Red Hot Riding Hood
|Red Hot Riding Hood|
Theatrical poster to Red Hot Riding Hood (1943)
|Directed by||Tex Avery|
|Produced by||Fred Quimby|
|Voices by||Frank Graham (Narrator, Wolf, Showroom Announcer)
Elvia Allman (Grandma)
Sara Berner (Red Hot Riding Hood)
|Music by||Scott Bradley|
|Animation by||Preston Blair (unc.)
Ray Abrams (unc.)
Ed Love (unc.)
Irven Spence (unc.)
|Layouts by||Claude Smith|
|Release date(s)||May 8, 1943|
|Running time||7 minutes|
|Followed by||Swing Shift Cinderella|
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2009)|
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.
The story begins with the standard version of Little Red Riding Hood (with the wolf from Dumb-Hounded, the cartoon which saw the debut of Avery's Droopy) until the characters suddenly rebel at this done-to-death staging and demand a fresh approach.
The annoyed narrator accedes to their demands and starts the story again in a dramatically different arrangement. Now the story is set in a contemporary urban setting, where Red Riding Hood is an attractive performer in a Hollywood nightclub. The Wolf, who's following her, goes to the club where she performs. Red performs onstage (a rendition of the 1941 classic hit song "Daddy" by Bobby Troup) and the wolf goes absolutely insane over her. The wolf brings her to his table and tries to woo her but she wants nothing to do with him. Red escapes the Wolf, saying she's going to her Grandma's house, but when the Wolf arrives Red is nowhere to be found (she isn't seen again until the end of the cartoon). Grandma's an oversexed man-chaser who falls head over heels for the Wolf.
Upon seeing him she whistles and says, "At last a wolf! Yahoo!" The Wolf tries to escape but Grandma blocks the exit and asks him, "What's your hurry, hairy?" She locks the door, drops the key down the front of her evening gown, and poses provocatively for him. Soon after Grandma puts on a bright red shade of lipstick and tries to kiss the Wolf several times during his stay. He tries to escape, but the lovelorn granny chases after him. Every door the Wolf opens Grandma is there waiting with puckered lips. He finally makes his escape by jumping out a window, severely injuring himself in the process. As this is a Tex Avery cartoon he immediately recovers, and makes his way back to the nightclub. There, the Wolf says, "I'm fed up! I'm through with women. Why I'll kill myself, before I'd even look at another babe." Immediately after this, Red takes the stage and begins another performance. He pulls out two guns and commits suicide, but his ghost rises from his dead body and howls and whistles at her like he did earlier.
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2008)|
The character of Red Hot Riding Hood closely resembled one of the top pin-up girls at the time, Betty Grable. She is considered an amalgamation of the then popular Hollywood stars. Her singing voice in this particular short was reminiscent of Lena Horne's, while her speaking voice emulated that of Katharine Hepburn.
The two supporting characters are Red Hot's sisters in the entry of the nightclub foyer, where the Wolf walks in. It is the shortest, who says, "Cigarettes, cigarettes!" And the other is the tallest, who says, "King-sized, king-sized!"
The most famous element is the musical scene where Red performs and "Wolfie", as she calls him, reacts in highly lustful wild takes. Those reactions were considered so energetic that the censors at the time demanded cuts in this scene and others.
The film's original conclusion had Grandma marrying the wolf at a shotgun wedding (with a caricature of Tex Avery as the Justice of the Peace who marries them), and having the unhappy couple and their half-human half-wolf children attend Red's show. This ending, deleted for reasons of implied bestiality and how it made light of marriage (something that was considered taboo back in the days of the Hays Office Code), was replaced with one (that, ironically, has also been edited, but only on television) where The Wolf is back at the nightclub and tells the audience that he's through with chasing women and if he ever even looks at a woman again, he's going to kill himself. When Red soon appears onstage to perform again, the Wolf takes out two pistols and blasts himself in the head. The Wolf then drops dead, but his ghost appears and begins to howl and whistle at Red same as before.
