A review of “Hoodwinked” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: * 1/2

Rating: PG for mild action

Run Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

 

 

Another revisionist fairy tale bites the dust in this catty, over-the-top ode to Little Red Riding Hood and her modernistic ways.

          Red (voice of Anne Hathaway) is an entrepreneurial young woman who plays second banana to her granny and granny’s popular baked goods delivery business. Red traverses the forest and its charming cornucopia of creatures with fearless abandon, armed with creamy cupcakes and a can-of-mace attitude tinged with a bright hope for the future.

          Red is not fooled in the least when the Big Bad Wolf steps in and masquerades as her granny; and no wonder seeing as how he uses a bad mask and throaty geriatric squeak to get his point across. When the jig is up Red does what any determined young thing would do – decides to get to the bottom of the conspiracy that has led a feckless canine to drastic measures.

          Add to the traditional notions a Goody Bandit who is stealing confection recipes, forcing small forest bakeries out of business. Is the Big Bad Wolf the culprit, the axe-wielding Woodsman, or perhaps Granny herself?

          Less is more when you’re toying with the classics. Fairy tales are ripe with comic potential if one can accept their archaic but entertaining irrationality for what it is. “Hoodwinked” spirals out of control when its cultures clash in a mind-numbing cacophony of old and new. Granny turns out to be an X-games superstar snowboarder merely posing as your classic covered-in-flour doyenne. The real villain of the piece has a grudge to bear and it results in flying helicopters and superhero accoutrements. Ugh.

          With classic animation at its creative pinnacle I’m hard pressed to understand why it was necessary to generate another farce that’s too dumbed-down for adults and not sophisticated enough for a younger generation with a keen appreciation of the best that tech has to offer.

Only Red herself throws off some creative sparks – her mature and independent attitude is rather fetching. But not fetching enough to drag you out for this irksome, postmodernist hodgepodge.