Like a bedtime story told by an amiable drunk, Hoodwinked is a hackneyed narrative redeemed by great creative embellishment of the telling.
Writer/directors Corey and Todd Edwards have come up with a noir setting that’s equal parts Raymond Chandler and Shrek, using a police investigation led by Bill Stork (voiced by Anthony Anderson) to draw together the usual suspects after a domestic disturbance at the cottage previously occupied by Granny (Glenn Close). Little Red Riding Hood (Anne Hathaway), a woodsman (Jim Belushi) and the big bad wolf (Patrick Warburton) all get to tell their side of the story, Rashomon-style, offering a useful educational opportunity for parents who want their children to imagine a point-of-view other than their own. Even for adult audiences, it’s an engaging gimmick, although the animation falls way short of the current gold standards of Pixar and Disney, and the twists and turns run out round about the halfway mark. But there are enough cheeky gags in Granny’s dangerous sports addiction or the Wolf’s laconic cynicism to make Hoodwinked an acceptable enough pacifier for kids.