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Director: Tex Avery
Release Date: July 23, 1938
Stars: Egghead
Rating: ★★★½
Review:

Cinderella Meets Fella © Warner Bros.‘Cinderella meets Fella’ is Tex Avery’s second take at a classic fairy tale after ‘Little Red Walking Hood’ (1937).

The cartoon’s opening scenes are one string of nonsensical gags, from the invitation card with which it starts to Cinderella’s arrival at the ball. For example, to get warm, Cinderella just adjusts her candle to get more flames. And when the fairy godmother is late, Cinderella calls the police to look for her. To get mice for the couch, the fairy godmother plays a slot machine, which incomprehensibly is built in the wall. Gags like these were completely unique at the time and could only be found in Warner Bros. films, and in Avery’s films in particular.

Prince Charming turns out to be Egghead, Tex Avery’s second cartoon star, after Daffy Duck. Egghead unfortunately is just too odd and too unsympathetic to carry the rest of the cartoon. So the short deflates a little after his entrance.

But the cartoon is revived by the extraordinary end gag: Egghead finds out that Cinderella got tired of waiting and has gone to a Warner Bros. show. Egghead is heartbroken, until he’s called by his love from the audience. We watch a silhouette standing up, and within seconds she’s back on the screen.

It’s great gags like these that made Tex Avery the undisputed innovator of cartoon comedy. ‘Cinderella meets Fella’ is undoubtedly one of the funnier cartoons of 1938, but when Avery would revisit this particular fairy tale seven years later, with ‘Swing Shift Cinderella’, the results would even be much, much better.

Watch ‘Cinderella Meets Fella’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Cinderella Meets Fella’ is available on the DVD-set ‘The Busby Berkeley Collection’

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Director: Walter Lantz or Bill Nolan
Release Date: January 18, 1932
Stars: Oswald the Rabbit
Rating: ★★
Review:

Grandma's Pet © Walter LantzBy 1932 Oswald had changed into a cute little boy. And yet, in the opening scene of ‘Grandma’s Pet’ he’s shown reading the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood to his three nephews(?).

Soon Oswald falls asleep himself and he dreams that he’s inside the fairy tale himself. Apart from Oswald’s presence, the cartoon quite faithfully follows the fairy tale until the wolf kidnaps Little Red Riding Hood, and out of nowhere produces a magic wand, which changes the complete scenery several times. In the end, Oswald uses the magic wand to change the wolf into a roast.

‘Grandma’s Pet’ is one of the Lantz films in which Tex Avery is billed as an animator. It may have inspired his own mix-up fairy tale films, like ‘Little Red Walking Hood’ (1937) and ‘The Bear’s Tale’ (1940). It pales when compared to those latter cartoons, however, suffering from erratic animation and sloppy timing.

Watch ‘Grandma’s Pet’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Grandma’s Pet’ is available on the DVD ‘The Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection’

Directors: Harry Bailey & John Foster
Release Date: January 18, 1931
Stars: Rita Mouse?
Rating: ★★★★
Review:

Red Riding Hood © Van Beuren‘Red Riding Hood’ is one of those early 1930s cartoons that have to be seen to be believed.

In this spoof of Red Riding Hood, the ill grandma is visited by a doctor. The doctor’s “jazz tonic’ makes grandma young and handsome, and the wolf starts to fancy her. He plays for her on the harmonium, while ‘grandma’ dances. However, when Red Riding Hood (a Minnie Mouse-copy, see also ‘Circus Capers‘ and ‘The Office Boy‘) enters, the wolf and grandma both flee in the wolf’s car to get married.

Red Riding Hood, meanwhile, warns the wolf’s wife and kids, who hurry to the wedding chapel. They tear the wolf away, leaving grandma crying.

There’s some nice animation on the wolf’s car, but otherwise the animation on this cartoon is wildly inconsistent. However, its story is so weird, it becomes enjoyable.

Watch ‘Red Riding Hood’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Red Riding Hood’ is available on the DVD ‘Uncensored Animation from the Van Beuren Studio’

Director: Robert McKimson
Release Date: August 27, 1949
Stars: Bugs Bunny
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

The Windblown Hare © Warner BrothersThe three pigs sell their straw and wooden houses to Bugs Bunny, because they’ve read in a book what’s going to happen.

The wolf, who’s reading the same book, indeed blows both houses down, to much dismay of Bugs. Bugs revenges by dressing up like Red Riding Hood. This leads to hilarious sequences, including a perfectly executed light and staircase gag. In the end, Bugs helps the wolf blowing the pigs’ brick house down, by blowing it up.

‘The Windblown Hare’ is a nice example of a fairy tale mix-up cartoon, comparable to ‘The Big Bad Wolf‘ (1934),  ‘The Bear’s Tale’ (1940) and ‘Swing Shift Cinderella’ (1945). It is hampered a little by large amounts of dialogue, but it still has plenty of silliness to laugh at.

Watch ‘The Windblown Hare’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Bugs Bunny cartoon No. 64
To the previous Bugs Bunny cartoon: The Grey Hounded Hare
To the next Bugs Bunny cartoon: Frigid Hare

Director: Friz Freleng
Release Date: December 18, 1943
Stars: Bugs Bunny
Rating:
 ★★★★★
Review:

Little Red Riding Rabbit © Warner BrothersIn this wacky take on the classic tale of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, Red Riding Hood is a bespectacled, loud-voiced teenager taking Bugs in her basket to her Grandma.

The wolf sends Red Riding Hood on a long and winding road across a mountain, while he takes a shortcut to grandma’s house, which appears to be just two meters away. The wolf doesn’t need to get rid of grandma, who’s “working swing shift at Lockheed’ (a typical war era reference), but oddly enough he has to get rid of some other wolves waiting in bed.

When Red Riding Hood arrives at grandma’s place, the wolf quickly disposes of the unappealing girl, and gets into a chase routine with Bugs, involving a marvelous door sequence, worked out perfectly in Friz Freleng’s typical timing.

However, at several points they’re interrupted by Red Riding Hood, who insists on asking her familiar questions. In the end, Bugs gets so annoyed that he punishes her instead of the wolf.

‘Little Red Riding Rabbit’ is one of the most successful of all fairytale-inspired cartoons. It’s loaded with funny gags and one of the early highlights in the Bugs Bunny catalog.

Watch ‘Little Red Riding Rabbit’ yourself and tell me what you think:

http://ulozto.net/live/xRipWpf/bugs-bunny-little-red-riding-rabbit-1944-avi

This is Bugs Bunny cartoon No. 21
To the previous Bugs Bunny cartoon: Falling Hare
To the next Bugs Bunny cartoon: What’s Cookin’, Doc?

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