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Monday, 4 August 2008

Tex Avery "Red Hot Riding Hood"



Having toyed with the Red Riding Hood theme a couple of times in recent days here's a cartoon going back to 1943 that I promise has not dated and is perhaps not so coy as something produced in wartime might be expected to be. Indeed Red Hot Riding Hood is a trifle risque, being cut for cinemas at the time and alternative endings added ( a shotgun wedding!) But Tex Avery is one of the greats and the cartoon might best be described as adult without the tag adults only. A conventional start to the tale of girl in woods and big bad wolf soon dissolves when the cast rebel: "I'm fed up with that sissy stuff. It's the same old story over and over. If you can't do this thing a new way, Bub, I quit!" Hasty rethink by the director soon has the wolf emerge as a would-be Casanova with a great wolf howl and a long car. If he's good, Red Riding Hood is hot! The nightclub singer with a Betty Grable face (and figure), great song ("Daddy") and knowing and suggestive routine is a star turn also - a trooper though, equal to the pressure of the super smooth wolf - listen to her change of accent. Both are surpassed by Grandma however as a man (or wolf) crazy nymphomaniac. The movie has an explosive ending. One of the great cartoons.

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