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:: Hoodwinked

“Hoodwinked” is the newest film to retell everyone’s favourite fairytale ‘Little Red Riding Hood”. However, don’t assume the happy-ever-after ending of this tried and tested tale, because “Hoodwinked” will turn your assumptions inside out and upside down.

This digitally animated children’s film is confusing to say the least. The twist in ‘Hoodwinked’, is that it has four different accounts of ‘that day in the woods’ told by Red (Anne Hathaway), Wolf (Patrick Warburton), Granny (Glenn Close) and The Woodsman (Jim Belushi). Granny’s cottage is turned into a grim crime scene as Detective Flippers patiently listens to each of the characters very different versions of what happened on that legendary day in the woods. The sub-plot that we are treated to on the way is the investigation into the true identity of the ‘goody bandit’, which Red, Wolf, Granny and The Woodsman are all accused of being. Someone has been stealing all the cakes and sweets in the woods and Detective Flippers is determined to discover who the syrupy culprit is.

Meanwhile, Red is searching for her true identity, Wolf is really an investigative journalist, The Woodsman has a hankering for schnitzels and Granny has taken a liking to extreme sports!

Sound confusing so far? Don’t be too disheartened because the most of the characters are likeable and funny. My favourite is the Wolf’s squirrel ‘sidekick’ who talks in a pace that no one can actually understand. Watch out for the yodelling goat, who plays for a good laugh every time. The Woodsman also has a vulnerable side to him that is affable and his search to be an actor is entertaining. Granny is not so helpless in this retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood” as she skis down mountain tops and talks on her mobile phone at the same time. Note the sneaky addition of scenes from Matrix and the three pigs. There are definitely some ‘in jokes’ that kids will appreciate.

In the original story, everything is simple and there is a happy-ending that everyone loves. The wolf is bad, the Axeman is good, and Red Riding Hood is a sweet little girl that just wants to visit her granny. This film breaks all the rules and travels at a million miles an hour. The characters are funny, but the plot needs to be simplified. Suited to children in the tween market, kids will warm to the dialogue and the amazing digital animation. ‘Hood-winked’ is a brave and bold attempt at re-telling an old favourite, but it may be a bit too ‘hippity-hoppity’ and modern for some film goers, who will definitely be grateful for the old fairytale any day.