Little Red Riding Hood's Amazing Adventure (Japanese: 赤ずきんの旅, Hepburn: Akazukin no tabi) is a 1990 Japanese-American animated musical comedy-drama adventure fantasy film directed by Tom Wyner and Shuki Levy. Based on the fairy tale stories including Little Red Riding HoodPuss in BootsAlice in WonderlandThe Six Swans, and Rumpelstiltskin; the film went through a lengthy development process with a number of screenwriters. Ultimately, the screenplay was credited to Judy Freudberg, Tony Geiss and Peter S. Beagle; the storyline and art style differed from the original version. The original soundtrack was penned by the music composers by Shigeaki Saegusa and John Massari of Academy Award-winning songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein, John Barry and Don Black. The film features the English dub voices of Sophie Lara Winkleman, Amanda Root, Joan Sims, Ian James Corlett, Bailee Reid, Reg Williams with June Foray and Ewan McGregor (first role).

The movie was infamous for being in development hell with many people with some worked at Tezuka Productions who worked on Astro Boy/Kimba the White Lion, some of Disney and others who worked on Bambi/Alice in Wonderland, some of the people who worked on Woody Woodpecker and Little Audrey/Casper the Friendly Ghost, as well as some people who would later found Studio Ghibli (half-anime production)/Toei Animation (animation production), figures such as Haim Saban, Shuki Levy, Toru Hara, Nick Tafuri, Isao Takahata, Osamu Tezuka (last role), Nobutaka Nishizawa, Don Patterson, Kazue Morimoto, Raymond Jacobs, Kenichi Chikanaga, John Halas, Hisayuki Toriumi, and Bill Melendez being involved with the movie before all dropping out.

The film was released in Japan and in the United States on March 9, 1990 by the Toho-Towa and Paramount Pictures Corporation.

Plot

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White Rabbit appears in search of the Duchess's gloves and fan. Mistaking her for his maidservant, Mary Ann, Rabbit orders Red Riding Hood to go into the house and retrieve them. Inside the house she finds another little bottle and drinks from it, immediately beginning to grow again. The horrified Rabbit orders his gardener, Bill the Lizard, to climb on the roof and go down the chimney. Outside, Red Riding Hood hears the voices of animals that have gathered to gawk at her giant arm. The crowd hurls a fiery smoke when Red Riding Hood eats a cake, and they reduce her in size. Back in town the three mothers tell Red's mother what has happened and warn him he will be held responsible for any harm.

Red Riding Hood is still searching for Pussy, lost in the forest and is attacked by bats who are frightened away when Wretchel the witch appears, though she assures the girl that she's simply a beggar and takes him to a castle in the woods where she introduces him to the beautiful Countess Leonard who offers to be his adoptive Mother.

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Later on, his grandma dies and the landlord evicts Red Riding Hood, Woolie and Pussy. Taking pity on them, Pussy leads Red Riding Hood and Woolie home as she reveals to him that a red hood in the golden village and the castle with his mother.

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Wretchel arrives again to drain everyone's blood but after being told vampires are afraid of fire Pussy lights his torch and defeats Wretchel, after rescuing the girls the group then goes to defeat the countess which lifts the curse on the land surrounding and allows everyone to save the castle. The royal couple descends to the castle, where teenage Red Riding Hood and the Prince is reunited with her mother, Woolie and Pussy, living happily ever after.

Cast

Humans

  • Sophie Winkleman as Red Riding Hood
  • Joan Sims as Grandma
  • Debbie Reynolds as Red's Mother
  • Ray Owens as Hunter
  • Bailee Reid as Red Riding Hood (10 yrs.)
  • Reg Williams as The Prince
  • Tony Ail as The King

Anthropomorphic Animals

  • Amanda Root as Pussy
  • Les Tremayne as Bucky the Wolf
  • Ewan McGregor as Pussy (10 yrs.)
  • Davy Jones as Pussy (10 yrs. [singing])
  • Ian James Corlett as Mr. Rabbit
  • Tony Ail as Pat the Frog
  • Pat Messick as Bill the Lizard

Myths

  • June Foray as Countess Leonard
  • Joan Sims as Wretchel Witch

Production

With the film tentatively scheduled for release in 1988 before Kiki's Delivery Service and Little Nemo, likewise, the animation crews on Little Red Riding Hood's Amazing Adventure and The Adventures of Dorothy Gale effectively competed against each other to see which film would finish first. By early 1988, My Neighbor Totoro had progressed further than Little Red Riding Hood's Amazing Adventure with Osamu Tezuka before its last role in one year later.

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Cinematic influences

At this time, it also encouraged his staff to see a variety of films. These ranged from the mainstream, such as The Fox and the Hound (1981)—to which it made direct reference in a story meeting pertaining to the scene in which Red Riding Hood with Pussy and the others grown up in ten years ago after allowing Granny to die believing she is Red Riding Hood with Pussy. Little Red Riding Hood's Amazing Adventure, as well as the many films to follow it, were also influenced by such an expressionist films as Sleeping Beauty (1959, Disney), Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959, Disney), The Wild Swans (1977, Toei), Ringing Bell (1978, Sanrio), The Secret of N.I.M.H (1982, MGM/Don Bluth) and Kiki's Delivery Service (1989, Studio Ghibli), which were recommended by the studio to his staff. This influence is particularly evident in the scenes of Red Riding Hood searching for Pussy through the forest, when in ten years later, the Adult Red Riding Hood kills Countess Leonard with his dagger. The latter scene was also inspired by Bambi (1942), Alice in Wonderland (1951), Charlotte's Web (1973), The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (1979) and The Black Cauldron (1985), to which made specific reference in story meetings.

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