Hoodwinked

Movie & DVD Reviews by Vivienne Messenger

Starring (voices of): Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close, Jim Belushi, Patrick Warburton
Director: Cory Edwards
Co-directors: Todd Edwards, Tony Leech

A novel and original take on the story of Little Red Riding Hood, this version starts at Granny’s cottage, which becomes the scene of a crime investigation after her young granddaughter, Red (voiced by Anne Hathaway) arrives at the cottage and nothing seems right with Granny. She’s confined to bed. She has big eyes, big ears and big, hairy hands. Sussing the situation out she strikes at the wolf (Patrick Warburton) impersonating her granny and uses her martial arts skills too good effect when they are suddenly confronted by an axe-wielding woodsman (Jim Belushi) who crashes into the cottage through a window. Not only that her granny (Glenn Close) is found tied up in the bedroom cupboard.

Before anything further can happen the law are very efficiently on the scene including Detective Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers), Detective Bill Stork (Anthony Anderson) and Police Chief Grizzly (Xzibit). This is a crime scene and its their job to interview the four suspects — Red, Wolf, Granny and The Woodsman — to determine who is telling the truth and hopefully in the process unravel the ongoing investigation into the mystery of the goody bandit. This devious and unscrupulous bandit has plunged the community into jeopardy by stealing their recipes and putting them out of business. Could one of these suspects be the dreaded goody bandit?

And so the investigation begins. As each of the four suspects are individually interviewed and questioned mainly by the astute Detective Flippers they reveal their version of the events leading up to their apprehension at the crime scene…

HOODWINKED is very original, opening at the end of the story then working backwards, and it’s absolutely hilarious . As each suspect relays their last movements to the law, their version is re-enacted on the screen for the audience. This cleverly reveals layer by layer the series of events that leads them all to Granny’s cottage and the pieces of the puzzle gradually begin very neatly to fit together. The superb detective work does indeed uncover the true identity of the goody bandit but I’m not going to spoil your fun in discovering who it is for yourselves!

The talented direction keeps the pace and action flowing regularly at breakneck speed and the many characters the suspects interact with as they retrace their steps is an experience not to be missed. The singing goat, Japeth (Benjy Gaither) that Red comes across is a real knockout and gives her some good advice on route to Granny — be prepared! ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ is good advice here as none of the suspects is who you think they should be including Granny who is in to extreme sports no less!

A unique, uproarious, unmissable and entertaining movie for everyone.

5 out of 6 stars
HOODWINKED! DVD Review

This is one movie that you will watch over and over again, not just children. It’s an ingenious and absolutely hilarious take on story of Little Red Riding Hood. The story has been turned around opening with the final scene of the movie and then each suspect telling their version of what happened to them leading up to the moment when the film open’s at the scene of the crime in Granny’s cottage in the woods.

There are some delightful and thoroughly interesting extras especially the deleted and extended scenes that were left on the cutting floor during editing to reduce the overall final running time of the movie. I particularly like the full version of the tap dance scene that the axe wielding woodsman does and ‘Be Prepared’ the song from the warbling goat and the way he manipulates his horns to suit the task in hand – this is so, so funny it will have you laughing out loud.

‘The Critters Have Feelings’ Music Video is another treat but the most outstanding extra is ‘How To Make An Animated Film’. It really gives an inside view into how an animated film is born and then gradually takes shape as it is developed step by step. To quote Sue Bea Montgomery one of the producers for animated feature, “When preparation meets opportunity, magic can happen and that’s what happened with HOODWINKED!” We “started off with US $5000, two computers and it changed everyone’s lives.”

If you want it to change yours – watch this wonderfully funny version of Little Red Riding Hood – it’s an adventurous whodunnit that’ll become a classic.

5 out of 6 stars

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