Ever since the first commercials and trailers came out for Hoodwinked, it's been a marked film. With its clearly low-budget CG animation, "modern" twist on a classic story, emphasis on dialogue, and all-star vocal cast, it seemed like an embodiment of all that is wrong with American feature animation. What may have been lost in all the griping was whether or not Hoodwinked was actually decent. After finally catching it on DVD, I realized that it didn't really deserve all the insults that were hurled at it.
Hoodwinked is a twist on the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Instead of a traditional retelling, we get one that shows multiple points of view. The movie begins with all the events we've come expect from every version of Little Red Riding Hood.
Red (Anne Hathaway) goes to her grandmother's house and instead encounters The Wolf (Patrick Warburton) dressed up as Granny. Then, Granny (Glenn Close) is found to be tied up in the closet and The Woodsman (Jim Belushi) comes rushing in with an axe. After that brief retelling, we see the aftermath as the police show up. Chief Grizzly (Xzibit) immediately wants to arrest The Wolf but an investigator named Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers) wants to get each person's side of the story. He interviews each of the main characters separately as we start to figure out the whole picture.
The mysterious Goody Bandit surrounds the story. The criminal is stealing recipes from goody shops and making proprietors go out of business. Each character's story has something to do with the Bandit. Red was going to Granny's to put her family's recipe book in a safe place. The Wolf is actually a reporter who was investigating the Bandit case. I won't spoil it for you but I bet that you'll figure out who it is pretty quickly.
The animation in Hoodwinked is not the best and the character designs can sometimes border on ugly (see the children in a sequence with The Woodsman). However, there are positives to be found. The low-budget look sets it apart from other films. The overall scenery may look less than realistic but it's appealing.