Episode 10 – Remixing Little Red Riding Hood

In this episode, Group 8 chats Little Red Riding Hood retellings in TV and film.

Little Red Riding Hood

Oxford Dictionary


A combination of…

  • To be silly, deranged, or out of one’s wits; to act or talk foolishly or stupidly.
  • To be weak-minded from old age; to have the intellect impaired by reason of age.


  • A rounded piece of wood attached to a string, which passes through a door, and is fastened to the latch, so as to raise it.


  • Rough and deep-sounding, as the voice when affected with a cold, or the voice of a raven or frog; harsh and low in pitch; not clear and smooth like a pure musical note; husky, croaking, raucous.

Archetypal Characters

  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • The Mother
  • The Grandmother
  • The Wolf


  • Cake and a little pot of butter:
    • Representation of poverty
    • Innocence
  • Red Hood
    • “19th century many young daughters of wealthy families were painted wearing red caps or hoods”
    • Menstruation and the approaching of puberty
  • Wolf
    • Become a popular image in fairy tales
    • Common predator in a forest
    • Often a metaphor for a sexually predatory man
  • Forest
    • Endless source of inspiration
    • Represents unknown and very serious danger
    • Many heros get lost in a forest and come back as a more developed person


  • Why did the Wolf say, “Come get into bed with me.”?
    • Sexual connotation
  • Why Red?
    • Scarlet or red is a sexually vibrant and suggestive color
    • At one time, it was not worn by morally upright women thanks to its sinful symbolism
    • It’s also the color of blood with all of its connotations
  • Little Red Riding Hood doesn’t always die. Should this fairy tale have a happy ending or remain sad specifically the Charles Perrault version?

The Script


Megan: Hi this is group 8 doing our anarchy episode. I’m Megan, a sophomore at the University of Oregon

Katelyn: Katelyn, I’m a sophomore at UofO

Sarah: Sarah, a sophmore at UofO.

Overview Retellings

Katelyn: Today, we will be talking about ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ a fairytale first published in the late 17th Century written by Charles Perrault. We are going to be linking modern retellings such as Hoodwinked the movie, Once Upon a Time the Red-Handed episode, and the Grimm pilot episode to this classic tale. These modern retellings have been evolving with time, and definitely encompassing different meanings for each generation and culture.

Discussion of Source Story Archetypes

Megan: The archetypal characters we are identifying in this story are Little Red Riding Hood, The Wolf, The Grandmother, and The Mother. Little Red represents the fool and she is easily manipulated. I think this is because of her young age and innocence, which leads to her death. I think her innocence draws from a lack of a father figure in her life, but also the fact that she literally lives in the middle of the forest. Like what is there to learn there, when you’re so secluded. Also an interesting thing done by the author is the choice of language used to identify who she is, the author referred to her as the “prettiest creature” which dehumanizes her to be merely prey.

Sarah: Going off of what you said Megan, it is evident that predators catch prey. The Wolf, is seen a predator both animalistically and sexually. For example, the Wolf says, “Come get into bed with me” which refers as a sexual connotation. Males are also sometimes referred to as dogs which ties back into the character of The Wolf. Moreover, The Wolf can be seen as dominant and an alpha male prying on the innocence of a little girl. I mean, who wouldn’t think that an old man trying to get with a little girl is creepy.

Megan: Unlike most fairy tales, the grandmother and the mother are not seen as prominent figures. The grandmother should represent a wise crone but instead she’s a senile old lady. The grandmother’s illness also makes her innocent and vulnerable like Little Red Riding Hood. For instance the story reads that, “The good grandmother, who was in bed, because she was somewhat ill, cried out, ‘Pull the bobbin, and the latch will go up.’.” This reiterates what is previously mentioned. The grandmother’s innocence and naivety ultimately leads to her death.

Katelyn: What also stood out to me is that the mother directed her daughter to visit her grandmother maybe because she doesn’t get to see her very often and it was important to care for her grandmother and give her sweets while she was ill. In my own family, it’s extremely important to visit my grandparents when they are ill because I’m unable to see them frequently.

