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    BETTY BOOP Dizzy Red Riding Hood (1931)


    by andythebeagle

    Little Betty Riding Hood goes to visit Grandma

    Compared to some of the really fiery examples of spooky and surreal brilliance that the Fleishers were still actually allowed to do by the cartoon-code powers that be around the time that this was made, Betty's second 'fairy tale' themed loony adventure presents an oddly far more ordered kind of chaos than you may be expecting. But I really enjoyed this one, it's very charming in its own weird way, and has a great sense of classy olden days, kooky be-bob-a-rhythm to it! Things don't morph or stretch or squash at all, but there are a couple of good freaky sight gags that set the usual tone and take the viewer straight into a little realm very special weirdness right away. The trees are quite creepy, and the deep dark woods are a nice and suitably eerie backdrop for Betty to be finding herself hiking into typically unusual territory... I get a kick out of all the adorable little rhymes Betty says about things as she makes her merry way! She's sure one to talk, singin' about people with big heads! Her design in this still looked a little rough and off-model somewhere. I'm pretty sure she was still a dog at this point, even though you can't see her ears, her riding hood covers them. I liked the evil wolf, I thought he was a great little character. I liked the effect with his very scary pointy teeth! It was surprisingly nasty when Bimbo beats him up off-screen and steals his skin! Ah, but the wolf was probably just fine seeing as his skeleton did run away! It's a decidedly odd take on the classic story, with some very nice artwork. I loved all the rich detailed animation of the backgrounds, and the enchanting closing image of the star-filled night sky was just beautiful-no less so at all for being in black and white. Also of note, this is one of the raciest Boop shorts I've ever seen! The whole short is so filled with raunchy crackpot humor that it's never really scary at all. At their very best the Fleischers were all about the magic and fun of what they were doing. Some of these 30's animations have such timeless soul, and I for one won't ever grow weary of them. Many decades later they still endure, as does Betty...she's "still got it!"