Fairy tale characters have often been fodder for animated features. Disney has made a
fortune recasting these archetypal stories into mass-market cartoons. Finding a different take
on the material has become one of the most difficult things, but Todd Edwards, his brother
Cory, and Tony Leech have managed to do just that with HOODWINKED!
One could almost call this amusing CGI animated feature CSI: LITTLE RED RIDING
HOOD meets RASHOMON as it takes a behind-the-scenes approach to the well-known
tale. The film begins with Red (voiced by Anne Hathaway) arriving at the home of her
grandmother (Glenn Close) and encountering the Wolf (Patrick Warburton) masquerading as
Granny. Just when it appears the Wolf is about to attack Red, the Woodsman (Jim Belushi)
appear wielding his axe and then … well, then the story really begins.
Taking a page from the popular procedural television series like LAW & ORDER and
CSI, the four are questioned by investigator Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers) and each
recounts his or her version of the events. It goes without saying that each has secrets and no
one is exactly who he or she appears to be. To detail any more of the plot is to reveal the
surprises the film packs.
There’s a hit or miss quality to the jokes, but many reach their mark. The humor is
broad, and should hold appeal to both the moppet set as well to adults. The animation is not
exactly groundbreaking but it isn’t third-rate either. It’s a cut above what’s on television but
not in the league of that of PIXAR or DreamWorks Animation. Also, there are a couple of
saccharine songs written by Todd Edwards that (I think) are meant to be parodies. His
brother Cory voices one of the more amusing characters, Twitchy, a hyperactive squirrel
that make Robin Williams seem sedate.
I enjoyed HOODWINKED!, and while it may not be on par with great animated
films like WALLACE AND GROMIT, it does have its charms and is well worth a look.
MPAA Rating: PG for some mild action and thematic elements
Running time: 80 mins.
Viewed at Magno Review Two
|© 2005 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.