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Hoodwinked!
Hoodwinked.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Cory Edwards
Produced by Katie Hooten
Maurice Kanbar
David K. Lovegren
Sue Bea Montgomery
Preston Stutzman
Screenplay by Cory Edwards
Todd Edwards
Tony Leech
Story by Cory Edwards
Todd Edwards
Starring Anne Hathaway
Glenn Close
Jim Belushi
Patrick Warburton
Anthony Anderson
David Ogden Stiers
Xzibit
Chazz Palminteri
Andy Dick
Music by John Mark Painter
Editing by Tony Leech
Studio The Weinstein Company
Kanbar Entertainment
Kanbar Animation
Blue Yonder Films
Distributed by The Weinstein Company
Release date(s) December 16, 2005 (2005-12-16) (Los Angeles, California)
January 13, 2006 (2006-01-13) (United States)
Running time 80 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget < $8 million
Money made $110 million

Hoodwinked! (alternatively styled Hoodwinked) is a 2005 American computer-animated musical comedy mystery film. It retells the folktale Little Red Riding Hood as a police investigation, using backstories to show multiple characters' points of view. It was produced independently by Blue Yonder Films with Kanbar Entertainment, directed and written by Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards, and Tony Leech, and produced by Katie Hooten, Maurice Kanbar, David K. Lovegren, Sue Bea Montgomery, and Preston Stutzman. The film was released by The Weinstein Company in Los Angeles, California, on December 16, 2005, for a one-week engagement before expanding nationwide on January 13, 2006. The film features the voices of Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close, Jim Belushi, Patrick Warburton, Anthony Anderson, David Ogden Stiers, Xzibit, Chazz Palminteri and Andy Dick.

Hoodwinked! was among the earliest computer-animated films to be completely independently funded. Working apart from a major studio allowed the filmmakers greater creative control, but also restrained them economically. Due to the film's small budget, its animation was produced in the Philippines, with a less-realistic design inspired by stop motion films. The Weinstein Company did not sign on as the film's distributor until near the end of production, and while the company had many roles recast, it otherwise made few changes to the film.

Structurally, the film was inspired by non-linear crime dramas, such as Rashomon and Pulp Fiction. It was released shortly after the first two installments in the successful Shrek series, which accentuated the fairy tale parody genre of which Hoodwinked! is a part. Hoodwinked!, however, intentionally deviated from the Shrek series in its style of humor and in certain plot elements. This was in part based on Cory Edwards' concerns over exposing children to the high level of cynicism often found in the genre.

Critical reception to the film was varied; although its script and cast were praised by many reviews, its animation quality was heavily criticized. The film was a commercial success, earning over thirteen times its less-than-$8 million budget. A sequel, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, directed by Mike Disa, and written by the Edwards brothers and Leech, was released in 2011 to negative reviews and financial failure.

Plot

Little Red Riding Hood (Anne Hathaway) arrives at her grandmother's house, where the Big Bad Wolf (Patrick Warburton) has disguised himself as Red's Granny. The Wolf attacks Red. Granny (Glenn Close), who has been tied up, suddenly jumps out of a nearby closet to help Red, just as an ax-wielding woodsman (Jim Belushi) bursts through the window. The police arrive on the scene. Detective Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers) questions everyone involved about the events leading up to the incident.

Little Red, actually named Red Puckett, explains that she was delivering goodies for her grandmother, when she discovered a threat from the mysterious Goody Bandit, who has been stealing recipes. To save her Granny's business, Red embarked upon a journey to take the Puckett family recipes to Granny's home on top of a nearby mountain. En route, she fell out of a cable car operated by the bunny Boingo (Andy Dick) and encountered the Wolf, who sprung a series of suspicious questions on her. Evading the Wolf, Red then met an old singing goat named Japeth (Benjy Gaither), who accompanied her through the remaining journey to Granny's house. Upon arriving at her destination, Red found the Wolf already waiting in ambush.

What at first seems to be an open-and-shut case becomes confused once the Wolf shares his side of the story. The Wolf, to the surprise of many at the crime scene, is an investigative reporter. He reveals that he was searching for a lead on the identity of the Goody Bandit and had reason to believe that Red and Granny were the culprits. Along with his hyperactive squirrel assistant Twitchy (Cory Edwards), the Wolf confronted Red in the hopes of solving the Goody Bandit mystery. When they failed to detain Red for long, the Wolf and Twitchy made haste for Granny's house. They managed to arrive ahead of Red (by using a shortcut known by Boingo). At the house, they found Granny already tied up in the closet. The Wolf then went undercover, planning to trick Red into sharing the truth about the Goody Bandit.

