An old film projector is heard running in the background. The image fades to show the cover of a copy of Red Riding Hood
showing Little Red screaming as she is attacked by a menacing Wolf. An unseen narrator tells us, "Red Riding Hood. You probably know the story. But there's more to every tale than meets the eye. It's just like they always say, you can't judge a book by its cover. If you want to know the truth, you've gotta flip through the pages."
The book flips open to a pop-up map. The camera zooms in, flying through the cardboard cutouts of a forest. Eventually, the image dissolves into an actual forest, exit into a clearing, and close on the door of a woodland cottage.
Red (Anne Hathaway
) opens the door and enters the cottage, carrying a basket and looking for her Granny (Glenn Close
). Hearing silence, she steps further into the house and asks if everything is okay. A voice answers, and she turns to see "Granny" sitting up in her bed. We, however, can see that it's clearly the Wolf (Patrick Warburton
), speaking in a falsetto voice, and wearing a plastic face mask and apron. As she approaches, Red is very suspicious of the figure, given his mouth doesn't move when he talks. Much to the Wolf's irritation, she starts calling out his big facial features, including his pointy ears (which the mask fails to hide), his big eyes, and his undisguised hands.
When Red comments on the Wolf's bad breath, he finally gives up any attempt at continuing to impersonate Granny and tears off the mask. Red's reaction is one of shock and pure anger, and she demands to know if she needs to get a restraining order. She starts to move back into the living room as the Wolf grabs a fireplace poker for potential self defense and tells her to settle down. Red corners him and angrily demands to know what he's done with Granny, and the Wolf says he's taken her down and Red is next. On cue, Granny jumps out of the closet door, bound and gagged. Seconds later, as Red and the Wolf are reacting to this discovery, a crazed-looking, axe-wielding lumberjack (James Belushi
) bursts through the window, screaming, to the horror of the other three.
Suddenly the image cuts to black and the exclaimed title is shown on screen.
When the scene is restored, it is nightfall. The authorities have cordoned off Granny's house with crime scene tape, and officers can be seen milling around outside, talking as they stand guard. Chief Ted Grizzly (Xzibit
) arrives in a marked squad car, and upon getting out of the car, he is swarmed by reporters gathered outside. He refuses to comment to the reporters if the suspects inside are tied to a criminal called the "Goodie Bandit". A raccoon detective, Jerry, holds the crowd back as Grizzly steps under the tape and talks to the first responding detective, Bill Stork (Anthony Anderson
). Stork reports that they've got a basic domestic disturbance, and there are a number of charges that can be filed against the detainees: breaking and entering, disturbing the peace, intent to eat, and wielding an axe without a license. When Grizzly asks about a possible connection to the Goodie Bandit's recipe robberies, Stork says that there is a real possible chance this might be the big break they've been looking for: the house belongs to Granny Puckett, a big time cookbook lady.
Inside the house, the four suspects we have met (from left to right - the Wolf, the woodsman, Granny, and Red) are sitting in chairs, handcuffed, around a smashed table. It is clear that none of them are happy about the situation. Stork explains to Grizzly that their woodsman was swinging an axe and the Wolf was trying to eat Red. The Wolf insists that he can explain things, but gets muzzled for his troubles, and Red gets snippy when Grizzly asks her if she should be in school ("Shouldn't I have a lawyer?"). The Chief is all for throwing the four in jail, thinking he's got an open-and-shut case, but is interrupted with the sudden arrival of a private detective, frog-form Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers
). After handing his fedora hat over to Tommy, one of the pigs, Flippers berates Grizzly for growling up the wrong tree again. He says he was just driving by and determined from the police lights that a media circus was in town.
Since the cops don't think they've made a mistake, Red expresses this to Flippers. Grizzly is irritated by Flippers' arrival, especially since the Goodie Bandit has been shutting down goody shops throughout this part of the forest for months, and with this domestic disturbance as the last call, he wants the case to be closed right here and now. Flippers immediately comes to a conclusion: there are four separate suspects, and all four of them will have different stories to tell about how they ended up in Granny's house. If they keep everyone talking, eventually, the police will produce a full picture of what truly happened. At this point, the Wolf, muzzled, asks if he can make a phone call, but gets prodded with a taser. Red sighs, turns to Flippers, and says she'll tell him what really
happened. With that, the suspects are taken into the dining room one at a time to retell their stories.
Each story is framed the same way: the image turns into an image from a book page, then the book flips back to the popup map we saw in the beginning, only instead it zooms in on a different building.Red Puckett's story
The first of the four suspects that Flippers interviews is Red Puckett
. Red is a fiesty teenager who uses her "innocence" to convince Flippers that she is not guilty. She claims to get her name from the red hooded cloak she wears as a fashion accessory (when asked by Flippers what she's called when she's not wearing her cloak, Red merely says, "I usually wear it"). Red is taken into the dining room. She explains that today began like any other day: she was doing deliveries for her Granny's shop....
Red leaves a house on a bike, making a delivery run for her Granny, who lives many miles away on the other side of the forest. She hands out goodies to the creatures of the forest on her way ("Great Big World"), who all give her friendly greetings, while singing to herself about her desire to travel. It is revealed to us that Red is more worldly wise than she is letting on.
