Sunday, June 8, 2014

Movie #258: Hoodwinked!

Hoodwinked! is a 2005 animated movie starring Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close, Patrick Warburton, Jim Belushi, Andy Dick, David Ogden Stiers, Anthony Anderson, and Xzibit. It's basically the story of Little Red Riding Hood and Rashomon, in a blender.

The woods are full of anthropomorphic animals, and they all seem to eat nothing but "goodies" (cakes and pies and other sweets), to the point that everyone sells them. But now a "goody bandit" is breaking into these places and stealing the recipes, making certain that...the critters can't make the goodies, that they sell to other critters. It's a very weird economy.

So anyway, as the movie opens, we've got police activity at Granny's house. Chief Grizzly (Xzibit) is interrogating four suspects after a break-in. Red (Hathaway), Granny (Close), the Wolf (Warburton), and the Woodsman (Belushi) all tell their sides of the story, Rashomon style, and Detective Flippers (Stiers) pastes it all together - the true villain is the bunny, Boingo (Dick).

The movie is cute, and there are some funny moments. The voice acting is good (hell, look at the cast), though it falls very much into that mid-naughties po-mo kind of space, where everything is a pop culture reference, and one of the animals is a man dressed in a tiger outfit what the hell. The Wolf is basically Fletch, right down to assuming disguises to get his story (he's a reporter). Granny is an extreme sports fanatic (and they lift lines from xXx - we'll get to the Xs eventually - to underline that).

The world isn't especially well-established. Like I said, it's strange to think that there's such a thriving trade in snack cakes that that's the cornerstone of the economy, but everybody seems to sell them, so what are people buying? It's a premise that works if you're, like, five, but then why is the humor in the movie so sophisticated and making reference to things that a five-year-old wouldn't get? And what the hell is up with the animation? Everyone looks like they're melting and plasticky.

Andy Dick does well as Boingo, but I hate him, so it's nice he's playing the villain. My favorite character is definitely Japeth (Benjy Gaither), a mountain goat who, due to a curse, sings everything he says (but of course, it's a musical - kind of. Red and Boingo both have songs, but that's it).

Basically, it's a movie with a solid core premise (what really happened at that house? Everybody has a story!), but it watches like a producer pissed in the soup.

My grade: C-
Rewatch value: Low

Next up: Hot Fuzz