in those woods?"
When Chief Grizzly (Xzibit) and the forest police get called
to an incident at Granny's (Close) house. It seems that the Wolf (Warburton)
was caught impersonating Granny to get close to Red Riding Hood (Hathaway).
The Woodsman (Belushi) has also been caught crashing through the window
of the cottage. Now investigator Nicky Flippers (Ogden Stiers) has to figure
out what has happened but each of them has a different story.
The tale of Little Red Riding Hood has been the standard fair
of fairy tales for centuries but 'Hoodwinked' gives it a whole new twist.
The essence tale of a wolf that dresses up as Granny to eat
little Red Riding Hood is still there but directors Cory and Todd Edwards
throw in a police investigation and a manipulating super villain for good
measure. Now we have a frog investigator, a grizzly bear police chief, a
stork detective and a hyperactive squirrel photographer added to the story
we have a recipe for high jinx.
Mixing the Brothers Grimm with Agatha Christie and then adding
a smidgen of the 'Usual Suspects', 'Hookwinked' is a who-done-it set in
a fairy tale world. Each of the main characters is interviewed by frog investigator
Nicky Flippers, as they tell their version of the events that led the police
to discover a wolf, a girl, a granny and a woodsman in a house, all looking
guilty. Is it by chance they all happen to be there or have someone been
manipulating them all with a greater agenda?
Bringing the story to life is an excellent ensemble vocal
cast. The extremely talented Anne Hathaway plays Red, the tenacious teenager
who delivers baked goods all over the forest. Glenn Close has fun as Granny,
the cake baking entrepreneur with a secret that no one will expect. David
Ogden Stiers is the perfect choice to play investigator Nicky Flippers,
the frog trying to solve the mystery. James Belushi provides a fun vocal
performance as the slightly dim Woodsman. It is Patrick Warburton who steals
the film however as the Wolf, who isn't the vicious little girl eater that
you might expect him to be. It is Warburton's one-liners that will have
you laughing and the Wolf's interaction with Twitchy the squirrel that is
The script and the characters are well written and well designed
but the computer animation isn't going to advance the technology any further.
The graphics look similar to those found in cut scenes in a Playstation
or X-Box game. They look extremely basic compared to what Pixar or DreamWorks
are producing these days. It makes the movie look cheap, as the characters
don't have enough facial expressions to articulate the story.
'Hookwinked' is an entertaining twist on a classic tale. With
a funny script and entertaining characters, it is only the level of the
animation that lets this inventive movie down but if you watch it, what
big laughs you will have.
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1, the
presentation is good, as you'd expect from an animated movie.
Feature Commentary by writer/director Cory Edwards, writer/co-director
Tony Leech and writer/co-director Todd Edwards
This is a very funny track just because of the presence of former stand-up
comedian turned director Cory Edwards. The man is hilarious throughout,
making quips and cracking gags about the movie and his fellow contributors.
The trio do talk about the film as well however, chatting about the concept
behind the movie and getting the actors involved. This is a good commentary
and one that fans should enjoy.
Deleted & Extended Scenes with optional commentary by writer/director
Entitled 'Great Big World', 'Bar Scene (storyboard)', 'Schnitzel song',
'Tree Cutter' and 'Be prepared', these are mainly just extended versions
of the songs for the film.
Critters have Feelings: Music Video (3.36 mins)
Watch your favourite characters from the film and the animals from the
forest perform their own songs.
How to make an animated film (12.47 mins)
Director Cory Edwards and producers David Lovegren and Sue Bea Montgomery
talk about how 'Hoodwinked' came about. They talk about the original idea,
designing the characters, storyboarding the movie, recording the soundtrack
and completing the animation process. This is a decent but short featurette
that shows you how an animated film is produced.
Theatrical Trailer (1.17 mins)
Watch the preview of the movie that pre-empted the release of the film
in cinemas Trailer Watch a preview of 'Arthur and the Invisibles'
Momentum Pictures have done a good job with the DVD treatment of 'Hoodwinked'.
The commentary track is very good and the featurette tells you everything
you need to know. It would have been nice to include interviews with the
vocal cast but that aside, fans should be very pleased.
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