All goes well for Red until sometime that morning when she is spotted on the roadside by a friend of hers, a white rabbit named Boingo (Andy Dick
), who hitches a short ride in Red's basket. Red is glad to see Boingo, but she wonders why he isn't working for the Muffin Man today. He sadly reveals that that guy has locked up shop: last night, a mysterious person known only as the "Goodie Bandit" broke in to his place and stole his recipe book. Red immediately feels sorry for Boingo, but learns that he still operates the nearby cable car, which he says is nothing like making muffins all day. Boingo cheers up significantly when Red offers him a carrot crumpet, and he hops off on his way.
Red continues on her ride, but it isn't long before she begins to see evidence that the bandit has hit. As Red rides by, she passes by store after store after store, and at all of them, she sees owners tacking up various signs in their front windows announcing that they are shutting down due to their recipes being stolen. At one point, she has to stop for a family that is abandoning their roadside snack shack, boarded up and plastered with signs that say "Out of Business", taking all of their possessions with them
Noticing the scope of the Bandit's work, Red begins to get worried that the Bandit might try to target Granny's recipe book. When she gets to a payphone a short ways down the road, she calls Granny to get advice, figuring that Granny might know what to do. Granny is busy knitting when Red calls. Red insists that Granny take the risk that the Bandit could wipe her out seriously. She asks Granny if it would be better to take the recipe book to her house for safekeeping. Granny tries to discourage Red from coming over, pointing out that it would be too dangerous for her to travel up the mountain by herself, but Red insists she isn't a little girl anymore. Their conversation is cut short when Granny realizes that her favorite TV program is on and she hangs up. Red groans, frustrated.
Red is later seen sulking in a treehouse, mindlessly thumbing through a copy of a travel magazine called Far Away Places
. A small woodpecker flies up, notices the magazine cover, and asks her if she is going somewhere. Red says she isn't as the world is too dangerous for her, and in frustration, she throws the magazine away. It lands on the windshield of a passing car, startling the driver, who promptly loses control and drives straight into a tree (we hear, but don't see the actual crash, as the scene cuts back to Red seconds beforehand). Red flinches upon hearing the crash, but relaxes when the driver yells that he's okay. She continues musing, telling the woodpecker that if she had a bird's wings she would fly past the nearest snowcapped peak, but she can't, as she is still just a kid in Granny's eyes.
Suddenly, Red hears the sound of glass being broken and flinches, realizing that something bad has happened. She quickly shimmies down the rope to the ground and runs over to The Goody House, Granny's store. When she gets there, she finds that someone has thrown a rock through a stained glass window pane on the front door. Red picks up the rock, turns it over, and finds the words "YOU'RE NEXT!" written on it with a piece of chalk. As Red is looking at the message and the bird asks her what it means, she is distracted by a noise. She turns to see the owner of the store next door hammering in a sign reading "Out O' Business". Rattled, Red realizes that Granny's recipes are the next target.
Fortunately, the recipe book has not been taken, as it's locked up in a vault concealed behind a portrait of what we presume to be Red's grandfather. Realizing that the vandal is going to try again, Red takes no chances. Despite Granny telling her to leave the book where it is, she removes it from the safe, loads it into her basket (concealing it under a tray in case she runs into trouble during the journey), puts the basket back in her bike, and rides away from the store.
A short time later, Red is seen riding up the cable car with Boingo. She is his sole passenger on board. As Red leans against the doors and looks down, she converses with Boingo, who says that running the tram isn't as bad as he thought it was, since it allows him to admire the forests below without worrying about the vicious animals that live there, considering how cute and fuzzy he is. Red is deeply worried - she confides to Boingo that she's been thinking about what he said about the Muffin Man, and she is concerned that the bandit has an evil plan to shut down every sweet shop dealer in the forest if they aren't careful.
As if on cue, the moment Red says that, the doors fly open and she flails around, trying to keep her balance. After five seconds, she slips and falls out, grabbing her basket as she goes. Boingo appears to try to grab for Red's basket, and he glares down at her as she plummets to earth. Red then hits a canopy of dense trees, and strikes several branches that serve to break her fall. She slides off the last one and comes to rest on her back. A second later, her basket, which has survived the fall, lands alongside her. Groaning in pain, Red slowly stands up, but is spooked when she picks up her basket and finds a three-toed footprint underneath it. Then she sees a pair of hungry eyes staring at her from inside some bushes, and she is visibly frightened. Suddenly, a squirrel wearing a small fedora hat lands a few feet away and a flash bulb in his mouth goes off, momentarily blinding Red.
Red turns and finds herself facing the Wolf, who is wearing an athletic hoodie, and gives a friendly greeting. He makes a comment about the fall Red has just made and suggests that she write a letter to the safety board. Red is somewhat nervous, rattled by the fall. The Wolf asks her about where she is going, and Red says that she is going to Granny's house. The Wolf gets a generic idea on what's in her basket, but can't quite put his finger on a proper way to describe Granny's goodies. He questions her if she makes a lot of deliveries to Granny, and Red starts to get annoyed with his intrusion of her privacy, pointing out that he asks a lot of questions. She refuses to let the Wolf search her basket, but he suddenly emits a fierce roar in her face. Red screams and runs away, fearing for her life.
Red runs through the trees as the Wolf calls after her. She thinks she is home free when the Wolf suddenly appears from behind another tree, almost as if he magically teleported there. He asks her to hand over the basket, this time with a more demanding tone of voice. Red responds by temporarily blinding him with a can of "Wolf Away Spray". She then turns on her heels and runs off, getting a good head start on the Wolf. As she enters a meadow, Red runs into a small swarm of hummingbirds. She bribes them by tickling one of them, and hands them her red cape/cloak. They fly the cape away, while Red hides inside a hollowed-out tree trunk as the Wolf takes the bait and runs past her, following the cloak. Just after he runs past the camera, he is heard yelling and there is a loud splash off-screen as he runs off the edge of a cliff and falls into a whitewater river below.