Prints with the original ending (where the Wolf is forced to marry the lusty Grandma) and the Wolf's racier reactions to Red are rumored to have been shown to military audiences overseas during World War II, though it is not known if this print still exists.
- Avery made several non-sequels to the film, including Swing Shift Cinderella (1945), The Shooting Of Dan McGoo and Wild and Woolfy (both 1945 and both featuring Droopy), Uncle Tom's Cabaña (1947), and Little Rural Riding Hood (1949). Red also has a cameo appearance in The Hick Chick (1946).
- Red made a comeback in the Saturday morning cartoon series Tom & Jerry Kids and Droopy, Master Detective, appearing in the Droopy and Dripple and Calaboose Cal cartoon shorts. Red was given the name "Miss Vavoom" in Droopy and Dripple, and "Mystery Lady" in Calaboose Cal. As in the original MGM cartoons, Red plays the "damsel in distress" while the Wolf (here "McWolf") and Droopy compete for her affections.
- Red was recently seen again in the Direct-to-video film Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes, where she was a primary character to that film's plot; the Wolf also makes a few appearances, first watching Red's cabaret performance and (at the end) as her groom. Other Tex Avery characters appear as well including, but not limited to, Droopy and his rival Butch.
- Red made a cameo appearance with a two-headed dragon named Cornwell dancing, turned into Devon's head from the song "If I Didn't Have You?", during the 1998 animated film, Quest for Camelot.
- Red appears as Maid Marion in Tom and Jerry: Robin Hood and His Merry Mouse.
- The gag where Grandma rushes to kiss Wolf, misses and leaves a giant lipstick imprint on the wall was also used in the Woody Woodpecker cartoon A Fine Feathered Frenzy when Gorgeous Gal tried to kiss Woody. She also shows up behind every door Woody opens ready to make out with him. Unlike Grandma, Gorgeous Gal does manage to kiss Woody several times during the film however. Gorgeous Gal marries Woody Woodpecker as well.
- The scene where Grandma chases The Wolf was the inspiration for the scene in Who Framed Roger Rabbit where Lena Hyena chases Eddie Valiant. The wolf was also going to appear in the film (in one of the early drafts in the film's script the wolf was supposed to be seen in the Ink and Paint Club during Jessica's performance.) another draft of the script had him seen being kicked out with a bra on his face before Eddie went into the club, but these were dropped out later on.
- The famous scene of The Wolf reacting lustfully in the club was directly referenced in The Mask where Stanley Ipkiss goes to the Coco Bongo club as the Mask. Seated at a similar table, he reacts to his first sight of Cameron Diaz's torch-singer character Tina Carlyle by mimicking many of the same cartoonish "wild takes" (achieved through the use of CGI), and his head even morphs into that of a cartoon wolf when he wolf-whistles and howls before bashing himself on the head with a mallet. There is also an early scene where The Mask's wimpy alter ego, Stanley Ipkiss (played by Jim Carrey) pops in a cartoon video, which shows this cartoon (on the part where the Wolf is lustfully reacting to Red singing "Daddy") and is yelled at by his landlady, Mrs. Peenman, after laughing at it.
- Both Jessica Rabbit (of Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and Tina Carlyle (of The Mask) look and act like Red Hot Riding Hood from this cartoon, and they are both nightclub performers.
- The infamous scene where Wolf acts exaggeratedly lustful is briefly featured in the PJTV "Ten in Two" episode "Goodbye Liberal Feminism" by Sonja Schmidt where she, in a satirical manner, compares it to how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid responded regarding one of his female colleagues.
- The scene is parodied in an episode of The Simpsons where Dr. Hibbert claims Marge could develop "Tex Avery syndrome". He then shows the Simpsons a video clip with a wolf reacting with wild eye takes to a nurse similar to Red Hot Riding Hood.
- In the ending cutscene of Earthworm Jim, Jim reacts to the sight of Princess Whats-Her-Name by re-enacting Wolfie's lustfulness.
- Red Hot Riding Hood at the Internet Movie Database
- Red Hot Riding Hood at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Red Hot Riding Hood at Keyframe - the Animation Resource