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Red Hot Riding Hood

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Red Hot Riding Hood

Film poster

Red Hot Riding Hood is an animated cartoon short subject, directed by Tex Avery and released with the movie Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case 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.

Plot

Red Hot Riding Hood (book cover)

Original title card

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). The characters rebel at this stale and derivative staging of the story and demand a fresh approach. The annoyed narrator accedes to their demands and starts the story again in a dramatically different arrangement.

The story begins again, now told in a contemporary urban setting . The narrator explains that Little Red Riding Hood is now an attractive performer in a Hollywood nightclub under the stage name "Red Hot Riding Hood," and the Big Bad Wolf, now a Hollywood swinger, follows Red to the club where she's performing. Red performs onstage (a rendition of the 1941 classic hit song "Daddy" by Bobby Troup) and the wolf goes mad with desire. He brings her to his table and tries wooing her, but she wants nothing to do with him. Red escapes the Wolf, saying she's going to her Grandma's place, but when the Wolf arrives, Red's nowhere to be found (she isn't seen again until the end of the cartoon). Red's grandma is 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's there waiting with puckered lips. He finally makes his escape by jumping out a window, severely injuring himself in the process. But since this is a Tex Avery cartoon, the Wolf immediately recovers and makes his way back to the nightclub. At the club, 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 saying this, Red takes the stage and begins another performance. The Wolf 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.

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