Red emerges and walks over to the edge of the cliff. The hummingbirds return her cape as she watches the Wolf float away, cursing after her that he'll get her and Granny another time. She then continues on her way to Granny's, and eventually finds her way by hiking up an old goat path. A short time later, after hiking through several switchbacks, Red crests a ridge and finds herself in a high alpine meadow. On the other side of the clearing is an old Pecos Mining Co. mine shack, from which we can hear music playing.
The source of the music is the hermit who lives in the shack, a blind, Southern-accented goat named Japeth (Benjy Gaither
), according to his mailbox. When Red arrives, he is rocking on the porch and yodeling to himself, while strumming on a banjo. She immediately tries asking Japeth for directions, but it quickly becomes apparent to her that he is unable to not sing. Without once losing pitch, he explains that this is because he was cursed 37 years ago by a mountain witch (or so he claims). Unimpressed, Red asks Japeth if he is serious, and he confirms it ...in a talking voice. She quickly calls him out on it, but he immediately forgets all about it.
Red uses an old telephone inside the shack to call Granny. When Red reaches her, Granny is in the middle of doing something that apparently requires a lot of attention. The call is very short and Granny can't talk about whatever she is up to, also apparently slipping on something while speaking. She screams out "Bonsai!", before the line suddenly goes dead.
Hearing the busy signal, Red immediately fears that Granny is in grave danger. She turns and pleads for Japeth to help her. Unfortunately, this backfires because it incites Japeth to break into a country song ("Be Prepared") about his collection of all-purpose Swiss Army goat horns (which include, but probably aren't limited to, sets usable as a coat rack, bottle and jar openers, keychains, and ones with wigs and built-in TV remotes, Mohawk style, a campfire set, etc.), which greatly annoys Red, as she resorts to looking at an old mine tunnel map to find a way to get to Puckett Grove.
Japeth then pulls a lever and he and Red are dropped through a trap door, and slide down a chute into a mine cart parked in an underground tunnel. The cart then rolls along a track, pops out of the mountain, and plummets down a very steep drop, then goes over a further series of steep drops and airtime hills. Red is visibly nervous as the cart weaves along the mountainside. Suddenly, there is a loud rumble and explosion. The ground begins to shake, and snow from a giant avalanche higher up on the mountain begins to sweep over the shelf and the track. Japeth begins yodeling madly about the avalanche while Red holds on for dear life. They are spared when their cart crosses a gorge and enters a tunnel.
The cart speeds through the tunnel as Japeth finishes yodeling. At the end, Red sees that the track abruptly ends. She hangs on for dear life as the cart hurtles towards the dead-end, and screams as they hit a tiny ramp and are kicked into the sky.
The cart flies above the clouds and Red looks down towards the ground, visibly dazed and scared. She only has a few seconds to think about flying through the sky when she hears Granny's voice calling out to her. Red looks up and sees Granny apparently flying in the clouds above her. Granny calls for Red to "use the hood", before abruptly vanishing behind another cloud. Red takes Granny's advice: she unfastens her cloak, instantly transforming it into a glider, and ejects herself, right as the cart drops out of the sky and is reduced to a pile of splintered wood.
As Red descends, to her surprise, she sees Japeth fly down, still holding his banjo, but now wearing a pair of goat horns that have helicopter rotors built into them, and he exclaims hat he was prepared. She watches, bemused, as he flies away.
After landing, Red makes the rest of her journey to Granny's house safely and without incident. She knocks on the door and lets herself in, only she finds the Wolf impersonating Granny in the bedroom. After making all the comments about the facial features of the supposed "Granny", the Wolf reveals himself. Red gets deeply annoyed with the other characters missing their cues and not doing things the way they actually unfold - first off, the woodsman comes in too early. Then, Granny jumps out of the closet, standing freely and emitting a war cry, when she was wrapped up and gagged (Red mentions this clarification and with a pop, Granny reappears in the correct position), and the woodsman doesn't start waving his axe wildly until Red reminds him that he's supposed to be screaming like a maniac.
In the present, Red concludes her story that the Wolf was going to eat all of them. Grizzly wants to move ahead to book the Wolf, but Flippers decides that they should hear the Wolf's side of things.The Wolf's story
Red shoots an angry glare at the Wolf as she leaves and he enters to be questioned. When he sits down, he is denied a drink by Grizzly, and also is struck across the hand with Stork's baton and taunted by Red. Flippers immediately recognizes the Wolf, pointing out that three years ago, during the police investigation into the Stiltskin case, the Wolf had been seen snooping around looking for a lead on the man's real name. The Wolf nonchalantly admits that he came close, as he was going to go with the name "Greg Stiltsken". Red, standing in the doorway, is shocked to learn that the Wolf is actually a reporter, and the Wolf says he has the real
The Wolf is an investigative journalist. His full name is Wolf W. Wolf
. He writes a regular column in The Once Upon a Times
called "Facts and Fairy Tales". For six months, he's been working undercover in various jobs and professions around the woods, conducting his own investigation into the Goodie Bandit case. As the Wolf narrates, we are treated to a short montage of him investigating in a variety of different disguises.