Katelyn: Another character that I found interesting was the mother. She wasn’t a present figure in her daughter’s life whatsoever. I can’t imagine trying to grow up without a motherly role model or even a fatherly role model in this aspect. I think she should’ve had a sense of security for her only child and lacked the parental figure she needed to be. Considering she’s quote on quote “excessively fond of her…” Little Red Riding Hood was sent off by her mother to deliver cake and a pot of butter to her ill ridden grandmother into a dark forest unsupervised. I believe that the cake and pot of butter represented a lack of wealth because these two food items are in other words a fatty food.

Megan: We are unsure why the author chose a cake rather than a piece of bread because during that time desserts in general represented wealth. Another controversial image is the red hood. The most prominent image of the red hood is that is portrayed menstruation and coming of age yet during the 17th century red was a sinful color.

Sarah: A well known book The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850, really shows the significance of how the color red is seen as a sinful color. During the 19th century, well after the publication of Little Red Riding Hood, women who committed adultery were marked with a scarlet A. Only women with bad reputations wore red dresses and Perrault could have suggested to this as part of Little Red Riding Hood’s coming of age. I find it interesting that in time period the color red can have multiple meanings. This furthermore supports our argument of evolving times and different perceptions in each generation.

Katelyn: Another interesting archetypal image I noticed in multiple fairytales, is the forest. It seems as if the forest is a place for heroic characters to get lost in, however, they do seem to return as a more responsible and developed person. This fairytale definitely contradicts that assumption. The forest more importantly represents an unknown place and a dangerous environment. I also find it interesting that this forest is considered a dangerous place because in most modern retellings nowadays, forests have happy and nice animals that help these characters progress and find their way home or find their way to their destinations.

Megan: talk about Snow White

Sarah: Overall, through our modern retellings, we’ve found that the new story lines of these fairytales are attracting everyone because of the constant change and differences in this tale.

katelyn: Okay I think it’s a good time for us to now talk a little bit more about our individual retellings, and how these archetypes have changed and are challenged in the stories we watched and ill pass it on to megan

Individual Analysis

Katelyn: There are various retellings and modern adaptations of Little Red Riding Hood and one that I watched is the intriguing and well-known TV series, Once Upon a Time. “Red-Handed” is the fifteenth episode on season one of Once Upon a Time. This American fantasy drama television series is written by Jane Espenson and directed by Ron Underwood. It premiered on March 11, 2012.

This episode is a modern retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood fairytale. It focuses on Red Riding Hood, her Grandmother, and the Wolf. In the fairytale land, Red Riding Hood and her fellow townspeople are virtual prisoners when a bloodthirsty wolf continues its ruthless killing. This village is planning to go after this wolf that had been killing their cattle. Red Riding Hood was eager to go on this hunt, however, Granny commanded her to stay inside with her red cloak on.

Little Red Riding Hood and Red-Handed might be one and the same with subtle hints that allude to the original tale. The key archetypal characters in both fairy tales are Little Red Riding Hood and Red, the Grandmother and Granny and the Wolf.

The main archetypal character, Red Riding Hood is an important creature and a popular image in tales. The difference in these two fairy tales is that Little Red Riding Hood is a little country girl while Red is a human and a werewolf.

Wolfs are common predators and bloodthirsty creatures. Both tales use this wild animal as a powerful creature who has already won, just by existing in this world and harming individuals. However, the main difference of the Wolf is that the original uses this character as a metaphor for a sexually predatory man while the modern retelling uses a human who can transform into a werewolf. This occurs if is she isn’t wearing her iconic red cloak.

The symbolism of this red cloak and hood are different from each other. The enchanted cloak is used to repel a shift during the full moon in the retelling tale. Red’s grandmother paid a wizard for that cloak to keep her from turning. While Little Red Riding Hood was given a red hood from a good woman. It suited the girl so extremely well and gave her the name, Little Red Riding Hood. In the 19th century this red hood portrayed the idea that young daughters of wealthy families were painted wearing red caps or hoods.

