Published Dec 01, 2005Every now and then a movie comes along to completely flummox the critical community. A movie that somehow manages to combine Shrek and Rashomon, one that engages in smirking cynicism and family uplift both at the same time. Hoodwinked is one of those films: a series of story imperatives at complete cross-purposes that results in something spectacularly weird.
The animated tale has an investigating frog (voiced by David Ogden Stiers) trying to nail down exactly what happened at Grandma's house: is Red (Anne Hathaway) an innocent victim? Is the wolf (Patrick Warburton) actually an investigative journalist? Could Granny (Glenn Close) actually be an extreme sportswoman? And will the Woodsman (Jim Belushi) get the call-back for that commercial gig? It doesn't matter, because the film's simultaneous acceptance of and resistance to family animation conventions results in a magnificent freak.
Were that its formal chops were aligned with its instincts almost all of the dialogue is bad, absolutely all of the animation is dismal and the voice talents are left to fend for themselves in the melee. But though I can't actually tell you the movie is good, I can't dismiss it out of hand for the weirdo audience, who are advised to get stoned beforehand, wait for the lights to go down, and giggle like mad at every gauche moment.
It's not exactly an enjoyable movie, but I can't say I'm sorry I saw it, and though its audience is small, the people who would like it (you know who you are) are likely to think it a minor weirdo classic. Those individuals are advised to queue up early; all others should see it at their own risk. (Alliance Atlantis)