We meet the Wolf in the midst of interviewing the owner (Todd Edwards
) of a small snack shack in the middle of the woods while posing as a health inspector. He also is wearing a neck brace and telling a phony story about scalding his neck with hot coffee. The Wolf asks some basic questions. The owner points out that his co-worker has more answers when the Wolf asks him for a list of his suppliers. He then gets a message on his beeper, pretends that the message is from his non-existent boss, and leaves, after giving the owner a clean bill of health.
Unsuccessful at this attempt to dig up information, the Wolf walks away, removes the neck brace and decides to look elsewhere for more promising leads. He is distracted then , he notices Red riding her bike down a nearby road. At this point in time, though, he doesn't know who she is. Her carefree behavior makes the Wolf think that she might have answers. He even considers her ability to have a swarm of hummingbirds fly her bike across a river as creepy. He records a few questions to himself on his tape recorder.
As the Wolf contemplates his next move, a red squirrel falls out of the sky and lands on the tree stump right next to him. This is Twitchy (Cory Edwards
), the Wolf's hyperactive cameraman and assistant. Twitchy reports that he got up early this morning like the Wolf told him to, in order to follow the girl in the red hood, whom they suspect has to be working for somebody. After giving a report on where the girl went, the Wolf asks him if he's got all of his camera gear. Twitchy confirms it, and asks if the Wolf wants the flash on and blinds him when he takes a picture. The Wolf sternly instructs him to take the flash off, as they are doing undercover work. He momentarily wonders if Twitchy has been drinking coffee as he is very hyper today.
To find out the red hooded girl's identity, the Wolf and Twitchy travel to a local sheep pasture and seek out a paid informant of theirs, a sheep named Woolworth (Chazz Palminteri
). To blend in without disturbing the others, the Wolf disguises himself in sheepskin, as does Twitchy. Woolworth is reluctant to share any information with the Wolf about the girl in the red hood, and fears being flogged if the shepherd should catch them together. After the Wolf pays him, Woolworth gives him Red's name. He describes Red as a "sweet gal," unlike "that Bo Peep", whom he complains put up an invisible fence that made him taste metal fillings for a week, until the Wolf brings him back to focus and asks more about Red. Through another payment, the Wolf learns Granny Puckett's name and is astonished about the possible connection. Woolworth insists that all he knows is that Granny lives high up in the mountains and doesn't get many visitors (except of course Red), but the word on the street is that Red takes the cable car up the mountain to get there.
The Wolf and Twitchy are next seen walking in the woods near the cable car, following the cabin as it travels up the mountain. The Wolf says his conversation with Woolworth is making him hungry and he and Twitchy agree to get lunch when they're done conducting surveillance. He uses a special radar gun and headset to eavesdrop on any activities going on inside the car. When he pulls it out, he doesn't aim it right, and is confused when he ends up hearing two men conversing about their love lives, because because the speaker is hanging down right over two caterpillars on a leaf. The Wolf sheepishly apologizes to them and aims his radar at the cabin. The signal is somewhat sketchy, so he only hears portions of what Red says when Boingo asks her if she delivers in this area, to which Red replies.... "But I was thinking..... The Muffin Man....Granny's recipes.....an evil plan.....shut down everyone in the forest" (the breaks indicate where Red's voice does not get picked up due to static), confirming the Wolf's apparent suspicions about Red (in reality, she is expressing her worries about the bandit).
Twitchy gets onto a tree branch and starts snapping photos at the precise moment that the doors open and Red falls from the cabin. He snaps several photographs of her as she plummets right down, crashing through the branch he is on, causing him to become separated from his camera, which gets snagged on a separate branch from him. The Wolf is somewhat shocked by the fall, and from a distance, observes Red. Red picks up her basket and finds one of the Wolf's footprints underneath it. She looks up and squints at the Wolf, who is studying her through the protective cover of a bush. She backs away and whimpers when she hears growling, which turns out to be the Wolf's stomach complaining. Twitchy eventually retrieves his camera by swinging, and swallowing it. With the added weight in his stomach, he falls to the ground and the shutter accidentally goes off when he lands, briefly blinding Red.
Exasperated with Twitchy's carelessness, the Wolf decides to take care of matters himself. He steps out from his hiding place and starts to interview Red. While they are talking, Twitchy regurgitates his camera, hides behind the Wolf, and starts to check it for damage. By freak accident, as Twitchy is trying to wind the camera up, (and unfortunately, also right after Red turns down the Wolf's request to search her basket), it snags the Wolf's tail, causing him to cry out in reaction to the sharp and sudden pain. Red mistakes it as him calling an attack, screams, and runs away. Seeing his tail caught in the camera, the Wolf pleads for her to come back as he wasn't intending to scare her. He berates Twitchy, who tries to apologize, but he has no time to get the camera off because Red is getting away.
The Wolf tries to give chase with Twitchy's camera still misfiring from his tail, but Red already has a significant head start on him. Realizing she's too far ahead for him to catch her on foot, he hails a taxi, which immediately appears. He hops in and the cab drives away, leaving a very pissed off Twitchy in the dust. After a very short ride that lasts less than 10 seconds, the Wolf spots Red out the window and confirms that he's gotten to a safe point to intercept her. The Wolf is dropped off, and he hides behind a tree to wait for her. He quickly records a note to himself. He steps out when Red approaches and asks to see the items in her basket. She responds by blinding him with the can of Wolf-Away Spray, but she then proceeds to viciously beat him up with her fists and legs (it turns out Red has a black belt in karate). The attack ends when Red spin-kicks him across the neck, knocking him, and then takes off. The Wolf, furious, recovers moments later and gives chase. He catches sight of her cloak and pursues it, unaware that Red is not actually under the cloak - a mistake he only realizes when he grabs it and finds that it is just being flown by a couple of hummingbirds, at which point the camera whips back to reveal that he is frozen in mid-air a few feet off the edge of a cliff. The Wolf realizes that he's in trouble, and falls into the freezing cold waters of the river below. As he floats away, he yells after Red, standing at the top of the cliff, "I'll get you and your little granny too!" He then passes by a fisherman on the banking and starts complaining about how violent goody shop owners are, insisting that he'll prove they're evil.