Red is an important color because it can symbolize a sexually vibrant and suggestive color while also symbolizing the approach of puberty and blood. These two ideas link together to create an important image in this fairy tale.

There are important lessons to be learned in both tales. Well-bred young ladies should never talk to strangers or they will be dinner for a wolf. Also, listen to your family and be careful when you disobey them because it may backfire to harm you and your people. The truth may arise at the most dangerous time of all so be prepared.

Sarah: For my individual analysis, I will discuss and compare the archetypes and archetypal characters found in Little Red Riding Hood and the television series Grimm, specifically the Pilot episode. Grimm’s pilot episode first aired on October 28, 2011 and was filmed in Portland, Oregon.

The show opens up with a young women wearing a red hoodie and she is about to go on a run. She goes for a run through some nature trails and stops when she finds a peculiar figurine on the ground. Once she stopped, she picked up the figurine and was suddenly attacked by a wolf-like creature. The lead protagonist Jack, is a Portland police officer who responds to the crime scene. The only trace to the suspect was a large shoe print, that resembled a boot. On the other hand, Jack also finds out from his dying Aunt that he is part of a long family line of Grimms who can see the beast-like creatures the Brothers Grimm originally thought up. These beast-like creatures lurk among everyone else and appear as regular people, however the Grimms can see them for who they really are. Continuing, another little girl wearing a red jacket was set to walk a mile to visit her grandfather who lives just on the other side of her neighborhood. The little girl cut through the woods as a shortcut. The original suspect who killed the first girl in red happens to be the mailman. The mailman shifts into a wolf and kidnaps the little girl. When the wolf returned to his home deep in the woods, he opened a latch on the floor that leads to a basement. The basement was set up like a little girls room and had a stocked closet of red jackets. The wolf opens the bag and releases the little girl on the bed. The wolf then shuts the latch and traps the girl. A news crew interviews the little girl’s distraught parents which gave Jack more information to find the suspect. Jack goes to the house in the woods and eventually kills the wolf and frees the girl from the basement. There are many things that I found interesting and that stood out to me in this episode compared to the traditional story. First off, Portland!!!there a multiple little red riding hoods. Both girls are of different ages, one in college and the other in elementary school. In the Grimm version of little red riding hood, the protagonist Jack closely resembles the Huntsman who evidently saves little red riding hood. Where in Perrault version, she gets eaten by the wolf. Not to mention that the little girl has both her mother and her father shown. Whereas in the story, she only has her mother. The parents were very passive and not as protective of their child similar to the story. Also, the girl was to visit her grandfather and not her grandmother like in the story. In the episode male figures are highlighted more than in the story. The wolf, for example, still holds the same archetypal traits as in the story. The wolf is predatorial in both ways whether deliberately shown or not. He kidnapped a little girl and held her hostage.


Little Red Riding Hood has been retold in numerous styles from TV series, to comic books. Through these retellings we hear different versions, but we also hear many similarities. In the retelling, I watched I found and heard hidden meanings from the original version of Little Red Riding Hood. The modern retelling, I watched is “Hoodwinked” directed by Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards, and Tony Leech. Produced by Kanbar Entertainment, and Blue Yonder Films. Released January 13th, 2006. “Hoodwinked” is the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but they put a twist on it, and turn it into a crime investigation. Someone is stealing receipts from all the goodie shops, and Granny’s shop is next. It’s up to Red to keep Granny’s receipts safe from the bandit. When Red gets to Granny’s house she is taken back to find the wolf dressed as Granny Which leads to a full-blown investigation on who is stealing the receipts, and each of them are a suspect.

