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Anne Hathaway is currently disrobing on our local screens, and I
suspect by the time Havoc finished its run, then she'll be heard but
not seen, only lending her voice in the animated feature Hoodwinked, by
Blue Yonder Films and Kanbar Entertainment. By not being a product
churned out from the usual Disney-Pixar-Dreamworks-Fox studios, it's a
delightful departure from the expected norms we already have formed by
offerings from the mentioned studios.
It's a very adult animated movie, in having multiple probably plots told in a whodunnit fashion. Gone are the laugh-a-minute spoofs on pop culture, not that Hookwinked is relying on the few it has on offer, and in comes some old fashioned comedy done right. Songs are also limited, given that it's only an 80 minute movie, that doesn't have much time to incorporate a mini-musical.
The plot adopts the fairy tale classic of Little Red Riding Hood, where the crimson hooded girl delivers some cakes to her grandmother's house, but found a wolf in her granny's pyjamas, and with her life at stake, she is rescued by a nearby woodsman. Or so we were led to think. In this modern day retelling, we're given a twist to this aged old story, and it's more than meets the eye.
Each of the characters - the Wolf (Patrick Warburton), the Woodsman (James Belushi), the Granny (Glenn Close) and even Red herself, seem to be hiding an agenda, and each are more than who they claim to be. In detective noir tradition, Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers) investigates and probes into each of their account of what brought them to that fateful location, and the events that transpired. And this is the highlight of the movie.
With each retelling, the audience gets involved through identifying the timelines where certain events cross one another, and how certain actions become misinterpreted to comedic effect. It's nothing very cerebral about it, as you would have probably guess who's guilty soon enough before the revelation, but what is admired, is how the scriptwriters come up with these zany plot ideas, and interlinking them together is no small feat.
Nonetheless, there are areas during the retelling which are simply quite plain, while some have become gems on their own. Given the many characters, most of which are relegated to few lines of dialogue, some of them just gave way to stereotypes, like most of the piggy cops playing it just for laughs. And there's also a hyperactive squirrel in this picture stealing the show, much like the one in Over the Hedge. Is a squirrel becoming the new animated in- thing?
In a plot involving stolen recipes, Hoodwinked's animation will take a while to get used to. Not that it's bad, but I felt that it wasn't as fluid, or meant to be photo-realistic, given its rather blocky 2D artwork. Then again, it's the story that matters, and this one doesn't pretend to be anything more than an average whodunnit. Fun stuff.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's a sign of the immaturity of CGI-cartoons that people generally
think that the animation of 'Hoodwinked' should either have been 1)
technically better or 2) should be forgiven it's technical flaws
because of the story's strengths. Both views panders to the idea of
CGI-technology as a quality in it self, rather than a means to
expression. The problem that 'hoodwinked' has, in my opinion, is rather
that artistically it doesn't choose sides: It's technically naive in
some animations, and technically sophisticated (as in individually
animated hair) in other scenes. It's artistically neurotic. It's
Toystory meets Monsters Inc. I still loved the 'Usual Suspects'-setup
coupled with basic Agatha Cristie-confrontations (but why the hell
wasn't the frog french, sorry, belgium?). But I was disappointed that
these setups wasn't brought to their full conclusion: Why wasn't the
frog allowed to discover that they all had an egoistic angle, a motive,
in the proceedings? Why didn't they play on the obvious Keyser Soze
angle of the rabbit? Oh Well, these movies still has to be for kids, I
guess. Still, it's a satisfying movie on most accounts - spot the
Harold Faltermeyer-soundtrack spoof when the wolf goes undercover (and
for the record: I loved the squirrel).
HOODWINKED! is one of the best animated films I've ever seen! I liked the way the original story of Red Riding Hood was used to create an enjoyable movie. HOODWINKED!'s story structure is a one-off as it deals with basically the same story ("the Red Riding Hood experience"), told from different perspectives of the different characters. This may sound boring, but in HOODWINKED!, it is really amusing! The movie features great characters, in a very original way. The best one (in my opinion) is definitively TWITCHY! This character is simply hilarious! The music and songs selected for the movie complement with the amusing genre of the movie. Although HOODWINKED! is characterised with bright and vivid colours, the only weak point of the film is the animation. When compared with other animation films, the animation used in this film is not that professional. However, this may still complement with the originality of HOODWINKED!. All in all, I highly recommend this movie! 100% :-)
Ice Age 2. Over The Hedge. Chicken Little. The Wild. Open Season. The
Barnyard. Flushed Away. If 2006 is remembered for anything it'd hardly
be surprising if the most common recollection is "all those animated
talking animal movies." And while Over The Hedge was really good, the
rest have hardly been ground breaking so it comes as something of a
pleasant surprise that Hoodwinked isn't too bad either. Unlike the
previously mentioned movies, it isn't a straightforward adventure story
but a multi-stranded whodunnit which is mostly told through flashbacks
and also possesses a wicked sense of almost-adult humour.
