356. Petia and Little Red Riding Hood – Yevgeni Raykovskiy, Boris Stepantsev

song-of-the-prairie

SUMMARY: A modern telling of the Little Red Riding Hood story.

WHY IT’S HERE: This 18 minute featurette from Soviet studio Soyuzmultfilm (the company responsible for such great Russian animated features as ‘The Lost Letter’, ‘The Humpbacked Horse’, ‘The Snow Queen’ and, decades later, ‘Mystery of the Third Planet) has the distinctive look and style of Russian animation of its era. Realistic children taking part in a famous fairy tale was par for the course for Soyuzmultfilm but ‘Petia and Little Red Riding Hood’ subverts this slightly by way of Tex Avery and Buster Keaton. The little boy Petia accidentally steps into the cinema screen which is showing ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ and becomes entangled in the story. Since he knows the plot already, he is able to help out in defeating the wolf. Ultimately, when the day is won, Petia is able to step down from the screen as the end credits appear, relieved as he states that his mother will be waiting for him at home. A prestige and attractive work, ‘Petia and Little Red Riding Hood’ is just one of many gems waiting to be discovered by a larger audience.

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