        “Hoodwinked” retells Little Red Riding Hood in an interesting way. Why do they do that? Well that’s a question I hope to uncover through my own analysis. In the beginning, Red uses lines that come straight out of the original story. She says, “Grandma what big arms you have” and does that continuous back and forth conversation with the wolf. That’s not the only thing “Hoodwinked” touches on in their version of Little Red Riding Hood. During an interaction between the wolf and Red, Red brings up not supposed to be talking to strangers. This is the meaning behind why Little Red Riding Hood was created. Both versions of the story take place in the woods, but what makes “Hoodwinked” different is that the woods is mostly filled with talking and singing animals while Little Red Riding Hood is majority human. Like we touched on in the beginning the forest is supposed be a dark forbidden place, but in recent telling of most fairy tales they turn it into a happy place, filled with happy animals.

        Where they differ is interesting too. In the original story, the wolf is an antagonist in the story, and in “Hoodwinked” the wolf is an innocent man seen as a bad guy because the stereotype of a wolf is directly related to evil. When Red was first created she was seen has lovable, innocent, pretty, and naive. In “Hoodwinked” they decide to make her someone who is strong, witty and seeking independence and or adventure. As for the grandmother, she originally is seen as senile, but in “Hoodwinked” she is courageous, and very independent.

        In my opinion, the writers of “Hoodwinked” strayed away from the archetypes in the original Little Red Riding Hood because they wanted to make women look strong and independent rather than weak and little minded. The writers of “Hoodwinked” did this through Red and Granny. They didn’t feed into the stereotypes, and gave each character the opposite of how the original story portrays them.

Episode 9 – Revisiting Little Red Riding Hood

In this episode, Group 7 talks Little Red Riding Hood retellings.

Episode 1: Group 7
By: Whit, Whitney and Michael
Little Red Riding Hood by Charles Perrault and was first published in the late 17th century. 

Information about author: French poet and writer Charles Perrault was born on January 12, 1628, in Paris, France. played a prominent role in a literary controversy known as the dispute between the Ancients and Moderns. Perrault is perhaps best known for his Mother Goose fairy stories, including Little Red Riding Hood and Puss in Boots, which he wrote for his children. Perrault was very well-known in writing these fairytales that we’ve all come to know and love.

Overview of the story
Her mother tells Little Red Riding Hood that she must take food to her grandmother because she’s sick. Although the young girl plans to obey her mother by taking cake and butter to her sick grandmother, she’s tricked by a wolf into telling him where her grandmother lives. When she finally goes to the house the wolf has already eaten the grandmother and is pretending to be little red riding hood’s grandmother and tricks her to come to bed where she ultimately is eaten.

The next portion of our episode will be attributed to unwrapping this fairytale and comparing it to typical elements that fairytales primarily consist of. These elements are defined as archetypes which is a very typical example of a certain person or thing. When looking for examples it is important to analyze what a typical fairytale normally consists of. As defined in our week two notes from class by professor Courtney Floyd a couple things that were mentioned is the short narrative, familiar stories (usually passed down by generations), usually arise from the common people, the scope of a fairytale is made by the language. Also important factors are character types and a story that follows a typical narrative: a problem arises, a journey for the protagonist to solve the problem, and a happily ever after (normally).

Something that followed the very typical format was the “once upon a time” introduction. This lets the reader know that what they are about to read is going to be fiction and it is going to be probably light hearted and lets the reader know it is a fairytale. Right away the story is set up with the mother, grandmother, young girl, and a talking animal which is the wolf. The setup of the story is set in place right out the gate and we are given the quest that this little girl will have to take on. Something that stood out was that the mother does not tell red riding hood to be careful and to follow any sort of path. This seemed to be very intentional for Perrault for the overall meaning he wants to get across. To really emphasize that young children should never talk to strangers no matter how charming or nice these strangers may be. This part of the little to no mention of the mother is very interesting to me I guess primarily because it seems like an important factor from the story of Little Red Riding Hood that we all remember. The fact that her mother says to stay on a certain path and not to talk to strangers, almost forcing us as readers to understand what the moral of the story will be right from the beginning. After her mother tells her to go straight to her grandmother’s and she defies it is when she starts getting herself into trouble. Whether or not this aspect is included the message is still able to be prevalent we found it interesting and different that other versions of this story in which the archetype is challenges by Perrault.

