Friday, October 20, 2017

Hoodwinked! (2005)

Some things work only if they’re done well.  When someone tries to make it a True Daily Double on Jeopardy!, they’re a genius only if it works.  If not, they’ve got their work cut out for them.  The same goes for something like using fairy-tale characters.  If it’s done well, it’s something can be used to the movie’s advantage.  If not done well, it can turn people away.

Hoodwinked starts with the final scene from Little Red Riding Hood.  Red Puckett is at her grandmother’s house, but it’s not Granny Puckett that Red is dealing with.  It’s the Wolf W. Wolf wearing a Granny mask.   Red is no fool; she’s on to him.  Suddenly, a Kirk the Woodsman comes crashing through the window.  Cue the police, who tape off the area and start interrogating the various suspects.  Fortunately, Nicky Flippers happens to be walking along.  He’s a frog who has a knack for solving crimes.  He starts asking the right questions.

Nicky starts with Red, who works for Granny.  Granny runs a successful snack business.  Red had just found out about the Goodie Bandit, who has been stealing recipes.  Fearing for Granny, Red took the recipe book to Granny’s house, only to have several issues.  This includes meeting Mr. Wolf and Twitchy.  She manages to  lose Wolf and make it to Granny’s, only to find Wolf impersonating Granny.

Nicky then interrogates Wolf, Nick and Granny in that order.  Each interrogation adds more detail to the overall story.  (For instance, Wolf is actually a reporter, with Twitchy being his photographer/assistant.)  After Nicky is done asking questions, some secrets come out, but not the identity of the Goodie Bandit.

The use of the Riding Hood tale was unnecessary.  I get that retelling classic stories has almost become a genre unto itself, but that doesn’t mean you need to do it yourself.  It doesn’t really add anything to the plot.  Sometimes, it’s done with the intent of showing what really happened, either figuratively or literally.  Some characters, like Sherlock Holmes, were based on real people.

Some cases may use the characters to give a sense of back story.  It’s not intended as a direct sequel to the story, but rather to use the story to let us fill in details.  When SyFy did a miniseries based on The Wizard of Oz, we knew the story of Dorothy and The Wizard.  We could see comparisons between the new characters and the old.  The new story is written around the old one.

Here, we’re using the characters in name only.  You could have generated new characters and basically told the same story.  Using fair-tale characters doesn’t add anything new except maybe the chance for a throwaway joke or two.

And then, there’s the animation.  It’s not at all like anything that I’ve seen before.  This might put off anyone that’s new to CGI.  I got used to it pretty quickly, but others might not be so fortunate.  (At least with the animation, you can take a look at a trailer to know what to expect.)

I’d say that it’s low budget, but the movie at least has some recognizable names behind the animated faces.  (Anne Hathaway voices Red while Glenn Close voices Granny.)  Even with this, the actors aren’t necessarily recognizable.  I’ve seen David Ogden Stiers in enough roles that I would recognize such a distinctive voice.  It wasn’t until I started looking up the movie that I realized who it was.  If you skipped this movie, you could be forgiven.

No comments :