At his height - in the 1940s - Avery created numerous cartoons and cartoon-characters which gleefully undercut the fluffy Disney archetype. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Droopy belong to his menagerie. And his filmography contains such works of subversive genius as Red Hot Riding Hood (1943) (watch it below!) - which transplants the popular fairytale to a seedy nightclub, and recasts the heroine as a voluptuous cabaret dancer.
But Red Hot Riding Hood is only one of Avery’s many masterpieces. Among my personal favourites are Who Killed Who? (1943), King-Size Canary (1947) and Dumb-Hounded (1943). Whilst Jonathan Rosenbaum – for my money, the best living film critic – has no less than 7 Avery works in his list of 1000 Essential Films.
Unfortunately, Avery’s cartoons haven’t received the definitive DVD set that they deserve (although an excellent collection of his Droopy cartoons was released in America last year). However, thanks to the glories of the internet, here’s a smattering of his zaniest work:
Red Hot Riding Hood