Red Riding Hood (voice of Anne Hathaway) is delivering food to her sick grandmother (Glenn Close) at her cottage in the woods. When she arrives, the Big Bad Wolf (Patrick Warburton) is waiting, disguised as Granny. Just as he's about to eat Red, an axe-wielding woodsman (Jim Belushi) bursts through the door and tied-up Granny leaps out of the closet. Frog detective Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers) is called to the scene and a series of flashbacks reveals each participant's version of events. As well as sorting out this incident, Flippers hopes to solve the mystery of The Goody Bandit in the course of questioning.
Review by Richard Kuipers:
Had it hit the screen five or six years ago, the computer animation Hoodwinked would have been hailed as a fresh and funny take on fairy tales. In 2006, however, the story is a little different. This revisionist, jokey interpretation of the bedtime story arrives in the considerable wake of Shrek and is found wanting. It's not that karate-chopping Little Red Riding Hood, tizzed-out Woodsman and motor-mouthed Granny aren't welcome or even amusing in flashes - it's just that the movie pales when compared to their very obvious inspiration which has already snaffled just about every gag possible from the format.
Multi-tasking production team Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards and Tony Leech do manage to serve up some funny situations as frog detective Nicky Flippers gets to the bottom of things, though their repertoire is disappointingly limited. It's fun to see Red leaping around like Jet Li (and Princess Fiona) a couple of times, and Granny's fondness for extreme sports is a rib-tickler at first, but the makers have been lazy in assuming that repeating these riffs will automatically produce laughs.
Particularly puzzling is the direction of the voice cast. Listen hard and see if you can readily identify Anne Hathaway (The Princess Diaries) as Red, James Belushi as the Woodsman or Glenn Close as Granny. Even voice cast specialist David Ogden Stiers (Lilo & Stitch, etc) is difficult to identify as Mr Flippers, and we're left to wonder why the name cast was engaged in the first place. Apart from its hit and miss script, Hoodwinked is really not up to scratch technically.
Character faces are adequate, but background detail is flat and uninteresting for the most part. While this may not worry younger audiences, it won't impress grown-ups hoping all that time and money spent hauling the moppets to the cinema will be rewarded by another Toy Story or Monsters, Inc. Destined for a short run on the big screen, the first animated film to carry the Weinstein Company banner should have a much longer and more profitable life as a home video attraction. If there's anyone on the planet who hasn't seen that film about the green ogre and princess Fiona, the 80 minutes of Hoodwinked will pass the time adequately enough and it'll suffice as a weekly rental down the track.
Email this article
VOICES: Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close, Jim Belushi, Patrick Warburton, Anthony Anderson, David Ogden Stiers, Xzibit, Chazz Palmentiri
PRODUCER: Maurice Kanbar, David Lovegren, Sue Bea Montgomery, Preston Stutzman
DIRECTOR: Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards, Tony Leech
SCRIPT: Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards, Tony Leech
EDITOR: Tony Leech
MUSIC: John Mark Painter, Kristin Wilkinson
RUNNING TIME: 81 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 3, 2006
Find out more about the Australian film industry on Wiki