Red Hot Riding Hood (1943)
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This short has a nice story and the usual Tex Avery humor, including written messages. The short is not really suitable for children, it has some sexual references, but adults will like this very much. A very nice animated short.
This is Tex Avery's masterpiece in terms of the relation of his work to animation in general and the short form in specific. There are better cartoons (some even by Avery himself) and there are cartoons that I personally like better, but in terms of what Avery was attempting to do with the form, in terms of what animation was at the time and had been in the past and what its potential was for the future and the impact that Avery had and would have on his artform, this is the first truly successful Avery cartoon on all terms, both Avery's and animation. Avery blew out the valves, cranked up the engine and blew the doors off on this one for the first (but not last) time here. He turned everything up a few notches here, gang, and it works! It worked then, it works now and will work tomorrow, precisely because Avery had that most overworked and little understood word-genius. Remarkable cartoon and if you like animation and haven't seen this one, what are you reading me for? Go watch this. This is a great piece of work. Need I add, most highly recommended?
The story begins with the standard version of the Little Red Riding Hood story; until the characters suddenly rebel at this done-to-death staging and stated "every cartoon studio in Hollywood has done it this way", which is kind of the truth. So, they demand a fresh approach and the annoyed narrator accedes to their demands and starts the story again in a dramatically different arrangement. And now, the story is set in a contemporary urban setting where Red is a sexy adult nightclub entertainer. The Wolf is a debonair skirt chaser who is in love with Red but she wants nothing to do with him. Red escapes Wolf saying she's going to her Grandma's house, but when Wolf arrives Red is nowhere to be found. Grandma is an oversexed man-chaser who falls head over heels over Wolf, and locks him in her apartment, puts on a bright red shade of lipstick and tries to kiss him several times during his stay. He tries to escape but the lovelorn granny chases after him, and every door Wolf opens Grandma is there waiting with puckered lips.
In contrast to my favorite cartoon character Betty Boop, who was a character who exuded a sweetly innocent style, Red was pure sex, existing almost exclusively to whip the Wolf (a metaphor for males in general) into a carnal frenzy. With this short as her introduction, Red was the sexy distraction for the oversexed, lusting "Wolf" character that was introduced earlier in the 1942 short "Blitz Wolf." She drove the sex-crazed wolf do all the things that were to become trademarks of Avery's cartoons: the eye-popping, the jaw dropping, and the gravity defiying pratfalls. She was so popular that she was brought back for 3 more cartoons - "Swing Shift Cinderella," "Uncle Tom's Cabana" and "Little Rural Riding Hood." Her cartoons were originally made for the benefit of U.S. GI's, and were banned from television for years for being considered to racy.
That is, until I found it on YouTube.....
Tex Avery made me very, very happy that day, hence my comment title.
It starts off like a normal sugar coated fairy tail (the narrator even uses a sappy voice!) until the Wolf, Red and Grandma all start complaining that every studio in Hollywood has done this over and over again. And that's when "Little Red Riding Hood" turns into "RED HOT RIDING HOOD"!!! This is the low down on what happens: The Wolf is a wealthy playboy, Grandma is also filthy rich (and horny as hell) and Red is a flaming hot and sexy nightclub singer/dancer. The wolf goes to the nightclub, sees Red performing and goes ballistic over her. He then chases her to "Grandma's house" (which is really a giant apartment), Grandma sees the Wolf and starts chasing him! It ends with the Wolf at the nightclub muttering that he'll shoot himself if he sees another babe ever again. Red appears on the stage again and, true to the Wolf's words, he shoots himself and his ghost goes nuts over Red.
This is most definitely one of the greatest cartoons of all time. Anyone who hasn't seen it, must see it.