Western Animation / Red Hot Riding Hood


"Something New Has Been Added"
The second title card

"Red Hot Riding Hood" is an animated cartoon short subject, directed by Tex Avery and released on May 8, 1943 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It is one of Avery's most popular cartoons, inspiring several of his own "sequel" shorts (which really were just shorts with a similar plot and the same characters, though notably Droopy was involved with many of the other shorts Wolfie and Red appear in) as well as influencing other cartoons and feature films for years afterward.

The story begins as a typical cutesy retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood"—that is, until the Big Bad Wolf and even Red and her Grandma become annoyed at the narrator and complain about how stale and overused the premise is, thus demanding a new take on the story. The narrator finally gives in to their demands—cue the second title card quoted above.

The cartoon then takes us to Hollywood, where the Big Bad Wolf is now a womanizer who frequents night clubs, Red is now an incredibly attractive singer and dancer, and her Granny is a hotel/implied brothel owner and an (apparently) oversexed Abhorrent Admirer of Wolfie once she sees him. Hilarity does indeed ensue from there.

The follow-up shorts to "Red Hot Riding Hood" were as follows:
  • "Swing Shift Cinderella" (1945) — Almost exactly the same as the first short, except it's based on Cinderella.
  • "The Shooting of Dan McGoo" (1945) — A cartoon version of Robert Service's poem "The Shooting of Dan McGrew", which features Droopy.
  • "Wild and Woolfy" (1945) — A Western-themed short, also featuring Droopy.
  • "Uncle Tom's Cabaña" (1947) — An adaptation of Uncle Tom's Cabin which featured Red. Wolfie doesn't appear, as here he is replaced by Simon LeGreedy. It's not often shown anywhere in the United States.
  • "Little Rural Riding Hood" (1949) — Essentially had a City Mouse/Country Mouse-plot, with a hillbilly wolf and a sophisticated urban wolf.

An Indian Maiden Expy of Red also makes a cameo at the end of the Tex Avery short "Big Heel-Watha" (1944). Red is a prominent character in the some Tom and Jerry direct-to-video films (where she acts as Parent Service) while Wolfie and the two wolves from "Little Rural Riding Hood" make cameos. List:

  • Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes
  • Tom and Jerry: Robin Hood And His Merry Mouse
  • Tom and Jerry's Giant Adventure

