Little Red Riding Rabbit

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 13, 2015

That is a great drawing on the opening credit card. And get a load of this young woman with the glasses. That voice! That grotesque, buddingly adolescent body! “To have, see!” Her mountain shortcut to grandmother’s house is ridiculous, hilarious. The bunch of grumbling, nightie’d wolves in the bed signals to us that the gang is working in excessive, maybe even abundant mode here. The fact that the wolf doesn’t want anything to do with Red is a fun, fresh fracturing. There’s a huge multi-door-slamming chase now, and it is really fantastic: Bugs misdirecting the wolf, all of this impossible, very musical (Freleng) up and down and in and out. I love how they develop and extend it with the whistles. Again, happy implausibility and excess.

The “what big…” dialogue is irrelevant to this cartoon. Is that a critique? Might not be! The “why you…!” scrap between Bugs and the wolf is world-beatingly good. “Put On Your Old Gray Bonnet (With the Blue Ribbons on It).” What divine comedian comes up with this stuff? And in these picture—Sinatra, Elvis—it’s always just as well presented as it is invented. This is painfully, painfully funny stuff. The hot coal in the night gown silhouette is funny, and visually as lovely as a certain (gruesomely!) firelit still from the Sorcerer section of Disney’s Fantasia. Propulsive narratives or tumbling gags can obscure the careful visual beauty of so many of these films. They sure are beautiful though. The weights! The payoff to the whole Red character! Humans as the natural enemy? Or smart-aleck kids, which may mean these films’ audiences? More likely it doesn’t mean anything at all, except that the best of these cartoons are a joy forever.