Friday, July 10, 2009
I've started work on my second favorite cartoon vixen, Red Hot Riding Hood.
I have no high-falutin' feminist ideals in this case, only an extreme admiration for the animator behind her. Tex Avery was a genius of the highest order. He, Friz Freleng, and Chuck Jones completely defined American skit animation. While Disney's rigid, more "mature" animation dominated the theatrical releases, skit cartoons, and eventually television cartoons, were the domain of Warner's band of merry maniacs in Termite Terrace.
When Red Hot Riding Hood premiered, many people in the animation world assumed that Avery had rotoscoped a real dancer. Rotoscoping was a pretty common practice even at that early date, and the fact that Avery had not done this, instead using free-styled movement so fluid and real, is a testament to his skill. That the cartoons also have some fan-freaking-tastic slapstick is icing on the cake.
So yeah, this is an early framework build of Red in a dance pose. You can make out some of her grosser characteristics. I'm working on this in between my second Betty Boop and my first Jessica Rabbit.
Here's a video of the Toonheads broadcast of Red Hot Riding Hood. I always laugh hysterically when the wolf drinks the giant cocktail.