"Red Hot Riding Hood" provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Granny's just as attracted to Wolfie as he is to Red.
  • Absurdly Long Limousine: While not a usual stretch limousine, Wolfie drives a car with an absurdly long hood that takes quite a while to pass the viewer.
  • Damsel in Distress: The shorts featuring Droopy tended to turn Red into this, in contrast to those without him, where she was perfectly capable of fending off the Wolf's advances herself.
  • Driven to Suicide: At the end, Wolfie vows never to so much as look at another woman again while at the night club. The curtains are pulled back and he sees Red on stage again. He then shoots himself in the head, and his ghost begins to do wild takes.
  • Eye Pop: One of Wolf reactions to Red.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The story begins as a typical cutesy retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood"—that is, until the Big Bad Wolf and even Red and her Grandma become annoyed at the narrator and complain about how stale and overused the premise is, thus demanding a new take on the story.
  • Follow That Car: Wolfie tells a taxi driver to follow Red's car, and he does... without Wolfie inside the taxi.
  • Gainaxing: Prevalent on Red's ample chest.
  • Glamorous Wartime Singer: Red was based on these. In one of her later shorts, she does sing a song with a wartime theme.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: After Wolfie jumps through the window to get away from Granny.
  • Grass Is Greener: Not as a song per se, but in "Little Rural Riding Hood" the hick wolf is happy to chase hick Red until he sees what he's missing in the city. And City Wolf, who seems coolly indifferent to City Red, flips for Rural Red!
  • Handy Feet: In "Little Rural Riding Hood" Red's country counterpart has really big feet and uses them to open and close the front door.
  • Hello, Nurse!: Wolfie's reaction to Red, and Granny's reaction to him.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Well, at least wolves do.
  • Hotter and Sexier... and zanier too. Starts out as a normal "Little Red Riding Hood" until the characters suddenly rebel at this done-to-death staging and demand a fresh approach. Red is a sexy adult nightclub entertainer.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: Wolfie starts out as the metaphorical "hunting" Red, before becoming himself "hunted" by Granny.
  • Hypocritical Humor: The Wolf tells Granny to "control [her]self".
  • I Kiss Your Hand: Wolfie does this while trying to sweet talk Red. It isn't effective.
  • Impact Silhouette: Left by Grandma on the ceiling after Wolfie punctures her rear with a needle.
  • Interactive Narrator
  • Lady in Red: The singer/showgirl/stripper. She's even unofficially named Red, probably as much from her hair as her costume (which is white in several of the shorts). In any case her clothing certainly draws attention.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: For the Wolf and Grandma.
  • Love Can Make You Gonk: As seen in the page image
  • Ms. Fanservice: Red, a nightclub singer and dancer who is usually making all men in the room crazy, especially a Wolf character who — in vain — tries to seduce and chase her.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: Once the tables are turned on Wolfie and Granny is lusting after him, he's terrified and does his best to run away, to no avail.
  • No Name Given: The eponymous Red Hot Riding Hood wasn't given a real name in any of her theatrical appearances, but most fans generally refer to her as "Red". Her later appearances in the Tom and Jerry direct to video features ultimately made Red her official name.
  • Not So Different: Through most of Little Rural Riding Hood, Wolfie's urbane cousin laments Wolfie's lack of self control around Red. He drives Wolfie back to the country, sees the country girl that was Wolfie's crush before Red, and... loses it exactly like Wolfie did over Red. Then Wolfie laments his cousin's lack of self control and sends him back to the city.
  • Pain-Powered Leap: Wolfie sticks Grandma in the butt with a needle and she jumps through the roof of her penthouse. The sticking is usually edited out when shown on television, so you just see Wolfie holding the needle and then it cuts straight to the jump.
  • Revised Ending: The short's original ending had Granny 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. Granted, the ending they eventually settled on wasn't exactly kid-friendly, either (which is why it has been edited on TV).
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Red. She wears a skimpy red, strapless, backless Burlesque outfit.
  • She's Got Legs: Red.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Mask contains quite a few shout-outs to this short in particular. The main character is even shown watching the short on TV, and he owns a Wolfie statuette.
    • Andre Norton had a line in one of her books where a character reacts to an unexpected discovery by quoting the second title card.
    • The line "Something new has been added" originally comes from a slogan for Old Gold cigarettes in the 1940s.
    • In the film adaptation of Into the Woods, the Wolf is designed to look like the one in the original cartoon.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Grandma gets no special treatment and it's just as funny.
  • Something Else Also Rises: The Wolf's reactions to Red. In fact, most of them (like steam erupting from out of the Wolf's collar as he tugs at it) were considered too obscene to be shown by the Hays Office censors (by today's standards, the steam thing isn't that risqué).
  • Take That!: It wouldn't be the last time Tex took a jab at the cute and cuddly animation that was popular in the 1930s.
  • The Reveal: At the end of "Swing-Shift Cinderella," it's revealed that Cinderella's actually a Rosie the Riveter by night and the reason she had to make it home was because she has to work the night shift at Lockweed Aircraft Plant.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Granny keeps her keys here. Very much a Fan Disservice.
  • Visual Pun: "Wolf" is old-timey slang for womanizer, which is what the Big Bad Wolf actually is.
  • Wartime Cartoon: The cartoon was originally made to entertain American troops.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: At the start of "Little Rural Riding Hood", Red's country counterpart is delivering a jug of moonshine to her grandma, but we never see any sign of her.
  • Wild Take: To the point where this short by itself could very well be the Trope Codifier.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Due to Red's inherently appealing nature and popularity, her appearances on the Droopy DVD set are played up to where she is prominently displayed in much of the packaging, even though she only appears in two of the cartoons included on the set!
  • Wrench Whack: Red carries a big monkey wrench in her purse with "Wolf Pacifier" etched in the handle.

Alternative Title(s): Swing Shift Cinderella, Little Rural Riding Hood