It’s hard to find someone who didn’t enjoy Disney’s Zootopia for bringing real-life issues to the world of talking animals. It’s just as hard finding someone who saw the same thing happen in Redux Riding Hood – the 1997 Disney animated short that was nominated for an Academy Award and subsequently locked in the vault for over a decade.
Co-produced in New Zealand, Redux follows The Wolf (voiced by Kramer!) years after the Little Red Riding Hood incident where he works as a car mechanic and is married to a sheep named Doris (Mia Farrow!). His failure to devour this child haunts his dreams so much that it affects his job, his relationship, and even his ability to get out of bed in the morning.
Wedlocked and working for weak wages, The Wolf’s inability to let go of the past rings hard and true to anyone who has come short of success. But just when you think you have this short figured out, it throws a flaming wrench into the tale.
The animators combined traditional 2D work with sliding collage effects taken from the Monty Python playbook. Not only did this style save them heaps of time, it also reflected the twisted mania of this twisted, manic take on the classic fairy tale. The largely improvised jazz score aided the havoc even further, a quality the film’s director Steve Moore was mega stoked about in his blog recounting the experience.
Intended to kick-start a Disney series called Totally Twisted Fairy Tales, Redux was an attempt to get a bit experimental and little more mature. However, after the short’s release and the Oscar buzz died down, the project dissolved and Moore’s film was put on ice next to Walt’s head.
Thanks to Internet Power™, the film lives once again. It may not have the reputation of other Disney greats (Show Me Shorts lists three great examples here), but it subverted fairy tales in a viciously clever and adult manner before Shrek earned an erupting volcano of money for doing the same thing.
Check out the short below: