8 out of 10
7 out of 10
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Glenn Close as Granny (voice)
Anne Hathaway as Red (voice)
James Belushi as The Woodsman (voice)
Patrick Warburton as The Wolf (voice)
Anthony Anderson as Det. Bill Stork (voice)
David Ogden Stiers as Nicky Flippers (voice)
Xzibit as Chief Grizzly (voice)
Chazz Palminteri as Woolworth the Sheep (voice)
Andy Dick as Boingo (voice)
Cory Edwards as Twitchy (voice)
Todd Edwards as Sandwich Man (voice)
Tye Edwards as Dolph (voice)
Benjy Gaither as Japeth the Goat (voice)
Joshua J. Greene as Jimmy Lizard (voice)
Ken Marino as Raccoon Jerry (voice)
Commentary by writers/directors Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards, and Tony Leech
5 deleted and extended scenes
"How to Make an Animated Film" featurette with producers Sue Bea Montgomery and David K. Lovegren
"Critters Have Feelings" music video and a feature length
English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Running Time: 81 Minutes
Everybody knows the story of Little Red Riding Hood. But do they know the real story behind it?
When the police are called to Granny's house to investigate a domestic disturbance, they discover more than they bargained for. They find multiple violations including breaking and entering, intent to eat, and wielding an axe without a license. But when investigator Nicky Flippers starts interrogating the suspects, he finds out that a lot more was going on than meets the eye. Why was Granny really tied up in the closet? Why was The Wolf so interested in Red? And why did the Woodsman bust into the house with his axe? And how are they all tied into the Goody Bandit who has been terrorizing the woods? All is answered in "Hoodwinked"!
"Hoodwinked" is rated PG for some mild action and thematic elements.
On the surface, "Hoodwinked" doesn't look all that special. The animation looks rather poor compared to Pixar flicks. It was released in January which is usually the month where films go to die. The advertisements have also been aimed more at kids. So I was quite surprised by how much my kids and I enjoyed the film. What the movie lacks in animation it more than makes up for in humor.
"Hoodwinked" offers up a lot of great laughs. I was reminded a lot of "Shrek" as the film poked fun at various fairy tales. But the movie goes well beyond that. There are a lot of great gags including a hyperactive squirrel, the schnitzel-selling Woodsman, a singing mountain goat, and the inept pig police. "Hoodwinked" even manages to parody films like "Fletch," "Mission: Impossible," "XXX" and "Star Wars". They even parody the Village People at one point. The final result is a film that has just as many laughs for children as adults. This is a movie everyone can see together and find something they like. I showed it to my 7 year old and 4 year old and they both really enjoyed it.
The cast is filled with a lot of recognizable names. While only a couple of their performances stand out in "Hoodwinked," they all do a good job. Glenn Close is most notable as Granny, the closet extreme sports enthusiast. Her voice is least recognizable among the cast, but she perfectly plays the character. Patrick Warburton is also fun as The Wolf. He's not that much different than any of his other animated roles, but he gets some of the best lines in the film and has the best sidekick with Twitchy the Squirrel (voiced by co-director Cory Edwards). Andy Dick is also fun as Boingo the Bunny whose role expands as the film progresses. Also listen for Anne Hathaway as Red, James Belushi as The Woodsman, Anthony Anderson as Det. Bill Stork, David Ogden Stiers as Nicky Flippers and Chazz Palminteri in a brief cameo as Woolworth the Sheep.
"Hoodwinked" also has a fun soundtrack. One song sung by Red is pop music. Another song by the mountain goat is country. Another by the Woodsman is polka. Yet another is heavy metal or grunge. It's quite a wide variety of sounds, but they all work well where they are used. The final result is an eclectic mix that is memorable.
As previously mentioned, the animation is seriously lacking in quality. It's forgivable thanks to the good script, but it would have been nice if the film had the entire package to offer. Instead the film looks like it was done on a PC by kids. I guess the Weinsteins are saving money in the animation department.
The film also flounders a little when it comes to Granny's story. It's amusing that the cute little old lady does extreme sports, but the gag is run into the ground. The film doesn't pick up speed again until it moves beyond that. The other flashbacks have a bit more to offer.
I also think the PG rating was inappropriate. This seemed like a G film to me. There was no sexual innuendo, violence, or crude jokes like I've seen in other G films. Parents shouldn't worry about the content in this one.
You'll find your standard batch of DVD bonus features here. Starting things off is the commentary by writers/directors Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards, and Tony Leech. It is followed by 5 deleted and extended scenes. One deleted scene, in storyboard form, shows a couple of bats that Twitchy and The Wolf encounter in the mines. They amusingly debate the way out. Oddly, the other deleted scenes are all longer versions of the various musical numbers in the movie. They aren't noticeably longer, so I was surprised they were trimmed down. Next up is a brief "How to Make an Animated Film" featurette with producers Sue Bea Montgomery and David K. Lovegren. They talk about how they developed the script, drew the storyboards, cast the film, and screened it with neighbor kids for feedback. A low resolution animated music video titled "Critters Have Feelings" is also included. It has original animation and antics from the characters in the film though they aren't nearly as detailed as in the theatrical release. The bonus features are rounded up with a trailer.
The Bottom Line:
If you liked "Shrek" then you'll really enjoy "Hoodwinked". What it lacks it animation it more than makes up for in laughs. It's fun entertainment for kids and adults.