Shrunken Cinema/Termite Terrace/Little Red Riding Rabbit

From Eccentric Flower

Little Red Riding Rabbit

1943

Summary: Bugs gets entangled in the Little Red Riding Hood story.

Director: Friz Freleng

Writer: Michael Maltese

Featuring: Bugs Bunny.

Onreel

0:24 Sound cue: "The Lady In Red."

0:35 Sound cue: Red sings "The Five O'Clock Whistle."

0:55 Re Red's tremendously obnoxious voice, see Offreel.

1:02 Sound cue as Bugs admires his own leg: "Oh! You Beautiful Doll." ("Stems" for legs is about as obscure as "gams" now.)

1:44 Lockheed was an aircraft manufacturer. In 1943 they would have been quite busy making war aircraft (especially since they made the P-38, the workhorse American fighter of the time). The shortage of male workers led to a lot of women who would not normally be part of the workforce in that era working on assembly lines; the need for a twenty-four hour production cycle in some industries led to common use of "swing shifts" at unusual hours.

3:11 Sound cue as wolf searches basket: "I'm Riding For a Fall."

3:27 Sound cue during chase: "They're Either Too Young Or Too Old."

5:17 Sound cue: "Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet."

6:13 Sound cue as wolf is above shovel of hot coals: "A Cup of Coffee, a Sandwich, and You" - maybe the only time this is not used in a food or hunger context! (Unless the implication is the wolf is "what's cookin"!)

6:40 Sound cue as Bugs says, "I'll do it - but I'll probably hate myself in the morning": "Powerhouse" by Raymond Scott. Then "They're Either Too Young or Too Old" again as Red is shown to be over the hot coals (and not a moment too soon).

Offreel

This cartoon was named one of the "fifty greatest cartoons" in a vote of 1000 animation professionals in 1994, proof that even people in the profession can be wrong occasionally.

This is the first cartoon to have a Mel Blanc voice credit, even though he had been with Schlesinger since 1936.

Red's voice is done by Bea Benaderet, in imitation of comedienne Cass Daley. I have never watched anything with Daley in it, but if Benaderet's impression is good, I suspect I would be unable to sit through her scenes. Billy Bletcher did the voice of the wolf.

As you may gather, although I'm trying to leave my own opinions out of these pages, I find this cartoon highly overrated. I think the Jerry Beck crowd rate it highly because of the way it subverts the original fairy tale (all the characters already know the fairy tale script, Red is determined to stick to it at all costs, multiple wolves already trying for a piece of the action, Grandma unexpectedly absent, et cetera). However, for someone of my generation and background this "mess with the mythology" idea is already pretty old hat, and if you remove that, there's not much else in the cartoon - the gags are not especially interesting on their own. Also, I realize Red is supposed to be obnoxious, but she's really obnoxious.

There is one thing unusual about this cartoon, though, that stands out, and that's that Freleng directed it. This feels far more like a cartoon that would come from Clampett.

« Termite Terrace

Personal tools
eccentric flower
fiction