The Wolf is next seen sitting on a log, drying off. Twitchy eventually finally hobbles up, panting and gasping for breath, and collapses. Although Red has managed to escape from them, they decide that they need to find a way to get to Granny's house so they can intercept her there. Almost as if on cue, Boingo shows up, obviously having overheard their conversation, and asks the Wolf if he is going to Granny's to throw a surprise birthday party for Red. Boingo claims that he is good at parties and can pull himself out of a hat (which he "demonstrates" by scratching his right ear). Realizing that Boingo might be suspicious if he tells the truth, the Wolf plays along with the idea and asks him if he knows how to get there. Amazingly, Boingo says he knows of a shortcut that involves going "over the woods and through the river", only to realize that going through the river will get them wet . The Wolf tells Twitchy, "You get lemons, you make lemonade."
The scene cuts to the Wolf and Twitchy trudging through a dark and flooded cavern, guided by Twitchy's camera light. The Wolf is very unhappy when he falls into a hole, and gets his athletic hoodie soaked. He complains that they never should have trusted Boingo with directions. Case in point: he wrote them (and a tiny map) down in the most illegible text ever on the side of a brightly-colored Easter Egg. Twitchy gets pessimistic, when suddenly they hear growling noises. The Wolf and Twitchy pick up their pace as they are chased by unseen bats lurking in the darkness, and find themselves in a cavern with a ladder to an exit up above.
The Wolf and Twitchy climb up the ladder. The Wolf pops his head out the opening, then immediately ducks to avoid being decapitated by a passing mine cart. The ladder emerges in the middle of a mining camp high up in the hills. The Wolf notices a water tower a short ways down the track. The Wolf and Twitchy hang from the water spout, and drop into the next passing cart. The Wolf is pleased that they've found a proper shortcut and comments such to Twitchy as their cart runs along the mountainside. At one point, there is a distant explosion and a loud rumble, which Twitchy fears is an avalanche. The Wolf calms him down by assuring him that it's just the mountain telling them who's boss.
The cart enters a tunnel and the Wolf finds Twitchy fiddling with something. Twitchy says he has found some candles. He lights one with a match, then pulls out.... a stick of dynamite with a lit fuse. When Twitchy misreads the fine print on the side as "DEE-NA-MEE-TAY", the Wolf realizes that Twitchy isn't holding a candle. The two fight for the explosive, and in the process, it lands on the floor, is bounced around, and lights the fuses of every single stick of dynamite stored in the back of the cart. The two freak out, and the Wolf starts frantically tossing charges out behind the cart as they exit the tunnel onto a downward trestle. The thrown charges blow up the trestle when they hit the track, destroying it. The Wolf manages to pull the emergency brake and stops the cart safely at the bottom of the hill. He and Twitchy are clearly shaken up by their near-death experience. As they are catching their breath, we hear the sound of another cart in the tunnel. Seconds later, another speeding mine cart bursts out of the tunnel and flies off the end of the rails and right over their heads, accompanied by the sound of Red screaming in terror. Though the Wolf thinks he heard a noise, he dismisses it as nothing.
Twitchy and the Wolf make it to Granny's house and knock, hoping for an answer, before finding that the door is unlocked. They let themselves in. The Wolf looks around, intending to catch Red when she arrives. He figures that the only way to catch Red in the act of smuggling is digsuise. Conveniently for him, Granny keeps a lot of her own merchandise around the house, including a plastic Granny Puckett face mask and apron. The Wolf uses these to disguise himself as Granny. After several outtakes in which he attempts to create a proper falsetto voice that will be convincing, the Wolf decides that he's not up for the disguise. As he is about to hand the role of Granny over to Twitchy, suddenly there is a loud knocking at the door. Twitchy panics, and the Wolf quickly throws him into a side closet, where Granny is already present, and already tied up. With no time to think about the real Granny, the Wolf hastily lowers the face mask and starts speaking in the falsetto voice as Red comes in. His story complicates the authorities' view of him as the culprit. The Wolf himself has no explanation for how Granny got tied up in the closet. As proof, Twitchy then shows Flippers the photographs he took to solidify the Wolf's alibi.
Flippers begins to wonder how their fellow woodsman fits into the mess, and decides to have him brought in next to be interviewed.Kirk Kirkkendall's story
With that, Kirk Kirkkendall
, the woodsman, comes in and takes a seat at the table. He is a very tall fellow, and hits his head on the low entryway coming into the room. Kirk claims that this is all a mistake as he would not harm a butterfly, prompting Stork to slam down the chopping axe that the police found Kirk in possession of. Kirk reveals that he is not a lumberjack at all. In fact, he is an aspiring actor, trying to get the role for a Paul's Bunion Foot Cream commercial (it's a foot cream that "has the soothing formula to make the bunions head for the hills!"). Today, he says he has been trying to make good on his callback....
