Computers and cynicism have conspired to give us Hoodwinked, definitive proof that while classic fairy tales can't be counted on to charm and instruct 21st-century youngsters, the same holds true for their digitally animated deconstructions. Less sassy than shrill, more crass than clever, the maiden cartoon from the Weinstein Company turns the Little Red Riding Hood legend into a sub-Shrek bummer that appears to have been manufactured for the pleasure of tone-deaf kids with a thing for sarcasm, extreme sports, and Andy Dick.
Dick lends his voice to Boingo, a suspiciously perky rabbit caught up in the mystery of what really happened when Red (Anne Hathaway) paid a visit to Granny (Glenn Close) only to find a Wolf (Patrick Warburton) in drag and an ax-wielding Woodsman (Jim Belushi doing Arnold Schwarzenegger) crashing through the window.
Told in a jumble of flashbacks from multiple, improbable and equally unfunny points of view, the story is structured around a police investigation led by a frog detective named Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers), with backup from Chief Grizzly (Xzibit), among other silly creatures. Thus do we learn that Granny leads a secret life as the hard-core snowboarder Triple G, that the Woodsman is a failed actor, and that Wolf is no criminal but an investigative journalist who would rather be a film critic.
All of which may sound totally hilarious to dimwitted marketing executives and people who get a kick out of hearing Close say “fo shizzle.” But with visuals as stale as its writing, Hoodwinked won’t fool anyone else.
HoodwinkedDirected by: Cory EdwardsWITH THE VOICES OF: Anne Hathaway (Red), Glenn Close (Granny), Jim Belushi (the Woodsman), Patrick Warburton (the Wolf), Anthony Anderson (Det. Bill Stork), David Ogden Stiers (Nicky Flippers), Xzibit (Chief Grizzly), Chazz Palminteri (Woolworth), Andy Dick (Boingo)Running time: 81 minutesTaiwan release: Today