Another archetype that emphasizes the meaning we mentioned before, was that Perrault might be challenging in a sense is the idea that there was not a happy ending to the story. The wolf unfortunately did eat not only the grandmother, but the protagonist of this fairytale. This part is really interesting because when we read fairytales as kids and now, no matter what age really, we root for this main character to overcome the problem that was set up. Normally there is a final couple sentences where the fairytale ties up all the loose ends and makes sure that the protagonist defies everything and comes up on top, whereas anyone who is an antagonist type character “gets what they deserve” or at least what we think they deserve. 

Last point when comparing this story to archetypes of fairytale is the back and forth suspenseful conversation that occurs right before the wolf eats red riding hood. Everyone who knows the general plot of this story can recognize this part of the story. This rhyming scheme is not normally in most fairytale, almost like a rhyme going on between the wolf and red riding hood. It all seems fun and games until the reader realizes he is actually going to eat her. This part is what makes Little Red Riding Hood so popular and memorable from when we all were kids. This is an interesting take on a set up for the climax of the story. This creates no room in this specific version for a falling action. It goes straight into the resolution that she was eaten and that is that. 

Modern Retellings

For the modern retelling of the fairytale to analyze and compare I chose Riding Hood, Revisited: The Wolf’s Perspective by By F. Forrester Church.

The reason I chose this story because this gives the original story depth and show that very story can be seen from multiple perspectives and challenge the idea of the antagonist being wicked or evil. Before the story the author, Forrester Church explains, the meaning of a story and even details change according to the teller`s perspective. Because life is filled with stories, this is a useful thing to remember. Another person`s version of the truth may seem false, but in fact just be true in a different way. I think this version almost begins to take on a different meaning than just the fact to not talk to strangers, but now takes on this one as well.

The story begins with ‘once upon a time’ and explains how there was good wolf who was very helpful and noticed a girl dressed in red in the woods. Although he was frightened at first, because he explains that humans have a history of cruelty to wolves, but he overcame his fear and talked to the little girl. She explained she was going to see her ill grandmother and bring her treats. After she left he realize she was naïve and that he should walk her home because the woods can be scary and as explained are life and death. So, the wolf raced to the little girl’s grandmother’s house and knocked on the door unknowing if she was already there. He walked in and found the grandmother dead from being so ill. He heard the little girl approaching the house and acted quickly by eating the grandmother and putting on her clothes in order to protect the little girl from the shock of seeing her grandmother dead. When the little girl entered and noticed the differences in her grandmother she realized it was the wolf and ran screaming. The wolf ran after her to explain, but before he had the chance, a hunter leapt from the underbrush and shot him dead. Forrester Church ends the tale with including 
“Even though the good wolf was killed, in a way, he died for all wolves, for through the example of his life, generations of wolves have been inspired to perform self-regarding deeds of kindness.
There is a second moral as well: Wolves tend to remember events in ways flattering to themselves.
But surely we can forgive them for this. After all, it’s only human.”

For the modern retelling of the fairytale to analyze and compare I chose the song Through Wolf’s Eyes by Elvenking.
The reason I chose this song was because, like my group-mates, I found the wolf’s perspective very intriguing. What I also found interesting is the song perspective, by that I mean, like fairytales there is so much to read between the lines, and make your own opinions about and that can make analyzing it easier, but also challenging because I could never be sure if my interpretations were on the right track or not.
The song was about the Wolf’s love for Little Red and how he attempted to show that love by killing the grandma. In the end Little Red was, unsurprisingly, not impressed, and the Wolf died from a broken heart. In my analyzation I appreciated the love at first sight concept which is just like fairy tales, but unlike fairytales there was not a happy ending. Actually, nobody received a happy ending, because the Wolf dies, the Grandma dies, which means Little Red lost her Grandma. I can see Wolf’s side though, he might have killed the Grandma as an offering to Little Red; he knew Little Red was going to be there later so he could have seen that as a good time to offer her his version of food. This food idea is also interesting because in the Grimm version, Wolf also offers Little Red her Grandma’s flesh and blood, which she eats.
In the end the main ideal I gathered from this retelling is that love does not conquer all, love can be one sided, and one sided love is nothing but heartbreaking.

