Friday, 5 August 2016

Jazzy Grandma

Compare Van Beuren’s Red Riding Hood to Fleischers’ Dizzy Red Riding Hood, both released in 1931, and... well, there’s no comparison. The Fleischer cartoon is superior in every way. But I like the Van Beuren short anyway.

There’s something odd in every Van Beuren cartoon, and in this case a jazz tonic turns grandma into a younger, black bottom-dancing version of herself, yet Red doesn’t even notice there’s been a change.

Grandma later pours some tonic on her slipper and it turns into a high-heeled shoe. Then she showers the stuff on herself. I like the gooney look the animator gives her.

The general story’s pretty good. The wolf is more interested in eloping with the swingin’ grandma than eating Red. Trouble is, he’s already married. Red tells the wolf’s wife, who marches toward the church with her brood, each carrying a rolling pin, and chase the wolf away before the “I dos.” The grandma, Red, then the minister all cry but recover enough to sing and zoom their heads toward the camera. Why? Because it’s a Van Beuren cartoon.

Harry Bailey and John Foster receive the “by” credit.

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