Sunday, February 24, 2013

Splinter & Knothead - Red Riding Hoodlum

This cartoon of Little Red Riding Hood is actually titled "Red Riding Hoodlum", the Woody Woodpecker version of the classic fairy tale. Instead of having a single little girl be the main focus of the story, we have Splinter and Knothead, the two red-headed niece/nephew's of Woody Woodpecker. They set off for Grandma Woodpecker's house where they encounter a wolf, and have a conversation with him. Instead of telling the wolf where they are going, the wolf automatically takes a shortcut to try and beat the two kids, but instead the 2 children end realize the similarity between their situation and Little Red Riding Hood, and take an even shorter shortcut to Grandmothers. They then run into a few other classic fairy tale characters (a very important National Fire Safety bear along the way), and get to grandma's house before the wolf does. Once the wolf arrives, they do all manner of things to get rid of him, but in the end, granny becomes aware of what is going on and actually marries the wolf! There were a lot of references to other fairy tales in this cartoon, possibly to help make connections between the good and bad sides of what the readers are supposed to be focusing on. But back to Little Red Riding Hood, the main difference between this cartoon and the various versions from out book, is the fact that Splinter & Knothead had a warning about the wolf trying to eat granny by reading Little Red Riding Hood. When children are well informed, dangers can be prevented and nothing bad will happen to them. With Smokey the Bear appearing every so often, I assume that they were trying to give kids subtle hints at fire safety and how even bad guys should be safe about using dangerous things. If kids become informed about how fire is a dangerous thing, they will be less likely to use fire in the future. As for the ending of the cartoon, Grandmother Woodpecker marrying the Wolf could go along with a few of the theories that Bettleheim talks about in the Little Red Riding Hood chapter, about the grandmother being a more experienced person than Little Red is.

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