Hoodwinked! is a 2005 American computer-animated musical comedy thriller film directed by Cory Edwards based on the European classic Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale. It stars Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close, Jim Belushi and Patrick Warburton as the voices of the lead characters. In a similar vein to other films parodying fairy tales like Shrek, the film tells how the tale of the Little Red Riding Hood turns into a non-linear crime drama similar to Pulp Fiction in which each suspect gives his/her own version of the story to solve a mystery before it becomes too late to stop the true criminal mastermind behind an unresolved case.
Why It Rocks
- The story is really original. Who could have had the idea into turning the Little Red Riding Hood story into a police drama?
- The four stories that the protagonists tell are told from their perspectives but all four are connected to each other in different ways.
- Many likable characters, including Red, Kirk the Woodsman and Nicky Flippers.
- Voice acting did amazingly well with each characters, especially from Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close and Patrick Warburton.
- Good musical numbers like "Be Prepared", "The Schnitzel Song" and "Top of the Woods".
- Japeth the Goat and his song "Be Prepared" are considered by most as the best part of the film, even being the film's saving grace for critics who disliked the film.
- The plot twist of Boingo being the true villain is well-executed and unexpected. Indeed, this movie established the cliché that a cute character can be actually the bad guy.
- Many funny scenes and good jokes.
- Perfect pacing.
- Unlike most animated films from then and nowadays, it doesn't resort to toilet humor to be fun.
- Its tone is enjoyable and entertaining.
- The animation can be cheap, lazy, and unfinished, even for 2005 standards, and may look like a PlayStation 1 Game, (Tekken 1 and Final Fantasy 8 for Example) and an Original XBOX Game, (Whacked!, MechAssault, Blinx, and Freaky Flyers for Example) though to be fair, this was one of the first computed-animated films to be completely independently funded without backing of any studio.
- Twitchy can be hard to understand in some scenes and his voice can come off annoying.
- It has a sequel titled Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil.
Critical reception to Hoodwinked! was varied, as most critics praised the script and the voice acting but heavily criticized its animation quality. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 46%, based on 124 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "This fractured fairytale doesn't have the wit or animation quality to compete with the likes of the Shrek franchise". On Metacritic, it received a score of 45 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Despite mixed reviews from critics, most viewers love the film for its originality, characters and unexpected plot twist, deeming it as one of the best "Shrek knock-offs". In addition, most viewers agree that while not at the level of Shrek, Hoodwinked! is entertaining in its own way and was far better than other "fractured fairy tale" films like Chicken Little and Happily N'Ever After, which came out around the same time as Hoodwinked!.
The film was a commercial success, earning over thirteen times its less-than-$8 million budget.