Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Tex Avery

"Red Hot Riding Hood and Friends. It was with Avery's revisionary fables and fairy tales that his animation style at MGM first matured into something nearly revolutionary. Red Hot Riding Hood is prefaced with a full-blown "false start" before the actual film begins: a saccharine and totally misleading, oh-so-pretty interlude in the forest, deliberately suggestive of certain cloying excesses of Walt Disney and Harman-Ising, with little Red gleefully skipping along through the over-fecund foliage of the garden variety fairy tale, the big bad wolf readying himself to pounce, etc., etc. But here's the hitch: the wolf, Red, and Red's old grandma are painfully aware that they are being asked to play-act in an all-too-simpering rendition of the fairy tale, and they demand, right to the camera, a new and less sissified interpretation. The modernizing variations liberate the principals and Avery's increasingly more frenzied animation of them: Grandma's been turned into a nymphomaniacal swinger, and her rustic cottage home is now a hip penthouse pad. Little Red is now a pert and leggy pin-up girl, a red-hot singer/stripper, the wolf has become a street-prowling "Hollywood wolf" (the 1940s stereotype of pure male lecherousness), and the forest is supplanted by the big-city nightclub as the enchanted place of forbidden sexuality. "

From "Tex Avery - Arch-Radicalizer of the Hollywood Cartoon", by Greg Ford.

See the complete article in Bright Lights film journal at

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