The modern retelling that I chose was the portrayal of little red riding hood and the big bad wolf and their appearance in the movie Shrek the Third. I chose this because I thought it was really unique because its not a normal retelling. Instead of “retelling” the story we get to see characteristics of the characters that we don’t see in the original story. Several times in Shrek the third we see red riding hood acting mean and selfish. She is even seen stealing out of someone’s pocket at one point. The wolf is portrayed as more of a scared character who isn’t very tough or brave. Now that we have seen another side to the characters that we didn’t originally see it can make our minds do a retelling on their own.
Guiding Questions

Do I like the work?
Whitney: In the story little red riding hood I think the work stands apart from the anarchy’s of other normal fairytales, which is intriguing. I like this type of work.
Whit: I cannot say it is my favorite fairytale, I have always enjoyed the classic “and they lived happily ever after” but I also understand that those are from Disney’s retellings and not usually the original versions.

What words stand out?
Whitney: Words thats stand out in this specific story is the “fond” and “doted” when comparing the love little red’s grandmother and mother had for her. I think this gives the sense of how much she meant to them, yet her mother neglected to warn her of the danger of strangers and the woods.
Whit: When Red’s mother says to bring her grandmother “cake” and “butter” I thought this was interesting because she was bring the grandmother food to make her feel better, and this really says a lot of the time about how they knew so little of health needs. The last thing a sick person needs is milk to make one more congested, and sugar which is never actually good for you at all. Cake also speaks of the wealth Red’s family had since the ingredients are more frivolous and not in the average pantry at the time.

What feelings does it give me?
Whitney: This story gives the sense of innocence and almost tense towards the end. We as the readers know what might happen, but this little girl has no idea what she is getting herself in to.
Whit: The story gives me reminiscent feelings of my childhood and how things were so black and white. Things were so clear and obvious in the story, even if it was not so clear to little red.

Do I identify with any of the people represented?
Whitney: I think everyone, including myself, can identify with little red riding hood because the sense of being ignorant and naive to the unknown happens to most everyone.
Whit: I like to think I identify with the mom, she really is not in the story, which means she does not make obviously bad decisions. I have just always been too self aware to mistake an animal for a person, let alone someone related to me who I have known my entire life.
Michael: Definitely red riding hood because we can all remember being ignorant and young.

Is there anything about how it’s written that stands out?
Whitney: I think an interesting part of the story that is almost written like a rhyme. Example:
“Grandmother, what big arms you have!”
“All the better to hug you with, my dear.”
“Grandmother, what big legs you have!”
This part of little red riding hood is placed in every version and helps us identify what story this is apart from other fairy tales.
Whit: Exactly what Whitney said, those are the most standout lines in every Little Red Riding Hood. That is the part everyone remembers.
Michael: Those lines are what stands out most to me. It is the moment that really shows little reds youth. She is being deceived by the wolf because she’s a child.

What is the work about?
Whitney: In the story little red riding hood’s mother tells her that she must take food to her grandmother because she’s sick. Although the young girl plans to obey her mother by taking cake and butter to her sick grandmother, she’s tricked by a wolf into telling him where her grandmother lives. When she finally goes to the house the wolf has already eaten the grandmother and is pretending to be little red riding hood’s grandmother and tricks her to come to bed where she ultimately is eaten.
Whit: The story is about a little girl who takes food to her sick grandmother. Her grandmother gets tricked by wolf who says he is her granddaughter, and then the wolf tricks Little Red by saying he is her grandmother. In the end Little Red gets eaten.
Michael:The story is about a mother who sends her daughter to bring her grandma food. Along the way she meets a wolf who deceives her and eats her grandma before impersonating her.
What else is the work about?
Whitney: I think this story has the meaning of the danger of talking to strangers.
Whit: The moral is to not talk to strangers, and as Perrault would put it, specifically young pretty girls should not talk to strangers.
Michael: The ignorance of the youth and dont talk to strangers.