Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Red Hot Riding Hood

Red Hot Riding Hood is an animated cartoon short subject, directed by Tex Avery and released on May 8, 1943 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. In 1994 it was voted #7 of The 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field, making it the highest ranked MGM cartoon on the list. It is one of Avery's most popular cartoons, inspiring several of his own "sequel" shorts as well as influencing other cartoons and feature films for years afterward.

But the Big Wolf decided if the story wasn’t going to change, he wanted no part of it. Riding Hood agreed. Grandma made it unanimous. Change was a must. The old story was, well, old.

The new story began on the corner of Hollywood and Vine. Wolf was dressed ‘to the nines,’ driving a sparkly convertible, and howling at the ladies. A highly modernized grandma lived in the penthouse of a tall, swanky building.

Likewise, Little Red Riding Hood worked in a nightclub, the wolf ‘hot on her trail.’ Now called Red Hot Riding Hood, the star of the story was introduced to the club audience as the ‘Sweetheart of Swing,’ and a ‘red headed ball of fire.’ Her sexy entrance onto the stage drove Big Wolf absolutely mad, and he acted accordingly.

During a break in her act, Wolf pulled her to his table and asked about a later date. Red Hot Riding Hood declined, saying she had to go visit her grandma. She took off in a cab, closely followed by her discombobulated suitor.

Wolf burst into grandma’s apartment, and GRANDMA went wild. Her physical attraction to him was immediate and evident. Not what he was expecting or desiring, Wolf clamored for the door.

Unfortunately, grandma beat him to it and locked it. In typical cartoon slapstick they chased and ducked, ducked and chased. To extricate himself, Wolf jumped out the window, landing where he began, tangled in a streetlamp at Hollywood and Vine.

The cartoon ended with Wolf seated at the club once again, bandaged and swearing off women until death. His ghost began where he ended, making a complete fool of himself as Red Hot Riding Hood once again made her stage entrance.
Grey Hall

The title character of Red Hot Riding Hood was designed as a pin-up, to boost Army morale, but the Hays Office objected to the wolf's reaction to Red — "showing body heat, the steam coming out of the collar, and the tongue rolling out" and forced Avery to make cuts. "Sometimes we would just stiffen him out in mid-air; he'd make a take and his whole body would stiffen out like an arrow! And they cut that one out on us." Such imagery was apparently important enough to Avery that, rather than capitulate, he devised a strategy to salvage it. He would insert a number of over-the-top gags he knew would be cut, and the ones he really wanted would be left alone by a then-satisfied censor. Like Djuna Barnes, Avery knew that kids — and soldiers — "like Red Riding Hood and the wolf in bed!"

Tex Avery's first excursion into animated sexual frenzy is his best. Some have suggested that having the Wolf's pursuit by Grandma follow the raging libido scene was a mistake in pacing, but it all works for me. It's too bad Avery didn't complete the opening misdirection by having the FIRST title card read "Little Red Riding Hood," but it goes by so quickly, and is drawn so conservatively that it doesn't really hurt. Besides, is there a context in which this film could be realistically expected to be shown where the audience would be truly surprised when it doesn't turn out to be a straight version of the fairy-tale?
Ted Watson (tbrittreid)


Blogger said...

Get all the best alcoholic drinks at Duty Free Depot!

All the world famous brand name drinks for unbeatable discounted price tags.

Blogger said...

If you want your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (no matter why you broke up) you got to watch this video
right away...

(VIDEO) Get your ex back with TEXT messages?