Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs. Evil Directed by: Mike Disa Cast (voices of): Hayden Panettiere, Glenn Close, Patrick Warburton, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader Running Time: 1 hr 31 mins Rating: PG Release Date: April 29, 2011
PLOT: Red Riding Hood (Panettiere) is off training, but she's called back in when Granny (Close) is kidnapped. Now Red and Wolf (Warburton) must find Granny in addition to Hansel (Hader) and Gretel (Poehler).
WHO'S IT FOR? If you need to keep the kids busy for 1.5 hours, there could be worse things to do with your time.
Like most fairy tales, it's best if we start at the beginning. That means we're going back to December 2005 when Hoodwinked hit theaters. It was a shockingly low budget, computer animated flick on the heels of Pixar and Shrek. Similar to the green ogre movies, Hoodwinked was tongue-in-cheek toward fairy tale lore. Unlike Shrek it wasn't that funny and only made $51 million. It also looked like it was originally Japanese and redubbed.
So, why the sequel? This isn't one of those moments where I pose a question and then answer it. I'm seriously asking. Why the sequel?
The Weinstein Company isn't Pixar, Disney or "the makers of Ice Age" so name recognition that equals quality animation isn't there. Plus, again it looks like the lips just weren't lined up to the voices. Whatever the case, it was a sequel that maybe should have been in the $2.99, straight to DVD bin. But that's not the case.
The voice talent they grabbed is once again a head-scratcher. No, I'm not talking about Andy Dick. Glen Close, Martin Short and for the sequel, they've added Bill Hader, Amy Poehler and Joan Cusack. Not too shabby.
Since I can't explain the "why" we best move on.
Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs. Evil is better animation than it's predecessor. But I'm not willing to call it "good." Signs of the original can be seen if you watch Granny speak. It's off. Red, Wolf, Squirrel and Granny work for HEA (Happily Ever After) agency. Red does like to work alone and she doesn't like to be called chicken. Right away, movie buffs will notice the borrowing from The Empire Strikes Back and Back to the Future. Then again, movie buffs probably won't be sitting through this one. Through out the film there are direct lines from Silence of the Lambs and Scarface. Yup, in a kid's movie. I assume this is meant to entertain the adults, but it just points out to me they didn't have many original jokes of their own. Lines like, "What are you thinking? Eight legs is SO last year." Which I guess is funny because Heidi Klum says it to a spider. It's a basic tale about a super truffle. Granny gets kidnapped, and Red must work with Wolf. The messages of teamwork and "a person can't fail unless they give up" will resonate with kids. There will be few chuckles for adults, with most of them coming from Hader and Poehler's Hansel and Gretel.
Worst of all, this sequel is asking for more money due to the fact that it's in 3D. Don't do it folks. Figure out how to spend your money elsewhere. The movie ends with a song called "You've been hoodwinked." That's exactly how you should feel if you load up the family van and go see Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs. Evil.
FINAL SCORE: 4/10