Was very fond of Woody Woodpecker and his cartoons as a child. Still get much enjoyment out of them now as a young adult, even if there are more interesting in personality cartoon characters and better overall cartoons.
That is in no way knocking Woody, because many of his cartoons are a lot of fun to watch and more and also still like him a lot as a character. As great a story 'Little Red Riding Hood' is, it has been done to death in animation, this is not even the only Woody Woodpecker cartoon based on the story, and there is not an awful lot done to make it fresh even with Gabby Gator in the role of the wolf. 'Little Woody Riding Hood' is by quite some way one of their weaker pairings, largely because Jack Hannah did such a great job (even with less than great animation) with his outings with the duo. Whereas this was done by Paul J. Smith, who doesn't bring anywhere near as much as the same sparkle.
'Little Woody Riding Hood' has good points in its favour. The music however is bouncy, energetic and very lushly orchestrated, not only synchronising and fitting with the action very well but enhancing it. The voice acting is good from both Grace Stafford and Daws Butler.
Energy and amusing moments are too far and between but they are there, likewise with the odd nice colour.
Otherwise, 'Little Woody Riding Hood' doesn't have an awful lot to recommend. Woody's comic timing has been much stronger elsewhere and his personality is too subdued somewhat. Jack Hannah did a great job with Gabby in his cartoons, here Gabby with Smith directing is rather dumbed down and his dumbness almost gets too silly rather than crafty.
Generally there is a lack of energy, this is fairly routine as far as Woody Woodpecker cartoons go rather than the original manic energy. That Woody and Gabby are both under-characterised and their chemistry has been much stronger elsewhere undermines the conflict, and odd amusing moment not much is particularly funny, with lacklustre timing, not enough laughs and less than witty gags. Very little is done to give freshness to a story that was old-hat in animation long before Walter Lantz Studios adapted it with Woody starring and it just feels formulaic, bland and obvious.
Just as problematic is the animation quality. Time and budget constraints shows in a lot of the animation, which is very rushed looking in the drawing and detail wise it's on the simplistic and careless side like many of Woody's cartoons from this period continuing through to the 60s.
Summing up, like most of Woody and Gabby's cartoons but this is not one of them. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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