Olive Us: Episode 23: Little Red Riding Hood

Images and text by Gabrielle.

Friends, I’m kind of freaking out about how wonderfully Episode 23 of Olive Us turned out. (Sorry for the brag!) It’s called Le Petit Chaperon Rouge which is the French way of saying Little Red Riding Hood. This video is stunning. It’s simply magical. Oh. And it’s all in French! Entirely narrated by Betty, who also plays the girl in the red cape.

Now don’t you worry, even if you don’t speak a lick of French, I’m betting you’ll be able to follow along with the very familiar story line. : ) If you’d like a translation, you’re in luck. Ben Blair made a pdf with a side-by-side French and English translation — you can find the pdf link here.

Little Red Riding Hood | oliveus.tv

I’m dying to hear what you think! And if your kids watch it, I’d love to hear if they enjoyed it — or if the French threw them off too much. From what we’ve seen so far, for little ones, the language doesn’t seem to matter at all! Consider this a great way to expose your kids to a foreign language in a familiar context.

I also want to say that we didn’t make this alone. Not at all. A huge thanks goes out to Miranda of One Little Minute. who put together the stunning costumes. She started with what we had in our closet, added pieces from thrift stores, then sewed the rest. She re-made the iconic red cape from a women’s red wool coat she found at a second hand shop. It’s thick and cozy and wonderful — and it kept Betty warm on the cold November day when we filmed this.

Little Red Riding Hood | oliveus.tvLittle Red Riding Hood | oliveus.tv

Another big thanks goes to Merrilee Liddiard of Mer Mag for the title illustration. I love how it turned out! I think it would be cool to have a poster of it made for our wall. Lastly, we are over the moon about Tiger in a Jar’s vision for this episode. We think they captured the story perfectly.

Fun Fact: the forest scenes were filmed around the corner from our house, in the same trees that we filmed Christmas Tree Hunt. For the exteriors of Little Red’s house and Grandma’s house, we actually filmed at the Apple Juice Farm you’ll remember from this video. Fantastic, right? The old half-timber buildings on the property were absolutely perfect for a fairy tale!

If it’s not showing up for you in this post, watch it on vimeo here, and find all the Olive Us videos here.

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A little “easter egg” in the film: Grandma is reading Charles Perrault’s Little Red Riding Hood. : )

Little Red Riding Hood | oliveus.tvLittle Red Riding Hood | oliveus.tv

47 thoughts on “Olive Us: Episode 23: Little Red Riding Hood”

  1. Really lovely! Another great episode.

    Maybe I missed a mention of this in a previous post, but what will you be doing to ensure that the kids retain their knowledge of the language when you return to the States? Betty’s French sounds so good!

    1. Hi Linnea! That is a topic that is on our minds a lot these days. We have a few ideas on how to help them maintain the French that they’ve worked so hard to learn. Once we settle on something, I’ll be sure to report.

  2. Adorable! Love Betty speaking French, are all your children that proficient now or is Betty the most advanced given the age that you moved to France? My son who has just turned five is learning French in his school in the uk but its very basic, I think that you really benefit from being immersed in it .

  3. Really great! I love how they are all so sweet and lovely, but so different to.
    It is increasingly hard to pick a fave!!

  4. this was simply perfect, gabby! the tones, the composition, betty’s voice, the music, the clothes, the acting, everything! lovely:)

  5. Wow, that was an amazing video!! I love the whole thing, the acting, the narration, the location, the costuming! I watched it with my 8 year old daughter and she didn’t even say anything about it being in French – she just asked if Little Red Riding Hood was narrating it. We both loved it :)

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  7. What an enchanting episode! I think it may be my favorite. I love Betty’s melodic voice; her accent is amazing! Every little bit made is so special.

  8. BRAVO Betty! You sound great! And, I agree – it’s just magical. You all have done an exquisite job. I agree! right down to the beautiful opening credits!

    What is it about French told classic tales and children’s voices?…. exquisite!

  9. I am so jealous of Betty’s accent, she did such a great job! I too wonder, how you’ll keep up with French in States? A French nanny perhaps:)?
    Also, j’adore Merrilee. Her illustrations are spectacular.

  10. We loved this!!! We’ve been reading Little Red Riding Hood lately at bedtime and in our story the wolf eats them up :) Kind of morbid! Anyways little Betty’s french accent is amazing! I speak french and am amazed…she almost sounds native. Good work! I’m so jealous of your adventures…France is near and dear to my heart!


  11. We loved this too! About half way through my middle one asked, “what are they speaking?” and when I said French the littlest said, “Like we sometimes speak Italian?” The unknown language was actually quite lovely and the version you told was so well done by your kids. Well done Blair family, what a treat!

  12. Wow, her French is very good!! Little ones are like sponges. It’s always fascinating to see how quickly they can learn a foreign language and really learn to pick up the accent too! Very well done :) it made me feel nostalgic. I grew up with the more dramatic (and exciting) ending but this one put a smile on my face and I will have to share this with my girls! Great job!! You have every reason to be proud! ;)

  13. I love these videos for their originality and sense of fun! I watched this with my daughter, who is in her second year of a French Immersion program. She loved it and says she understood every word. Having half her school day in French has been an amazing experience for our whole family – even those of us who don’t speak much French! Tell everyone tres bien!

  14. What a lovely video. I will be sharing with my high school French students. I already showed them your video about French bakeries when we studied food. I just love reading about your adventures!

  15. This is the first Olive Us video I have watched, and I must say – I was very impressed! Betty’s accent is not only excellent, but she has a totally adorable voice :) Please tell all of the children that they did such a fabulous job! I really do agree that you should frame the title design – such detailed work and a lovely memory for your family.

  16. I am dying over how well Betty speaks French! Having a bilingual or multilingual family must be so fantastic… I hope you’re all able to retain the French you’ve learned when you come back to the States. :)

  17. This is my favorite episode too. It’s magical. I’ve always found this fairy/folk tale enchanting and one of the reasons why is the bright red cape. I love how it stands out almost as if it’s a separate, distinct character.

  18. This looks like it must have been so much fun to film! And Betty’s French is phenomenal! I hope she doesn’t lose that beautiful accent once she’s back to speaking English full time.

  19. This video is so cute! Please don’t get me wrong, but since you have changed the story, the moral teaching is also gone…

  20. Loved it!
    I am just curious about the ending of the story: In Germany the wolf eats the grandmother and Little Red Riding Hood, and the hunter frees them by slicing up the wolf’s belly.
    Did you change that yourself or is this the more common version in the US? I am always interested in cultural differences. I just googled it and found out that the original story is French (I thought of course it was German:-) and in that one there is no happy ending. Just for the wolf. Everybody else gets eaten.

  21. Besides being an awesome little film, these will be some beautiful memories you will all cherish! That voice and the costumes!

  22. In most of the French versions I know of the hunter cuts the wolf’s belly open to deliver both the grand mother and the little Red Riding hood just on time.(and they celebrate in relief eating the cake and the butter).
    I was amazed too at Betty’ wonderful accent and pronunciation. Thumbs up!
    Your kids do an excellent job…everytime! And if in the future they ever need French pen pals to keep up with their French maybe my 4 kids could be just that? :-))

  23. Betty est incroyable! Je l’aime! I’m a French teacher in UT, would you mind if I show this to my students? I know they would love to see it and hopefully feel inspired by her speaking abilities – I know I am! She sounds like a native! Another great video by the amazing Blair family!

  24. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You obviously know what you’re talking about, why
    waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could
    be giving us something informative to read?

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