On the 14th, after several friends’ urging, we tracked down “Hoodwinked” at the local budget theatre. I hadn’t been interested in it initially, as it wasn’t well advertised, wasn’t reviewed locally that I noticed, and newspaper ads gave the impression it was a second-rate “Shrek” rip-off. Actually, this is not the case. It draws, of course, from the same fund of tales, specifically “Little Red Riding Hood,” but in quite a different way than the Shrek films borrow. Specifically, much of the first part of the movie is a “Roshomon”-like exploration of a modernized Red Riding Hood, with the tale being told first from the viewpoint of Red, then the wolf, then the wood cutter, and finally Grandma. Once THAT is sorted out, the plot takes an abrupt left turn I won’t expose here, but suffice to say it’s a hoot.
The animation isn’t up to “Shrek” or other state-of-the art movies, but it’s good enough. The character designs are reasonably appealing if a bit clichéd (notably Granny) where they aren’t satires on other genres. The good thing about saving a bit of money on computers is that you can afford good voice talent, and the cast features Anne Hathaway as Red, Glenn Close (!) as Granny, Patrick Warburton as the Wolf, Jim Belushi as the Woodsman, and David Ogden Stiers as Nicky Flippers, frog detective.
Very definitely enjoyable, clever, and funny. Cartoon style violence and thrills. Young children won’t get all the jokes.