Red Hot Riding Hood - cut content (lost scenes of animated short; 1943)

Red Hot Riding Hood (1943) (cut content)
Still of the original ending.
Still of the original ending.
Status Lost

The famous MGM cartoon short Red Hot Riding Hood originally had two sets of scenes that were cut from the final version in demand from the censors.

The first set was from the scene where Woolfie makes extremely lustful cartoony reactions to Red Hot Riding Hood while she is singing on stage. Originally Woolfie had much racier wild takes that the censors considered too energetic and thus they saw to it that they were removed.

The second was the original alternate ending where instead of Woolfie swearing off of women and talking about how he'll kill himself if he ever sees another woman and then shooting himself into a continually howling ghost upon seeing Red Hot Riding Hood, the short ends upon Grandma marrying Woolfie in a shotgun wedding, which has a caricature of Tex Avery as the Justice of Peace who marries them, and then Grandma and Woolfie with their half-human half-wolf offspring all attending Red's show. This original ending was removed at the decision of the censors because it not only implied bestiality but also made light of marriage, which was considered taboo in the days of the Hays Office Code.

The uncut version of the short is now widely considered lost, although it is stated that prints of it were shown to military audiences overseas during World War II, and at the request of Tex Avery to make MGM show it uncut overseas (which he had officially stated at one point), and possibly at the request of a soldier who had heard of the original ending and wanted to show it to his fellow soldiers in war, which meant that MGM would have given him at least one uncut print of the short. Tex Avery also said that the soldiers who did watch the short got a kick out of it.

However, to this day it is unknown if these prints, or if any prints of the uncut version still exist.



Anonymous user #1

7 months ago
Score 0++
So the censors thought that the suicide ending was ok?? weird

Anonymous user #2

6 months ago
Score 1++

The censors in this case were the people enforcing the Motion Picture Production Code (1930-1968), nicknamed the "Hays Code". Their standards when it came to animated works were often inconsistent. Creators often got away with depicting suicides, partial nudity, violence, and some suggestive dialogue.

Director Bob Clampett used to brag about fooling the censors: "According to an interview published in Funnyworld #12 (1971), Clampett had a method for ensuring that certain elements of his films would escape the censors' cut. It consisted of adding material aimed just at the censors; they would focus on cutting those, and thus leave in the ones he actually wanted."

A memorable finale for an animated short film appears in "Tortoise Wins by a Hare" (1943), a short where Bugs Bunny faces Cecil Turtle in a race. A gambling ring has bet all their money on Bugs' victory and they use dirty tricks to ensure it. However, they actually prevent Bugs from winning and go bankrupt. The short ends with them realizing it and committing group suicide by gun. The short was, unsurprisingly, directed by Clampett.

The Disney short "Donald's Dilemma" (1947) has Donald Duck becoming a successful singer and (literally) forgetting about Daisy Duck's existence. The short is actually focused on Daisy's psychological reactions to being abandoned. "She suffered from anorexia, insomnia and self-described insanity. An often censored scene features her losing her will to live and pointing a gun at her head". The rather dark short was directed by Jack King.

The Tom and Jerry short "Blue Cat Blues" (1956) is a drama rather than a comedy. The film begins with a depressed Tom awaiting to commit suicide by train. Jerry reminisces about the events that led them there. Tom is depicted falling in love with a female cat, who ends up leaving him from a richer "man" (cat) and breaking his heart. He wants to die to escape the pain.

Jerry is prepared to let him die, and wants to focus on his own love life. But then learns that his girlfriend just married another "man" (mouse). Jerry is now equally brokenhearted and joins Tom in waiting for a train to end their lives. The finale features an oncoming train and a whistle getting louder, as the picture fades out. The short was directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.

All three shorts were approved by the censors and got released.
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