IMDB EntryHoodwinked (2005)

Hoodwinked -- the SuspectsWritten and Directed by Corey Edwards and Todd Edwards
Starring the voices of: Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close, Patrick Warburton, James Belushi, David Ogden Stiers, Xzibit, Chazz Palmenteiri, Andy Dick.

Hoodwinked starts out with Red Riding Hood (Anne Hathaway) visiting Grandma's house, with the wolf (Patrick Warburton) in the bed. After a witty variation on the dialog on the original, the Wolf jumps at Red, Grandma (Glenn Close) is discovered tied up in the closet, and the woodsman (James Belushi) crashes through the window.

Then the police arrive.

Yes, Hoodwinked is another postmodern version of a fairy tale, following the ground that Shrek and others plowed. What sets it apart is witty dialog and a surprisingly sophisticated story.

Because, in the movie, the scene at Grandma's house is not the main thread.  Chief Grizzly (Xzibit) has a bigger problem:  the Goody Bandit, who's been stealing recipes and putting bakers and candymakers out of business. The chief thinks the Wolf is involved, but his detective, Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers) thinks otherwise.  So he has everyone tell their story.

Here's where it rises above most animated films:  the stories are all different and are colored by the teller's point of view. As each of the characters tell their tale, we see the different perspectives and discover that what one assumes is not exactly what happened. 

The concept is reminiscent of Roshomon, though by saying that, I give the wrong impression.  The movie is fun, and part of the fun is discovering how the original story (by Red) plays out with the information given by the other characters.  None of the characters are the way the appear, and it's fun to see the truth and how it all dovetails.

In the final part of the film, Red, Granny, the Wolf, and the Woodsman unite to bring down the Goody Bandit. While the identity isn't a big surprise, it still is both fun and entertaining. Directors Todd and Cory Edwards keep the action and jokes coming from start to finish.

All the voice actors are excellent. The main standout is Patrick Warburton as the Wolf, but Andy Dick is also worthy of mention in his small role.

The movie did well enough, mostly because it was relatively cheap, and there's talk of a sequel.  I'm looking forward to it.

8/21/07

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