Hoodwinked is a musical, film-noiresque detective story version of Little Red Riding Hood.  If that doesn’t immediately make you run out and buy it, and it should, you may be on the wrong site.  But, if you need more convincing, read on.

Hoodwinked starts off by showing the end of the story, which turns out to be the middle of the story, but you only find that out later. The main players in this musical drama, Red, Granny, The Wolf and Kirk all get detained by Flippers, the police investigator,  and each is interviewed. During this process, you can piece the entire story together if you pay attention, but to get all the subtleties you will need to watch it more than once.

The interviews start, and you’re still convinced that this is a Disney cartoon made by a small budget studio. Then the singing starts. The first song is a crayon version of Julie Andrews in sound of music.  You’re still fairly sure what you’ve gotten yourself into, and that’ll be the last time you question whether this movie is dodgy.  After this, the musical numbers include a yodelling goat, a singing bunny and The “Schnitzel on a Stick Song” You have to see, well, hear  them to truly appreciate the full extent of the dodginess.

Vignettes abound, including homages to the great dodgy movies XXX and The Matrix.  There is also a group of singing porcupines dressed as The Village People, which is really just icing on top of the goodies. Ultimately, the mystery is resolved and the story ends happily for everyone that you care about, despite the fact that Kirk ends up in “Der Happy Yodelers”, but it makes him happy, even though yodelling has been outlawed by the Geneva Convention as a cruel and unusual punishment.

Cartoons don’t normally qualify for more than a 4 on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man scale as a certain level of dodginess is expected. Hoodwinked, however, manages a well deserved 5. It’s hard to pinpoint the moment that pushes this movie up to the maximum rating. The schnitzel song and yodelling goat, the “battle of the iron cage gladiators” champion granny as well as the squirrel after being fed caffeine could compete for that privilege. However, the Broadway-esque musical number in which the Bunny’s plan is revealed, complete with choreography by the evil henchman, including Jazz Hands, pushes it over the edge.

I bought this one having only watched the trailer, and my faith was well rewarded. Every time I watch it I find something to appreciate, and it isn’t always something new. Even the musical numbers grow on you after a while, and for that, this one gets a 5 Mutant Smileys for rewatchability.

The most memorable quote was almost a tough choice, with gems like “Oh good, More singing” and “Use the hood Red, Use the hood.” But it wasn’t even close once the bunny started dishing out commands. “Keith, darnit change your name.. Please.. That’s not scary and I’m embarrassed to say it. Boris, try that. Keith, you know, oh watch out for Keith.” We all know the importance of scary henchman names, and this spells it out in flashing neon letters.

You won’t get the  slick, polished visual smorgasboard that you experience in the newer Pixar films, given that Hoodwinked had a far smaller budget. However, the script carries this one, and the animation is more than watchable, making this one a must buy for everyone.

  • And so now I know what to get next time I go to the video store. Thanks!

  • Gareth

    I can’t believe you haven’t seen it yet. You’ll love it. (It’ll probably be in the kiddies section though)

  • You forget to mention the singing goat has interchangeable horns. A rather well-prepared goat.

    Something to ponder. If this gets 5 dodginess puffy-men, what does goatse get?

  • Gareth

    This is where the beauty of not having an objective rating system comes in. Hoodwinked – well-prepared goat – Good dodgy. 5 puffy men. Goatse – have no idea, but I know it’s something fairly horrific and have no desire to see what exactly it is – Bad dodgy, very very bad – Likely to get the Anti-Nike or a warning symbol I’m hoping to steal from The Bloggess which would fit in much better here.

  • Hayley

    Luv this movie. Gotta watch more than once..

  • kittychunk

    “Keith, you know, oh, watch out for Keith”


  • It's kind of like how sitting and stroking a white cat became synonomous with evil overlord as opposed to crazy spinster.

  • More than once is kind of ambiguous. Do you mean twice, 5 times, 100 times, or on infinite repeat for a weekend. Warning, don't try the last one. It'll get you beaten by your better half.

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