Li'l Bad Wolf (usually simply referred to as Li'l Wolf) is a character created for The Walt Disney Company. He is the son of Zeke the Big Bad Wolf, but in spite of his name, Li'l Bad Wolf wants to be a good little wolf. Zeke wants his son to be just as bad as he is, but the kindhearted (or, at worst, naive) Li'l Wolf, despite wanting to please his father, can't bring himself to do others harm. Even worse for Zeke, Li'l Wolf's best friends are the Three Little Pigs themselves, and, where his father is continuously plotting ways to capture the pigs, Li'l Wolf constantly has to invent ways to help save his friends from his father's appetite.
Li'l Wolf debuted in his own self-titled series, beginning in the comic book Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #52 (1945). The feature ran regularly through 1957, when it temporarily moved to the back pages of Mickey Mouse. Li'l Wolf returned to Comics and Stories in 1961, after which he continued to appear there frequently through 2008. Li'l Wolf has in fact starred in more issues of Comics and Stories than any other character except for Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.
Apart from Comics and Stories and Mickey Mouse, Li'l Wolf has also appeared in a large number of Disney anthology comic books, including a number of giant-size specials and a series of one-page text stories in Donald Duck.
From 2003-2008, reflecting a trend initiated in European Disney comics, Zeke Wolf increasingly often featured as the title character in new stories himself, although Li'l Wolf continued to play a major role.
Appearances in animation
Li'l Wolf made his animated debut in the Raw Toonage short "The Porker's Court". He later appeared, in a more traditional role in a self-titled short in House of Mouse. The voice for the animated Li'l Wolf there was provided by Andrew Lawrence.
Li'l Wolf is not to be confused with the Three Little Wolves, Big Bad Wolf's three mischievous sons who appeared in the cartoon shorts The Three Little Wolves and The Practical Pig, although he closely resembles them. It should be noted, though that over twenty years after Li'l Wolf's debut in the comics, a record album based on the shorts, The Stories and Songs of Walt Disney's Three Little Pigs, retconned the Three Little Wolves (or at least two of them) as the Big Bad Wolf's nephews and also depicted one of them with Li'l Wolf's personality.