Kirk is in the midst of trying out for a Paul's Bunion Cream commercial. He is on the audition set at a production studio, brandishing an axe in front of a cardboard forest background. His thick Bavarian accent hurts his chances when he starts off his attempt with an "Argh!" before the tagline. Jimmy (Joshua J. Greene
), the lizard directing the commercial, quickly cuts the take right there. He tells Kirk to think about something that makes him feel strong and confident, and Kirk thinks of his dream - to become a world famous German yodeler. Breaking out in a small fit of yodeling, Kirk throws the axe, which flies over the directors' heads and knocks over some stage lights. Jimmy brushes Kirk aside and tells him that they'll look at his tape and call him back later.
Kirk walks away from the studio, depressed at the fact that he's been turned down at his first audition in the last few months. As Red rides by on her bike, Kirk climbs into his truck, and goes on to his daily job: selling schnitzel on a stick out of the back of his truck to the neighborhood children (much like the function of the modern ice cream truck driver), leading them in a singing routine ("The Schnitzel Song").
The song comes to a grinding halt when Kirk comes back and finds that while he has been away, someone has raided his truck, stripped it of all four tires, mounted the axles on cinder blocks, and has made off with all of Kirk's supplies. The group of children Kirk had been entertaining leave, upset. While they trudge away, Boingo appears, apparently looking very downtrodden and glum. He is holding a carrot crumpet that Red gave him earlier (which also indicates that this is prior to his meeting with Red on the cable car). Kirk is depressed - without tires, the truck cannot be driven, and he can't sell schnitzel without the supplies to make it. Boingo, who himself has just confided to Red about the Goodie Bandit forcing him out of work, expresses sympathy for Kirk's troubles, and assures him that someone else will open up a new goody shop "and we can all work for that little guy."
Before Kirk can contemplate what Boingo is telling him, his car phone rings. It's Jimmy, the commercial director. He excitedly tells Kirk that after reviewing his audition tape, the client has found a possible Hercules Goes Bananas
angle to this and has accepted him for the role in the commercial, so they want him to come back in tomorrow confident in his part. Kirk is ecstatic - this is the first time he has received a callback, so naturally he somewhat freaks out. Jimmy instructs Kirk to, in preparation for the part, get himself into the shoes of a woodsman, by going out into the wild and felling a tree. He is told that to do so, he must not act
like a woodsman, but be
a woodsman. As soon as Jimmy hangs up (due to him needing to be in a circle-wipe elsewhere), Kirk rushes off, and Boingo wishes him good luck.
Kirk finds an axe, and starts practicing. After a few utterly pathetic attempts at chopping down trees due to his complete lack of knowledge on how to properly hold an axe, Kirk consults a self-help book called Chopping for Actors
("Discover your Inner Woodsman!"). The book obviously turns out to be pretty useful. Soon he is hacking down small trees left and right, with no regard for the many animals he is endangering - including a porcupine whose sports car is crushed by a tree (different from the driver who hit a tree after Red's magazine hit his windshield) and some turtles who barely crawl away after another tree comes close to hitting them. Eventually, Kirk comes to a giant, over 1,000 year old redwood tree, that he just cannot cut down with one swing of his axe. He starts swinging hardly at the tree, but his efforts are useless.
By hours later, it is sundown. Kirk has chopped away at most of the trunk. He is tired, and almost out of energy, and repeating the commercial tagline to himself like he is deluding himself, when he suddenly hears a scream coming from the cottage at the bottom of the hill. As Kirk starts to walk down the hill to investigate, the top part of the tree - balanced precariously - suddenly gives way under its weight, and he ends up on top of the fallen tree as it rolls down the hill. When the big rolling trunk hits two small trees at the bottom, Kirk is catapulted off the tree with such force that he flies into a glass window and shatters it, finding himself right in the middle of a domestic disturbance (the source of the scream).
Flippers safely concludes that Kirk knows the least about the Bandit, of anyone in the room, considering what he has been doing today, although he is pleased to learn that Kirk got the callback he was anticipating.Granny Puckett's story
is the last person to get interviewed by Flippers. When asked if she's potentially been stealing from others, she says the only crime that she is guilty of is making her goodies "unlawfully delicious" (a cutaway shows Tommy eating from a bag with the words "Granny Puckett's Goodies (Unlawfully Delicious!
)" on the side). Stork calls out to the others that he's found something interesting - a trophy closet. As everyone comes over to take a look, Flippers informs Granny that he's noticed a tattoo with three Gs on the back of her neck, and says it's appropriate as she has three strikes against her. Granny reveals that she isn't like other grannies, pointing out that she "never did like the quilting bees and the bingo parlors," but in fact, likes to live life "to the extreme". Secretly, Granny is an extreme sports athlete who goes by the nickname "Triple G"
With that, we are treated to montage set to rock music of the various extreme sports that Granny has participated in, including surfing, rock climbing, skydiving, snowboarding, and skateboarding. At the end of the montage, the scene returns to Granny's house early in the morning.
Granny is knitting, and talking on the phone with Red, who is asking if it would be safer to bring Granny's recipe book over. Granny tries to discourage Red, on the grounds that the trip would be too dangerous for her. Red protests that she isn't a little girl anymore, and Granny tells her to leave the book where it is. Then Granny realizes that her TV program is on, and hangs up the phone. As soon as she puts the receiver down, the camera pulls back to show that Granny is wearing skis, and her knitting needles are actually ski poles. She says "Time to shred some powder!" and heads out the door.
