Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Hoodwinked!

Hoodwinked!; CGI animated comedy, USA, 2005; D: Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards, Tony Leech, S: Anne Hathaway, David Ogden Stiers, Glenn Close, Patrick Warburton, James Belushi

In a forest, Little Red Riding Hood arrives at her Granny's house just to find a Wolf in disguise instead. The real Granny comes out of the closet, tied, while a Woodsman suddenly breaks through the window with an axe. The police arrive are arrest them all. Upon questioning by the Frog Inspector, it turns out that the Wolf may not be a bad guy after all: he was a reporter was just investigating the lead to the mysterious stranger who has been stealing food in the forest lately. His story is corroborated by Granny, who explains that she was parachuting down the chimney, but the strings got stuck to the ventilator and she was catapulted into the closet. The Woodsman was just auditioning for a commercial. In the end, they discover that the bad guy is a local rabbit who wants to take control of the forest through an addictive food industry, but they foil his plans.

"Hoodwinked!" is one of the most refreshing spoofs of the fairy tale cliches of its time, a surprisingly fun, inventive and easily accessible little CGI animated independent film that used a "Rashomon" twist while presenting the classic Little Red Riding Hood story. The Edwards-Edwards-Leech directing trio keeps the storyline simple and light, even though each new narrator gives a new perspective of the event (it even turns out that the Wolf is actually innocent, an ordinary reporter), whereas the jokes easily sway even the grumpier viewers, whether in the form of clever dialogues (at least two are quietly hilarious: "They call me Little Red Riding Hood." - "Why?" - "Because I wear the red Hood". - "And what when you are not wearing it?"; "He is crazy!" - "Watch what you're saying! My mother was crazy!") or sight gags (the hyperactive squirrel disguised as a sheep is priceless). The voice acting was very good, and, in Anne Hathaway's case, even brilliant, the pace was just right for the story to quickly traverse even a few less inspired jokes, and the mood was refreshingly positive and good natured, which gives this amusing film an additional point. Charming and funny.

Grade;++

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