When the Woodsman, named Kirk, is questioned, he explains that his appearance at Granny's house was pure happenstance. Kirk is in fact an aspiring actor who was only trying out for the part of a woodsman in a commercial. After his schnitzel truck was robbed by the Goody Bandit, he was consoled by Boingo and then received a callback for the commercial. He spent the rest of the day chopping trees, getting into character for his upcoming role. At sunset, a large tree collapsed and pushed him through the window of Granny's home.

The investigation then turns to Granny. Unbeknownst to her granddaughter, Granny is an extreme sports enthusiast. Earlier that day, she competed in a ski race, where Boingo was in attendance, supposedly as a fan of Granny's. Once the race started, Granny was attacked by the opposing team. Able to withstand the attack and win the race, she learned that the team had been hired by the Goody Bandit to eliminate her. Granny explains to the investigators and her fellow suspects that while parachuting back home, she got tangled up in the parachute strings, which snagged on her ceiling fan and threw her into the closet.

Feeling betrayed by Granny's secrecy, Red wanders off alone. Flippers deduces that Boingo, who had been present in all four stories, must be the Goody Bandit. After Boingo sneaks into Granny's home and steals the Puckett family recipes, Red notices Boingo and follows him to his hideout at a cable car station. The police pursue Boingo in the wrong direction. Granny, the Wolf, and Kirk manage to locate Boingo as he is explaining his evil scheme to Red. Boingo plans to add an addictive substance called "Boingonium" to the stolen recipes and then bulldoze the forest, so as to clear the way for a new Boingo-themed corporate empire.

The Wolf and Kirk go undercover to distract Boingo, as Granny sneaks into Boingo's lair, but they are all soon found out and open conflict ensues. Boingo sends a bound and gagged Red down the mountain in a cable car loaded with explosives. Granny goes after Red, with Boingo and his henchmen in pursuit. Red manages to free herself, and escapes with Granny, while the police, who have been redirected by Twitchy, are waiting at the bottom of the mountain to arrest Boingo and his henchmen.

Sometime later, Kirk finds success in a yodeling troupe, while Red, Granny, the Wolf, and Twitchy are enlisted by Flippers to join a crime-solving organization called the Happily Ever After Agency.

Cast

Soundtrack

Hoodwinked: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
various artists
Released December 13, 2005
Genre Soundtrack
Length 48:35
Label Rykodisc
Producer various artists

The soundtrack was released in December 2005. Owing to legal disputes, the CD was pulled off of the market a month after its release and was not available again until November 2009. It was re-released on iTunes in January 2010.

Sequel

A sequel, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, was released on April 29, 2011. It was first announced in January 2006 and in February, Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards, and Tony Leech explained that although they would be writing the screenplay, they would not return to direct. Cory Edwards later elaborated on this decision, explaining that he had a negative experience working with some of the first film's "key players" and felt that he had been poorly treated by them. He also cited concerns over being confined to animation, and stated that he felt it would be a lateral move to direct a sequel to his first film as his second film. In March 2007, Edwards announced that Mike Disa had been hired to direct the sequel and expressed enthusiasm over his involvement, saying that he "has a real passion for the film and a devotion to maintaining the Hoodwinked world. He wants to do the sequel justice and he really gets what we're trying to do." Although much of the first film's cast returned for the sequel, Anne Hathaway was replaced by Hayden Panettiere in the role of Red and Jim Belushi was replaced by Martin Short in the role of Kirk the Woodsman.

Kanbar Entertainment initially intended to finance production of the sequel independently as it had done with the first film, but entered into a co-financing agreement proposed by The Weinstein Company. The film was initially scheduled to be released on January 15, 2010, but in December 2009, The Weinstein Company postponed the film's release date indefinitely. In April 2010, Kanbar Entertainment brought a lawsuit against The Weinstein Company. In addition to claiming that the postponement of the film's release date breached an agreement between the two companies, the lawsuit accused the Weinstein Company of not contributing to monthly production accounts after February 2009, neglecting to consult Kanbar Entertainment of a release strategy, and not responding to proposed changes to the film, even though Kanbar Entertainment held "final authority on production decisions".

The film was a financial failure, earning $16.9 million worldwide; only about half of its budget. Critical reception to the film was almost universally negative, with a Rotten score of 11% across 61 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 20/100 on Metacritic. Cory Edwards expressed disappointment with the finished film, indicating that it was heavily altered from the original script and saying that it was "deflating to give this thing away and watch others run with it in ways I would not."

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