8 out of 10

What kind of candles are those? Dee-na-mee-tay - Must be Italian

Even with clunky animation, slightly inane musical numbers and borrowed squirrel jokes, "Hoodwinked," in the spirit of "Ice Age" and "Ren and Stimpy" is a lighthearted and entertaining picture. Based on the traditional fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, it was   written and directed by Michigan-born brothers Corey and Todd Edwards ("Doogal") with the help of Tony Leech and features lively performances by Anne Hathaway ("Princess Diaries"), Andy Dick ("The Andy Dick Show"), Glenn Close, Chaz Palminteri ("Bullets over Broadway") and Patrick Warburton ("Seinfeld"), who together have created a loveable and hip family comedy.

It is a well-known story - Little Red Riding Hood decides to take her under-the-weather Grandma some baked goods, treks through the dangerous forest far from home and while on the way arouses the curiosity of a dangerous and crafty wolf, who races ahead eats Grandma, dresses up in her nightgown and is about to repeat the process when the day is saved by a passing woodsman armed with an axe. Or was this how it really happened? Was this all there was to tell? Few have had the chance to review the facts of the case, possibly something could be left out of Charles Perrault's famous story...some characters could have been omitted, there could be a conspiracy behind these heinous acts or maybe the traditional villain could have really been framed by the true criminal - The Goody Bandit!

Appearing on the scene, Poirot-like disco detective Nicky Flippers (played by David Ogden Steirs, famous for Disney roles Dr. Jookiba in Lilo and Stitch and Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast) decides to interview the each witness and uncover the truth behind the events at Grandma's. With some amusing twists, endearing characters and carefully created animated sequences, even with it's at times obvious low CGI budget, it is a rewarding, clever and suspenseful picture with a side-splitting script, heartwarming story, strong performances and comical soundtrack.

Although rewritten, to include a modern day setting, it still retains it's European charm (or schnitzel anyway) and with the addition of Twitchy (Corey Edwards) the caffine-addicted news reporting squirrel, the bunion-ad hopeful Woodsman (James Belushi) and Japeth the Goat (Benjy Gaither) with removable horns, "Hoodwinked"'s subtle and bizarre humour is bound to have you doubled over in tears with laughter during more than a few scenes.

Demented Fun

Film Critic: Jennifer M Lillies