The closest comparison would be Shrek and while the Green Ogre's film was concerned with putting a fresh spin on fairy tales, Hoodwinked adopts a similar approach for the children's tale of Red Riding Hood. It begins at a crime scene investigation at Grandma's house at what seems like an open and shut case. Red (Anne Hathaway) has found a wolf (Patrick Warburton) in her Gran's bed and on the verge of being eaten, was rescued by a woodsman (Jim Belushi). However, Detective Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers) suspects there is more to the tale and so decides to interrogate them all, each of the four principle characters then proceeding to spin out their own story.
Admittedly, not everything in this movie fits. The woodsman's back-story isn't especially funny and there are a couple of ill-advised musical numbers that jar horribly with the rest of the film, but when Hoodwinked gets it right, it does so with aplomb. Red could have been a highly annoying spunky teenager but Anne Hathaway gives her a sense of maturity and turns her into a charming and engaging young woman. Her initial story is one of the most enjoyable segments and contains an absolutely hilarious incident with an old goat who has to sing everything he says.
The highlight though is Patrick Warburton as the Wolf. He is blessed with some of the best lines of dialogue ("What do you do?" "I'm a shepherd") and his storyline is by far and away the movie's milestone. Warburton is perfectly cast as the sarcastic canine and effortlessly steals the entire film. After that, the woodsman's story only seems dull and while Granny's back-story regains some of the momentum, your thoughts will most likely still be with the wolf.
It's not without it's faults though. Plenty of comments on these pages deal with the animation so I will not dwell on that too much but it is undeniably low quality. The chief problem though is that Hoodwinked sadly isn't as subversive as it could have been. Taking on Shrek was certainly an ambitious aim and even with the frequently hilarious dialogue, it just doesn't quite match it. It is good, but it does feel more like a warm up rather than a main event.
In conclusion then, an entertaining and often very funny movie but one with shortcomings. The animation is admittedly more befitting a TV short than a full length feature, the woodsman is a let down and the songs don't fit, but its strengths overcome its weak points. And if anyone sees fit to complain about the pre-requisite hyperactive squirrel which seems to crop up in every talking animal movie, try not to forget the fact that hyperactive squirrels are really really funny. It may not be as good as Cars or Over The Hedge, but Hoodwinked comes in a worthy third place and is certainly better than a lot of the competition.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm a pretty dry person. I have a laugh or two at occasional jokes, and
that's usually because I'm having far less sleep than I need. I saw
Hoodwinked!, in school, for some reason; after a 3-hour night. I found
it funny. The others also found it funny, so my lack of sleep isn't the
only thing that made me laugh.
Really, the characters themselves, their interaction, the whole world of Hoodwinked! is a great joke. Great in size, as well as great in, eh, good. The story itself ran independent of many of the jokes (strike the cage, handcuffs, beans, all the yodeling, turtles "running"), and some could find that annoying. I didn't. I enjoyed it. And the second time I watched it, it only got better. Surprisingly enough, it was a very clean story, which is something the movie gallery needs many more of. Good, clean movies.
The animation isn't, technically, much better than I can do myself, but it serves its purpose, and once I got past Red's huge half-closed eyes, the static poses when a character wasn't doing anything, the video-game-cut-scene-esquire camera motion, and the simplistic models, nothing kept me from laughing.
While the movie overall doesn't come with anything new, it does, as many review already point out, come with something old and forgotten. The technical competence of cg movies are getting higher and higher, but overall, the stories are failing. They're funny, but rarely worth watching a second time around, if it's all fresh in your memory. Hoodwinked! is different. There's always something worth watching again. The story isn't groundbreaking, but unlike many of todays funny movies, it's actually funny more than once. It's as if the writers chose these jokes because they work more than once.
The voices are all great. Jim Beluchi's performance feels like the weakest, or then his character is a little too dumb for me to enjoy. I like dumb humor. I don't like dumb characters as much. Even so, that character only adds to the gallery of characters and makes the world of Hoodwinked! richer.
The movie could improve on nothing but the graphical aspect, and even then, it could easily lose some of the charm and humor in it. It's a bad, dumb movie, in the best possible way.
I highly recommend this movie. It's a great laugh, unless you've decided to be a boring and/ or unduly graphically critical person.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Fairy tales have been around for years and always help children to
learn certain lessons on life. Now let's say you take a fairytale,
retune it for the 21st century, and present a new view on the story,
and you end up with a whole load of fun for the entire family.
Based upon the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, Hoodwinked retells the original story in a police investigation manner. Beginning in Granny's house, where Red, the Wolf, The Woodsman and Granny in a confrontation, the scene quickly turns to night and police have arrived due to domestic disturbance. From here on, all four characters are interrogated by Nicky Flippers, and of course each has their own perspective on the situation.
Many will be struck by Hoodwinked's CG animation: not because it is amazingly good, but because it is rather substandard when compared to any other CG offering in the last 5 years. Not only doe it not look great, but the movements for characters are at times quite static. Still the film does contain some impressive voice-acting: Anne Hathaway (Red) is charming, and Patrick Warburton (The Wolf) is downright memorable.