Granny actually is genuinely concerned about the book. But that is not the reason why she discourages Red from visiting - the actual reason is because she will not be at home to receive Red. She sets the house phone to forward calls to her cell phone, then heads up the mountain to the Xtreme Dream Snow Sports Competition, a big downhill ski race she's been training for three months to compete in. Granny's team is comprised of herself, a fox named Zorra, a penguin named 2-Tone, and a polar bear named P-Biggie. During the pre-race festivities and concert ("Tree Critter"), Granny is approached by Boingo, who admires her, and asks her for her autograph. Granny is also warned by her teammates that the guys of the rival team - an all-human team comprised of four hulky athletes, named Dolph, Lisa, Vincent, and Keith - are very aggressive. According to Granny's teammates, they hospitalized a few contestants in yesterday's race.
An announcer calls the skiers over the loudspeakers to the starting line. As everyone tightly grips their hands around their ski poles and grit their teeth in anticipation, Dolph pulls up next to Granny, and tells her to be careful as "old people get hurt on these slopes". Granny tells him "Bring it." When the starting airhorn goes off, they all start their way down the course. During the first part of the race, the human team quickly eliminates Granny's teammates with physical tactics - snowballs for 2-Tone and Zorra, and in P-Biggie's case, Lisa skiing over his back. At some point during the elimination step of the race, Granny's cell phone rings. It's Red, calling from the telephone in Japeth's shack. Granny is unable to talk to Red and quickly hangs up, needing to focus on the fact that she is without help (this establishes that the events of the ski race are happening while "Be Prepared" is happening in Red's story).
Granny starts to improvise: she transforms one of her skis into a snowboard, and manages to knock out two of the opponents before finding herself at the edge of a cliff with Dolph. Granny clutches his arms as he dangles her over the edge and demands to know who he is working for. Dolph sighs and admits that he and the team were hired by the Bandit, then pushes her off the cliff into the fog, and Granny falls into oblivion. Dolph then radios to his friends that Granny is finished and that they are now able to go after the red-hooded girl. Granny, who catches a protruding rock out of Dolph's sight, hears this and begins to worry about what Dolph and his crew might do to Red. Using a rope, she is able to drop all the way down into the valley, where she exchanges a friendly hello with the fisherman who had a meeting with the Wolf earlier, and slingshots back over the cliff.
To stall the Bandit's goonies, Granny sets off two explosive charges that start a fast-rushing landslide. Granny races down the mountain, in front of one slide path, which quickly allows her to overtake the henchmen. Red and Japeth, riding in their mine cart farther down-mountain, are nearly collected by a second slide path, which prompts Japeth to start yodeling as the cart is chased by the slide. The Wolf and Twitchy also hear the rumble of the avalanche from their cart elsewhere in the coal mine. Twitchy is alarmed, but the Wolf assures him that it's just the mountain telling them who's boss.
Granny speeds downhill ahead of the first slide path, crossing the finish line and literally winning by a landslide, before using a parachute to hastily escape. While flying home, Granny spots Red's airborne mine cart, and calls out to Red to use her cloak as a parachute before she disappears behind another cloud.
As Granny is gliding back to the cottage, she sees the Wolf and Twitchy approaching the door and realizes she is in trouble. She drops in through the chimney, but just then, her parachute and ripcord get caught in the ceiling fan and Granny is wrapped up and gets trapped in the closet. She can overhear the Wolf and Twitchy as they search the place. When Red knocks on the door, the Wolf panics and throws Twitchy into the closet that Granny is trapped in, then quickly disguises himself with the facial mask and apron. After the point where the Wolf takes off his disguise in front of Red outside, Granny frees herself by forcefully smashing Twitchy multiple times against the door. The rest of the scene is the same as in the other stories.After the interrogations
The revelation of Granny's other life is a shock to Red, who is hurt that Granny kept her other life a secret from her. She takes off her cape, and leaves to gather her thoughts and think about her purpose in life.
The police are back to square one, as none of the four appears to be culprit, but then the basket of Granny's goodies and the recipe book goes missing, as does Red. Flippers gathers those who remain and decides that everyone involved came together by mistake. He quickly points out that all of them have pointed fingers at each other, but the Goody Bandit has not been captured as a result. Only once Granny tells the Wolf to leave Red out of the situation does Flippers begin to inquire about where Red has gone.
Before the police can jump to the conclusion that Red was the culprit, Flippers suddenly makes a deduction: all four of the interviewees may not have crossed paths with all of the others during the day, but there is one individual that they all crossed paths with at different times - the one who was the only person with Red when she fell from the tram, the one who told the Wolf that he knew a shortcut to Granny's, signed Granny's autograph and almost likely paid off the ski team, and was present when Kirk's truck was vandalized - Boingo. We are treated to flashbacks that show each character's encounter with Boingo and they suddenly seem much different: Red falls from the cable car because Boingo opened the doors by pushing on the emergency release lever. When he's seen getting Granny's autograph, we see Boingo had just passed something to Lisa, one of the ski team members, and had a an evil checklist on the back of his autograph paper. And we see him lurking in the bushes nearby as Kirk discovers the damage done to his truck.
Simultaneously, Red, hiding behind some bushes, sees Boingo, wearing Red's cape, meet the cable car and Dolph at the valley terminal, in possession of the stolen books.
