I’m a huge fan of fairy tales and folklore. They are windows into the cultural, social, and historical circumstances in which they are rooted. In subsequent retellings, the modified versions reflect society's changing morals over time.
Red Riding Hood, for example, might have began simply as an illustration of a simple but very real danger. Medieval Europe was sparsely populated. Isolated villages were separated by miles of dense forests filled with boars, highwaymen, and of course, large wolves. In a world where superstition and serfdom kept most people from ever traveling more than 10 miles from their place of birth, a trip through the King’s Forest to Grandma’s house could be treacherous indeed. Not to mention Grandma might have the Plague.
It wasn’t until Frenchman Charles Perrault (also of Cinderella and Beauty and The Beast fame) published the Tales of Mother Goose collection in 1697 that Red Riding Hood even wore her red cape. Of course, in Perrault’s time, a red cape was known as a standard uniform for prostitutes. It is from this point that the now common themes of puberty, sexuality, and the wages of sin in the story stem from. Today, Little Red Riding Hood is portrayed anywhere from the classic cherub with her picnic basket, to the sassy young woman of Sondheim’s “Into the Woods”, to the bloodthirsty vampire adversary featured in the Grimm table top RPG. As the world lost it’s innocence, so too did Little Red.
And then you get things like the video above, which are just kinda cool.