Johnny's movies

Little Red Riding Hood, story of a fairy-tale

Posted in Books, Johnny Depp, movies by Anna Maria Polidori on December 4, 2014

A bit of story of Little Red Riding Hood



Into the Woods is a mixture of fairy-tales of Brothers Grimm, one of the most famous and known story-tellers and authors of the world.


The Brothers Grimm Brothers Grimm have been able to find, re-discover, re-write re-connect, create, re-write, thanks to a great work, all the most wonderful fairy-tales of all Europe modernizing  and adapting some of them for their current time, as it is happening for us, people of the XXI century with the same fairy-tales of the old times.

Johnny Depp 10525914_300767590096891_7427945710068792720_n johnny_depp_20  will play the role of the Lascivious Wolf 10410457_305162566324060_6609804621526311278_n 10526060_303589059814744_2538950242616427290_n 934802_594116557378540_8122797034347402396_n 1966890_594116580711871_6247514484343361238_n 532907_347182802122036_7414140093130274620_n10418930_347182822122034_4390819864793033550_n  10435702_347182842122032_3313302319398261154_n10487264_347182862122030_8916572642277068538_n10440285_354366258070357_9149138565007179997_n in Into the Woods , one of the most acclaimed Broadway 10388200_343271435846506_6778836146338218194_n musical of all the times, now a Disney movie.

Created for Broadway by legendary Stephen Sondheim stephen sondheim photo_Jerry Jackson, the movie, adapted for the big screen and families and kids of today has been written by the same Sondheim and James Lapine Lapine and directed by Rob Marshall rob marshall.

The born of a fairy-tale is fascinating and I would want to start to tell to you the one of Little Red Riding Hood.

This one is maybe the first fairy-tale told by parents and relatives to the children. It was, I am more than sure of it, the first one they told to me. Very scaring one!

The structure and story of this fairy-tale, as we know that, and as we love to tell it to the children is this one: Little Red Riding Hood (good Lord what a long name. Why not simplifying with Little Red Hood, avoiding the riding part?) left her house one morning with a basket containing a focaccia and some good red wine for her sick granny.

Before to leaving home some suggestions from Little Red Hood’s mom: “Do not lose time, don’t give confidence to people you don’t know, do not lose your road!

Little Red Hood once arrived into the wood, meets the ferocious wolf. It’s dark, she is maybe a bit scared .

Of course Little Red Hood doesn’t know at all that that wolf is ferocious. She has some company now. She can shares some of this solitary walk of this long trip with someone else. Who cares if that creature is not at all so good, and if it can be dangerous. Little Red Hood doesn’t analyze the psychology of the wolf, and to her he is a good friend. Little Red Hood is candid in her feelings. She knows she is not anymore alone and it is sufficient to her.

She can shares her thoughts with someone else. She is genuine and not sly for thinking that people or other weird creatures can cheating her. She gives trust, where trust in her case would mean to precipitate in a real nightmare.

The wolf starts a nice conversation with her. He is interested to know where she is going and why.

Poor Little Red Hood tells to the Wolf everything and the reason why she will visit her granny.

“She is very sick!” she add worried and she will let him see the food and wine for the granny.

The wolf can’t believe at his good luck. What an ingenuous creature he had met along his way.

He thinks pretty rapidly suggesting to Little Red Hood another road, more long than the one she is walking in. Her mom had suggested her of not leaving the directions she had given to her, but Little Red Hood is giving trust to the ferocious wolf as well. For sure that suggestion will be a winning one. The Wolf is great, must have thought Little Red Hood. What a great new friend I have!

In the while after a quick good-bye, the wolf is quickly at the house of the granny, eating her, wearing the clothes of the granny, jumping in the bed of the granny and most important part, waiting patiently for the arrival of Little Red Hood. Once arrived, Little Red Hood understands, but it’s a strange feeling, that something is very weird in her granny and she can’t at first recognize her nice granny in this, this, this ahem new maybe, body. Who knows: Little Red Hood can have thought, the granny is so changed because of the illness.

So she start to ask her some general questions:

“Oh my dear Granny, why have you got these large ears?”

“For listening your words better”

“Why this large eyes?”

“For seeing you better”.

“Ahem… granny why have you got this large mouth?”

“For eating you better!!!”.

The modern end of the fairy-tale is a happy one.

A hunter feeling some noises in the house understanding what it was going on, rips the wolf and setting free both the women, Little Red Hood and the granny. Little Red Hood will tell immediately after the liberation from the wolf’s belly’s prison: “How dark it was inside the wolf“.