Flippers and the police, learning of the missing tram, go to the bottom terminal, but that is when the Wolf, Granny, Kirk and Twitchy see two of the ski team members, Vincent and Lisa, heading up the hill in Kirk's truck, which, in the few hours since Kirk left it, we see has been outfitted with tank treads, explaining the reason why the vandals had stolen the truck's tires and mounted up the axles (suggesting that they were partway through converting the truck when they were interrupted by Kirk's return). A caffeine-enhanced Twitchy goes to alert the police that they are heading the wrong way, while the Wolf, Granny, and Kirk follow the converted truck uphill.
The tram car arrives at the upper terminal, inside a small industrial cave outfitted with plenty of mechanical machinery. Boingo and Dolph get off. and stroll into the space past the car. Boingo is proud of himself for getting Granny's book, and now can execute their scheme. As they stroll along, Boingo casually talks about how in planning, he asks himself "Where do I see me in five years?" a question that is answered by Red's voice saying "How about behind bars?" Boingo turns to see Red standing by the tram car. She has managed to follow him by hanging onto the bottom of the car. A fight ensues as Red attacks Boingo with the same karate skills we saw her use on the Wolf. She loses due to Boingo's suprising ability to use his ears to block her blows.
Red is bound up by Dolph with ropes, and Boingo gives orders to the other henchmen, including Keith - whom Boingo instructs to change his name to Boris because "Keith" does not sound scary in his opinion. In a song about his plans to dominate over the larger creatures in the woods ("Top of the Woods"), Boingo shows the hostage Red a slideshow presentation, demonstrating his plan to corner the market on goodies, and make them highly addictive to kids with a special drug he calls "boingonium", while also literally blowing away the competition by burning down the forest. She is then gagged with a handkerchief, and wheeled on a dolly into the tram car, which has been filled with a large quantity of dynamite that is intended to start a wildfire.
Before Boingo can act farther, Kirk, Granny and the Wolf quickly take out Dolph, the big guy who threw Granny off the cliff during the race. Their first attempt at infiltration involves dressing up Kirk as Dolph (poorly), which involves Kirk wearing Dolph's clothes and a ski mask to hide his face. It works until Kirk starts to say the commercial tagline instead of something intelligent (curiously, Boingo does not seem to notice that "Dolph" has magically grown a very long beard), at which point the Wolf distracts Boingo by posing as an electrician, wearing a hard hat and clipboard. A small fight occurs between the henchmen and Granny, during which Boingo disables the tramway brakes and releases Red's car from the terminal, which begins picking up speed as gravity acts on it. Using a muffin tin, Granny is able to run down the ropeway and catch up, though she is also followed by Boingo and his men. The Wolf and Kirk stay behind to drive down the hill in the truck.
As the cabin speeds down, Red manages to slip her ropes and free her hands, and takes off the gag. She tries to open the side doors, but finds that they have been padlocked. Then she realizes that there is a second way out: an escape hatch in the floor. Red kicks the panel out, and manages to swing over to the side of the car. Then she sees Granny speeding down the line on the muffin tin. Granny pulls Red up onto the tin by holding out Red's cape to her. Red grabs it and swings around to the end of the car as it brushes past a tree. Granny then pulls the cape again, and Red does a sommersalt as she is slung over the cable and Granny, landing on the back of the tin.
We see that the dynamite fuse is about to enter the car itself. Granny opens a panel in the grip and pulls a release lever, releasing the cabin's grip from the cable. The cabin drops vertically, several hundred feet into the river below. After settling down for a few seconds, it explodes. The explosion is contained, but disturbs a school of fish, who flop out of the water around the tired fisherman the Wolf had met earlier after Red had tricked him.
Although Red and Granny have prevented Boingo's plot from being executed, they suddenly hear Boingo's voice say, "End of the line, ladies!" and turn to see him and his henchmen coming down the cable on snowboards. Red and Granny promptly parachute from the line, Granny using her parasol and Red using her cloak, similar to their escapes from the ski race and mine cart. Boingo, riding on Dolph's shoulder, can only look at them in disbelief. Unfortunately, he and the henchmen are unable to stop because at the bottom, the cable feeds them straight into the back of a police van, which takes them away, though not before Twitchy takes a photo of Boingo through the back window. Red and Granny touch down safely.
Granny apologizes to Red for not telling her about her secret double life. Red is touched by this. Just then, Kirk and the Wolf arrive in Kirk's truck, Kirk holding Granny's book. At that moment, though, the truck hits a tree, uprooting it and causing the unlucky porcupine's sports car to be crushed for the second time in two days running (having been crushed in identical fashion by Kirk the day before during his tree-cutting spree). We then see everyone being interviewed by the media. Red and Granny try to give each other credit for the rescue, while Grizzly tries to claim credit and Flippers assures everyone their recipes are safe.
We later see Red, Granny, the Wolf, and Twitchy at an outdoor bar. Red has quit being a delivery girl. She's made a new system that is better than the bike (a small cutaway shows Japeth riding a mine cart in the hills filled with food and singing about what's in back to the "Be Prepared" melody). Red reveals that Kirk became a member of the Happy Yodelers like he wanted to, and produces their latest album, which shows Kirk on the cover. The Wolf says that he is now about to crack a story about the Three Little Pigs performing a home improvement scam (even then, he still has to keep filled coffee mugs away from Twitchy to avoid tempting him). Flippers shows up. He tells them that he is a member of the "Happily Ever After Agency", an undercover agency that will take them on impossible missions to far away places to fix other fairy tale stories, and enlists the four to work for him after handing Red a business card. They all accept the offer, as Red admits that she always liked happy endings.