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The Trial of Mr. Wolf (1941)

The Big Bad Wolf is put on trial for harassing Little Red Riding Hood. He then decides to tell his false side of the story, portraying Little Red Riding Hood and Grandma to be scheming to make a coat out of him.


Friz Freleng (as I. Freleng)


Michael Maltese (story)


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Uncredited cast:
Sara Berner ... Little Red Riding Hood / Grandma (voice) (uncredited)
Mel Blanc ... Mr. Wolf / Owl Judge / Dog Defense Attorney / Birdie (voice) (uncredited)


The Big Bad Wolf, villain of children's stories for years, is on trial for crimes committed against Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother. When given a chance to speak in his defense, Mr. Wolf explains the supposed real story behind the fairy tale, in which he is the victim and Red and her grandma are the ones to blame. Will the jury buy his story? Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis








Release Date:

26 April 1941 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Red Riding Hood's voice is a comical impression of that of Katharine Hepburn in her title role in "Alice Adams (1935)". See more »


Mr. Wolf: I'm pickin' flowers for me mudder. I'm always thinkin' of me dear old mudder!
See more »


(1859) (uncredited)
Music by Henry G. Spaulding
Played during the opening credits
Also played when the wolf skips down the path
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The 'Little Red Riding Hood' story shown in a different light
16 October 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

The 'Little Red Riding Hood' story is one of the most parodied stories in animation, mostly by Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies. Almost all these stories while putting their own spin on it (such as with the humour and featuring iconic characters in the roles) stick to the basic story where the wolf is the villain and Red and Granny the good characters.

What a surprise to see a cartoon that not only put its own irreverent and incredibly wild spin on the tale, but portrays it in a completely different light. Here Red is the complete anti-thesis of the innocent character that she is always portrayed as, she is very brutal here actually, and Granny has most of the funniest moments, is almost as interesting a character as the Wolf and every bit as brutal. Meanwhile, the wolf while still untrustworthy, you are apprehensive as to whether to believe him or not, is the character that 'The Trial of Mr Wolf' aims to make the viewer relate most to him and it succeeds more than very well at that.

'The Trial of Mr Wolf' contains some spectacular animation. Throughout there are gorgeously vibrant colours, backgrounds that are rich in detail and the characters are smoothly drawn. Carl Stalling never disappoints and one of my favourite composers in cartoon history, 'The Trial of Mr Wolf' does nothing to change that perception. Anybody expecting luscious orchestration, characterful rhythms, clever use of instrumentation and sounds and the ability to elevate gags to a greater level rather than just adding to it will find all of those aplenty.

Another great asset is how well the humour comes over, to describe it as funny doesn't sum it up enough. The dialogue is hilariously wild and one is shocked at how much the cartoon gets away with, and there is not one misfire in the many gags that come by thick and fast but timed impeccably. The Wolf's re-enactments in flashback structure are cleverly done, and the courtroom scenes equally so, while the Katharine Hepburn imitation is spot on and Granny has a priceless moment towards the end. All three main characters are interesting and funny, and it was refreshing seeing them portrayed so differently.

Mel Blanc and Sara Berner do top-notch jobs with the voice work. The element in fact that comes off least, though it does still manage to be amusing, is the ending which does creep up a bit too suddenly and ends in a somewhat "that's it?" way.

Otherwise, 'The Trial of Mr Wolf' was a brilliantly clever, refreshing and unlike-anything-you've-seen-before take on an age-old story. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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