out of Five
Running time: 80
Fast-paced, frequently amusing comedy with a witty script and some nice ideas, even if the animation itself isn't particularly inspiring.
What's it all about?
Hoodwinked begins in Granny's cottage at the end of the Red Riding Hood story, with police chief Nicky Flippers (a frog, voiced by David Ogden Stiers) questioning the suspects discovered at the crime scene.
Ostensibly it seems like an open-and-shut case of a wolf (Patrick
Warburton) tying up and impersonating a granny (Glenn Close) before being assaulted by an axe-wielding woodsman (Jim Belushi), but is Red (Anne Hathaway) as innocent as she seems?
As Flippers investigates, each of the suspects tells a very different story, Rashomon-style, that casts their involvement in a new light.
Can Flippers solve the case and uncover the identity of the notorious Goody Bandit?
Co-writer / director Cory Edwards has a lot of fun blending the detective genre with the familiar fairy tale world and the witty script throws up several hilarious one-liners, many of which will sail over the heads of a young audience. There are also some terrific set-pieces, such as a bizarre sequence involving a singing mountain goat (Benjy Gaither) and a runaway mining car.
The performances are excellent, particularly the always-fantastic Patrick Warburton (you'll recognise the voice) and Edwards himself, who cameos as Twitch, the hyperactive squirrel. (Hyperactive squirrels are clearly all the rage at the moment, as there was one in Over the Hedge too, although opinion is divided as to which squirrel came first).
Sadly, the animation itself is fairly bland and lacks the invention of a Pixar or Dreamworks movie. That said, Edwards' direction keeps the film zipping along at a decent pace and at least the running time is short enough to ensure that the film never outstays its welcome.
In short, Hoodwinked is an enjoyable comedy that's likely to be enjoyed more by adults than by young children, despite the fairytale theme.