Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Modern Riding Hood


Little Red Riding Hood
By Joseph Mahoney


 This cartoon is a humorous satirical take on a sort of modern day version of Little Red Riding Hood. While there have been many 'modern day' takes on Little Red Riding Hood, this one has the unique aspect in that there is nothing blatantly modern in it, other than the dialog. The comic actually takes place in a completely ambiguous setting, and the characters are drawn similarly ambiguously, and with little color, although Little Red's hood is interestingly yellow. This ties into the first revelation that this is a more modern version of the tale, as when questioned as to why she has a yellow hood, despite being named, Little Red Riding Hood, she responds “red is sooo last season”. This is a sort of mockery in the fact that Little Red Riding Hood is always red, but the story has been around for centuries, times and styles have changed, as should Little Red's.

The wolf further ironic response to this “wot” a quick handed substitute for the word 'what' exemplifies an further modernization of the tale, with both Little Red and the wolf talking quite colloquially. Little Red also makes ample use of the word so, with varying number of o's, as in the line mentioned above and later even adapt the usage of the word “wot”. Later the wolf also replaces the word 'and' with a plus symbol, giving the cartoon the feel of a hasty and impromptu conversation. There is also little care for punctuation or capitalization, satirizing the formal, and structured language of the classic tale, with repetitive and formal lines.

The story has its next interesting twist when Little Red asks why the wolf plans on eating her and her grandmother. The wolfs only response is “that's the way its meant to be”. After the wolf explains the classic story line to her, Little Red merely rejects it as “gross”, which is quite apt considering how gross the story actually is. After the wolf rebuts, Little Red finally declares the whole this quite stupid and suggests they just go see a movie instead. This is a wonderful satire of the original story because it not just shows how oddly unrealistic the characters in the original story are, but moves them into unrealistic in a different spectrum. Little Red goes from being too naïve that she can't even tell the difference between a wolf and her grandmother to now being too confident that she's willing to invite to the movies someone who wants to eat her. This juxtaposing of extremes is highly effective in showing some of the ludicrousness of the original story.

The story ends with a small verbal exchange that contains my favorite line of the whole story. When asked what will happen to the grandmother if they leave her to go to the movies, Little Red responds with “oh forget her, she's kind of weird anyway”. I thought this was not just hilarious but also a great way to summarize the ridiculousness of the original story by again putting the characters into udder ridiculousness in the complete opposite direction.

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