I read it like a metaphor. A constriction, lack of freedom, and the return at a state of liberty don’t you think so?

It seems that the introduction of this happy end is deriving from another fairy tale, Brothers Grimm were inspired by: The Wolf and the seven young kids.

The story more or less is this: Mother goat must leave alone for a short time her seven children  at home and of course tell to them all of not opening to anyone and most important they must absolutely avoid to opening the door at the horrible and dangerous wolf.

The wolf knocks several times to the door of the seven kids telling to them that it’s their mom, but the seven kids resist. Later he will win, they will open the door and the wolf will eat six of them. The seventh one will tell to the mom all the story once returned home, and the Mom Goat once found the wolf, sleeping profoundly because of the good lunch, will rip the belly of the wolf with a pair of scissors, saving all her children and putting at their place many stones. The wolf will fall down in a well because of the heavy stones and will die.


I want to add that the Brothers Grimm have invented a second meeting with Little Red Hood and the wolf into the wood but this time Little Red Riding Hood didn’t lose her time with the wolf, (knowing he wasn’t such a great mate after all!) running away and going immediately to the house of her granny.

The wolf insisted, waiting for her outside the house of her granny,  without peace. He wanted to eat her! and later decided, he didn’t know what to do in that spare time and while he was waiting for Little Red Riding Hood, to go to the roof of the house, just in case. The granny so, suggested to Little Red Hood of using a caldron, putting on it a lot of water and making boil it with something tasty. The wolf at the end would have dead in the caldron victim of his own gluttony.

The first modern traces of Little Red Hood is contained in Perraults’s manuscript: Histoires ou Contes du temps passé published in 1697.

The main difference between Perrault and Brothers Grimm is that Perrault doesn’t see any escapism for poor Little Red Riding Hood and so she will die at the end of the story.

In other similar oral fairy-tales of Little Red Riding Hood, the little girl before to dying will be also forced at eating the blood and other body parts of her poor granny. So, some poor rests. A cannibalism of the story absent in Perrault but with evident traces, it seems, in oral tales in Italy and France. Great consolation: I didn’t know this version of the tale.

The most profound meaning and message of the fairy-tale Little Red Riding Hood

I think it’s one of the most known one and the first one told to the children by the parents because children must pay attention to strangers. So, not giving confidence to a possible “wolf”, so a possible criminal, someone with bad intentions. Nothing better than a fairy-tale can scare to death a kid letting remember to him/her this lesson! Little Red Riding Hood is a winning one and a great choice.

The complexity of a fairy tale however is great and starting from the RED HOOD, it seems that this sparkling color is “read” in opposition with the dark of the night and character of the wolf. The Red Hood means the return of the dawn, so new hope in the world.

Someone read Little Red Hood like the Moon.

The Wolf famous for howling to the moon would just…eating symbolically   the…Moon while eating Little Red Riding Hood.

Little Red Riding Hood has also been read as the spring and the wolf as the winter.

Perrault read the fairy-tale in a sexual way. Children and teen-ages should be careful by the attentions of certain men.



Origin of the fairy-tale


In Europe in the past there were a lot of wolves, and with the time the peasants, during the long winters nights, surrounded by heavy snow storms and neighbors all anxious to listening to the tales of the owner of the house where they had decided of spending their evening in company with, started to elaborate a rich proliferation of oral legends and horror  tales involving wolves and in particular werewolves, very normal people, who, with the full moon became very ferocious beasts, able to killing everyone they met along their passage, being back again in their normality once the magical effect was over at dawn. Similar to wolves but much more ugly and more dangerous than them in term of mortality, werewolves have been always a creatures known by everyone.

So, this fairy-tale at first was born as an admonition for the children.

A very famous writer incredibly fascinated by Little Red Riding Hood was Charles Dickens. Dickens once confessed that Little Red Riding Hood has been his first love.

Roald Dahl and other authors and men of cinema in the XX century didn’t treat anymore Little Red Riding Hood as a poor little kid, but they started to giving her constantly new sexual meanings. The main difference of our modern times with the message proposed in the Eighteen Century is this one: in the past Little Red Riding Hood was a good kid, obedient. The Little Red Riding Hood of the XX-XXI century has lost her candid soul and she is very different from the tale of Perrault and Brothers Grimm.

In a quiet recent work by Margaret Kassajeps Little Red Riding Hood and her friend Wolfie stole all the money to her poor granny living in a House.

Time are changed also for Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf as well.



Anna Maria Polidori


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