Hoodwinked is all about story, and a very good one at that. It's believable in a fantasy sense, and hilarious to the third degree. Ultimately satirizing Little Red Riding Hood and detective stories, Hoodwinked's humour is not only accessible my minors, but will easily be appreciated by adults too.
On the whole, Hoodwinked's low-key animation is a factor which should perhaps be overlooked, because even though it's not particularly the eye candy you would hope, deep down it holds an awesome package of a solid story complimented by some genuinely good humour.
I thought this movie would be childish, but it wasn't. Well, it was in some parts. But I didn't mind it. It is well written. It isn't a Shrek movie, but it's close. The cast really suited each character. The script writing is pretty good. The pacing is okay at times, but it keeps you interested 80% of the time. I found the jokes to be very funny, mainly due to the fact that it makes fun of the Fairy Tale Little red Riding Hood and The Three Pigs and turns it into a movie reference film. it makes fun of the Fairy Tales too. Which I liked. There are many gags, and a lot of them are very funny. It's a very cute movie, with quite a few adult jokes. I noticed that the kids in the theater were getting a bit figidity and restless. The adults seemed to be interested more than the kids. I do not recommend this movie for kids under the age 8. For they'll be very bored and not understand the jokes and references. A very cute movie and recommendable to everyone. 7/10
This is a laugh out loud funny film that will maintain the interest of
an adult audience and provide entertainment to a younger children to
It's a fun fast paced mystery adventure that gets real action packed towards the end.
The animations are not to Shrek standard however once you get absorbed in the storytelling, humor and non stop action, the latest CGI effects are the least of your concern.
I found this film more entertaining than Pirates of the Carriabean 2. So well worth a watch IMO. If the DVD has lots of extras I'd be mighty tempted to pick that one up too.
A fun film for all ages.
I thought it was a cute spin on a very familiar childhood story. The mountain goat and twitchy were my favorite characters, along with the chief investigator frog and the German lumberjack. Triple G, the wolf a reporter....funny stuff. Some of the lines my children and I often quote are "Red, use the hood!" "37 yrs ago, a witch done put a spell on me....I'm prepared" Actually, my son is obsessed with this song. I like the mannerisms of the frog, and how he interacts with "Fuzzy-wuzzy", the bear cop. Then there is the Arnold Schwartzonager downhill skier. My favorite part of the movie is the mountain goat sitting on the porch talking, emph, singing to Red. Plus when twitchy drinks coffee, runs wild and the lumberjack says "Can I have some coffee?" The main disappointment was you never find out what happens after the convergence of Grandma, Red, The Wolf (& Twitchy), and the Lumberjack. I didn't care for the stupid little bunny on a power trip....that was a too overused evil nemesis theme.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
***Spoilers immediately following**** Initially two things disappointed
me about "Hoodwinked". First was the relatively primitive and
underdesigned CGI - it was almost like watching a Claymation feature
like "Wallace and Grommett". And 2nd, all the 'plot twists' were
utterly predictable; every "ironic" character stereotype reversal in he
movie has been done to death already - Granny actually does extreme
sports, Red is a martial arts expert and wants to get out of the woods
and into the big world, the bunny is actually a power hungry lunatic,
the wolf is actually a good guy and a reporter, etc. Honestly, how long
did it take the writers to come up with this? Three minutes?
However, parts of it were amusing. I noted some clever slapstick humor and some nice verbal byplay. So I didn't count "Hoodwinked" as a total loss.
But a week later I got the urge to watch it for a second time (I had bought the DVD used at Blockbuster for $5) for some reason, and I wanted to rewatch it more than any of the other DVDs I picked up at the time. And this time around I "got" Hoodwinked. My expectations and sensibilities adjusted to the aesthetics of the character designs and I could appreciate the graphics for their simple, straightforward merits. I also began to really appreciate how darned good the voice acting was. And I realized that while the plot may have been pretty derivative and 2nd rate, it was executed with impressive energy and panache: most of the interchanges between the Wolf and Twitch were extremely droll and snappy; the yodeling mountain goat with custom horns for every occasion was actually a stitch to watch; and Andy Dick's delivery of Boingo the bunny's lines were comedic gems. I actually laughed out loud several times on this second viewing and replayed several scenes several times to better appreciate some of the nice touches and subtleties to be seen and heard.
I decided that viewing a movie like "Hoodwinked" is a lot like watching a Tex Avery or Bob Clampett directed cartoon from the 50s and 60s. Sometimes it takes a while to school yourself in the sensibilities of the guiding intelligence behind what you see - and to see beyond the "Bigfoot" cartoon style. But if you give Avery and Clampett a chance, you will come to appreciate the genuine creativity (and lunacy) of their approach....and the same is true here.
So I ended up being glad I have my own copy of "Hoodwinked". I wouldn't rate it over modern classic "The Incredibles" or "Monsters Inc", but I like it a lot. And I want to sound just like Patrick Warburton (the Wolf) when I finally grow up.
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