Television: Minnie Red Riding Hood

Minnie Red Riding HoodThis is a loose retelling of the “Little Red Riding Hood” story. Goofy is sick, so Mickey and Minnie make Minniestrone soup to help him feel better. They must carry it to him in a picnic basket. Part way there they run into Pete who smells the soup and wants it. First he begs for it, then he tries to pretend he’s sick, but they don’t believe him. When neither of these tactics work, he tries to sneak up on them and steal it. This backfires and they get it back fairly easily while Pete ends up in a mud puddle. Pete continues to try and confuse the group (which grows as Daisy and Donald join with their offerings for Goofy), but problem solving gets them through every situation. Finally he simply chases them, but they escape to Goofy’s tent on roller skates. Once they arrive at the tent, Pete disguises himself as a sick old woman and tries to fool them again, but this again fails. He does eventually get some soup, but not until he gets sick himself.

The plot of this episode is really well done. It follows the structure of the original story excellently, but gives a whole new spin on it that fits well with the Disney characters and this show in particular. Some parts did come off as odd, however. Minnie randomly wears a red hooded cape throughout the episode, which we have never seen before (and, as far as I know, never see again). No comment is ever made about this unusual addition to her wardrobe, which otherwise never varies. I was also a little annoyed that Minnie needed Mickey along throughout the whole thing. This wasn’t exactly a difficult adventure that required two people and it has not previously been typical of this show for characters to need companions to do anything (Mickey does things on his own all the time, as does Donald). So why did Minnie need help? She could have made and delivered her soup just as easily without Mickey along. He’s in charge of every situation he’s in, so it really felt like her contribution to the whole thing was minimized, which is frustrating when she’s effectively doing the whole thing. But this show is rarely forward thinking in gender portrayals (example: the characters’ footwear), so I’m not particularly surprised either.

I liked this episode, but I’d really like to see the girls on this show get to DO something for once and this episode in particular really highlighted the fact that they don’t ever get to.

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