So Much for So Little
Directed byCharles M. Jones
Friz Freleng[1]
Written byFriz Freleng
Chuck Jones
Produced byEdward Selzer
StarringMel Blanc
Narrated byFrank Graham
Edited byTreg Brown
Music byCarl Stalling
Animation byBen Washam
Ken Harris
Phil Monroe
Lloyd Vaughan
Layouts byRobert Gribbroek
Backgrounds byPaul Julian
Peter Alvarado
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures Inc.
Release date
  • January 1, 1949 (1949-01-01)
Running time
10 minutes
CountryUnited States
film in public domain

So Much for So Little is a 1949 American animated short documentary film directed by Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng.[2] In 1950, it won an Oscar at the 22nd Academy Awards for Documentary Short Subject, tying with A Chance to Live.[3][4] It was created by Warner Bros. Cartoons for the United States Public Health Service. As a work of the United States Government, the film is in the public domain. The Academy Film Archive preserved So Much for So Little in 2005.[5] Produced during the Harry S. Truman administration, it attained renewed relevance during the modern Medicare for All movement in the United States nearly seven decades later.[6]


The cartoon begins by stating that, annually, 118,481 babies — out of well over two million born — will die before reaching their first birthday. From there, we are shown John E. Jones, a baby who, unless good oversight of the environment is maintained and John himself is provided consistently good healthcare, may potentially add to this statistic.

Most of John's life is depicted: his school years, marriage, later life (as a father), and his golden years. Along the way, health service information is detailed. Before the film ends, it rewinds and returns to John as a baby, reminding the audience about the importance of proper, ongoing care availability to ensure he enjoys a robust, full life. The viewers are informed that it costs each American just three cents a week to safeguard John's, and all babies', well being.

Home media

This documentary short appeared as bonus features in Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 2 and Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume 1. It was remastered in Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection: 15 Winners and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection.

See also


  1. ^ " -- "What's New" Archives: June 2012". Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  2. ^ Schneider, Steve (1988). That's All, Folks! : The Art of Warner Bros. Animation. Henry Holt and Co. p. 98. ISBN 0-8050-0889-6.
  3. ^ "The 22nd Academy Awards (1950) Nominees and Winners". Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  4. ^ "New York Times: So Much for So Little". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2011. Archived from the original on May 20, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2008.
  5. ^ "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.
  6. ^ "This 70-year-old cartoon made a hell of an argument for single-payer healthcare". BoingBoing. April 3, 2017.