribs. There was a lawsuit, but Ten decided to drop all charges.

Cinema release[edit]

This time, some copies of the film were made and distributed down back-alleys in Soho, eventually ending up at the offices of the BBFC, who had to invent a new rating to describe the horrors they saw, and no amount of Extended Classification Information could save them.

1D, 2D, 3D and 4D cinemas showed the film (although the last ones were all in water-based theme parks): each was more traumatising than the last.

DVD release[edit]

Like The Green Problem, the film was released on DVD with the group's famous abundance of special features:

  • commentaries by the producer and director, the editors, the cast and a film studio toilet cleaner with some very interesting views
  • unnecessary censorship audio track
  • footage of cast members flipping off 3D cameras
  • production diaries
  • Throwlympics: each mongoose was given a camcorder, and was encouraged to film themselves throwing objects of increasing weight at other cast members – production had to be halted when Xciep thew his camcorder at Charles
  • footage of a brainstorming session in which twelve members all turn on Is, and threaten to burn him if he doesn't compose the film's score
  • more ineffective "hypnosis films" by XCIEP THE GREAT IS THE GREATEST HAIL XCIEP HAIL XCIEP
  • the cast and crew attend the première of the film at the Cannes Film Festival: they arrive ten minutes late, shove their cameras in people's faces, fire water pistols at the screen and fling clementine peel into the audience
  • Auspicacity, a documentary about the history of the group, detailing how they met, fell out, got back together and fell out again: it ends on a cliffhanger
  • see how Xciep animates in Drawing Rage: The Day I Set My Studio on Fire
  • hilarious outtakes and deleted scenes, featuring clips of actors messing up lines, interspliced with the resultant beatings
  • subtitles in English, Gibberish, Nonsense, Rubbish, Garbage, Double Dutch and Single Dutch.

and much more drivel.

Television airing[edit]

It was first aired on television in July 2010: when Barry the Mongoose found out that 3 minutes of footage had been cut to allow for a commercial break, he went to the station's headquarters with a spiked flail and cudgel.

The film has not been broadcast since.

Soundtrack[edit]

Is the Mongoose did not initally want to compose the film's score, but he was forced to on pain of immolation.

Ten the Mongoose played triangle, electric triangle, maracas, tambourine and various other instruments which require no skill whatsoever.

  1. "Dans le forêt" (4:29; Is cannot speak French)
  2. "Meeting" (3:12)
  3. "The Wolf" (3:18)
  4. "Father Bear" (1:15)
  5. "Mother Bear" (1:00)
  6. "Child Bear" (1:00)
  7. "Face of a Grandmother" (1:48)
  8. "Blown Away" (3:03)
  9. "Overbearing" (2:40)
  10. "Profiterole Blues" (7:57)

The last track, from Is's forays as a jazz pianist, was played over the credits.

Reception[edit]

“Let's face it, they couldn't have done worse than last time.”

~ a critic

Many critics praised Three Bears and a Wolf for improving on The Green Problem, but some pointed out that it would be impossible not to.

It was criticised for "bastardising two classic children's tales with violence, poor acting and horrible writing". Director Peter the Mongoose wrote to this particular critic; his letter is said to have concerned various pieces of fruit and their corresponding bodily orifices.

Censorship[edit]

The film received a PG-13 for Intense ursine-lupine maulings and violence throughout.

Awards[edit]

The film was nominated for the Rusk Awards for Worst Short Film and Worst Casting (two human girls were portrayed by adult male mongooses).

Presidential campaign[edit]

In a surprise move, the producers decided to nominate Three Bears and a Wolf for the position of US President. They decided to bypass Congress, take a HeadOn approach and apply directly to the White House, HeadOn, apply directly to the White House, HeadOn, apply directly to the White House.

All necessary conditions were met, and it was deemed unnecessary to vote, but it was discovered at the last minute that the film was not over 35 years old, the required age for presidential candidates. The producers plan to try again in 2044.

“It would have made a better president than Rick Santorum. But then, my foot would have made a better president than Rick Santorum.”

~ Ray the Mongoose

Auction[edit]

In January 2010, the Auspicious Three auctioned off a copy of the script of Three Bears and a Wolf to raise money for the Yogi Hospital for Critically Injured Bears. Most of the £1.70 raised went to the charity.

“Well, I'm really thrilled that we've been given this amazing opportunity to raise some money for charity. I'm so happy that a charity for bears approached us, obviously taking the film quite literally, and asked us to sacrifice our copyrighted script for the benefit of the bears. I couldn't be more pleased that they've completely misinterpreted the film, and that their tiny little bear brains can't seem to wrap around the fact that the story was an allegory for life themes. For God's sake, our work isn't just a packet of sweets that you can sell off for bear money, we need to maintain our integrity, and you don't do that by selling off your scripts! It's only because I got my share of the proceeds that I haven't pressed charges firmly against these mongrel rats who lured us into the dark side with false promises of bear helpage! When was the last time you saw a bear?! THEY'RE NOT REAL! ”

~ Xciep the Mongoose, shortly before his fifteenth heart attack

Further reading[edit]

  • the Mongoose, Ray (2009). Avoiding the Sophomore Slump, and 19 Other Skin Ailments. Mongoose Books.
  • the Mongoose, Does (2010). Three Bears and a Wolf: The Original Screenplay, with Analysis By Three Real Bears and an Actual Wolf. Mongoose Books.
  • Coleman, Zach (2011). The 100 Worst Films Ever Made: 2011 Edition. pp. 143–150. Rooster Publishing.