Hoodwinked DVD: Review By Evan "Mushy" Jacobs

A highly original film really turns the whole idea of fairy tales on their ear.
  • OVERALL
    4.5
    SUPERB
  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE GOOD
A highly original film really turns the whole idea of fairy tales on their ear.
THE BAD
At the end, I think this movie sort of becomes the kind of film it is lampooning.
THE FEATURE
To be quite honest, I have never really gotten what was so great about the Shrek movies. I thought they looked incredible but I never saw what everyone else saw was so great about them. Hoodwinked while obviously lower in budget than a lot of those films, really sends up the genre of fairy tales. Beginning with the the story of Little Red Riding Hood, everything comes to a screeching halt when police are called for a "domestic disturbance."

Suddenly, Red, Granny, the Big Bad Wolf and the Woodsman are standing tall before the man explaining what they were doing at the house. While the hilarity of all their stories recalls both Rashomon and Pulp Fiction, I feel at the end there is a slight misstep. This film which has done such a good job of not being the kind of movie it is sending up, sort of becomes one of those films. Aside from that, I think that Hoodwinked is one of the most original animated films to come around in some time.
THE EXTRAS
How to Make An Animated Film

While not as in-depth as I would like a featurette with this title to be, this is by far the most information laden animation featurette I have ever seen. In fact, it blows away the featurette on the Ice Age Super-Cool Edition DVD. They take us through most of the process, showing us how the movie is first recorded and then the script tweaked based on that. I would have liked more focus on the actual drawing of the movie and how it came to be a Weinstein Film.

Commentary

This track is done by director Cory Edwards and co-directors Todd Edwards and Tony Leech. These guys are just having a good time here and I found this track very enjoyable. While it isn't as technical as one might like, I found these guys to be very honest and engaging in how they talked about this movie. Also, they are very aware of how critical audiences can be but I would like to say (which I am sure they already know) these guys did a fine job and they have everything to be proud of.

Five Deleted Scenes

The five scenes also come with an optional commentary track. Essentially, it seems like these scenes were chopped for time reasons more than anything else. With titles like "Great Big World" and "Tree Critter," my favorite scene was the extended version of The Woodsman's "Schnitzel Song." All in all, some good stuff here that is certainly worth checking out.

Critters Have Feelings Music Video

A music video that simply tells the story of the song. We see woodchucks and caterpillars as they go through what best can be described as human experiences. I think this is worth a look especially if you were taken by the visual style of Hoodwinked.
THE VIDEO
Widescreen Version presented in a "matted" widescreen format preserving the aspect ratio of it's original theatrical exhibition. I love that this movie is more dialogue oriented than most films. Hoodwinked basically takes place in one room in Granny's house and then as the characters talk we see their stories. However, I love that even though the tales are fantastical they honestly make sense. While sometimes this version of 3D gets to me, overall I really liked how this movie was presented on this DVD.
THE AUDIO
Dolby Digital. Close Captioned. Languages: English and French 5.1. Subtitled in English and Spanish. When I first saw that Glenn Close was voice acting in a movie with Xzibit and Anne Hathaway, my first thought was that this guy was out of his league. Well, I stand corrected. Everyone (including Andy Dick) is doing some of their best work here. When you realize that Glenn Close did all her parts in one day that makes this even more impressive.
THE PACKAGE
In a mockup of The Usual Suspects poster, we see all the characters from the film in a police lineup. The back cover shows more of the characters and Granny's house in the background with yellow tape all over it. There is a description of the movie, a "Special Features" listing, a cast list and some technical specs. I think because the cover of this movie doesn't look like some gigantic animated film people don't know what to make of it. They might be confused because they have never seen animated characters in this way.
THE FINAL WORD
This is one of those movies that seems to have crept up on people. I kept seeing posters for it at the local movie theaters by my house, but I don't recall seeing any trailers for the film. Then it opens and collects $68 million worldwide for the newly formed Weinstein Company. While these certainly aren't DreamWorks numbers, they are highly respectable for a movie that was made for a quarter of what a typical DreamWorks animated film costs. Also, Hoodwinked is a very rich movie in terms of it's writing and content. Truthfully, I would much rather see a film like this with not a lot of money behind it, than those films that feel the need to be artificially cute for no other reason than that's all they can be.

Hoodwinked would make a fine addition to any DVD collection.

Do you like this review?

Comments