At some point, one or both of the Weinstein brothers must have spent many long hours dreaming about the end of Dreamworks’ Shrek series. They must have thought it would be a boon for their company — eponymously named The Weinstein Company — leading to a knockoff that would fill the colossal gap.
Hence, Hoodwinked was born. It picks up much of the gauntlet thrown down by the green ogre with the thick Scottish brogue, but it does little to wield it with the same strength. The Shreks had better writers, more interesting characters and, above all, better computer software. Much better computer software.
In Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs. Evil, the plot is OK but the story itself is wildly uneven. The characters are not three-dimensional even though the actors include some of the best and most recognizable voices in the business.
The worst part is that the animation is probably the poorest I’ve seen in the last 10 years (and that includes the awful Barbie series).
Here, my eyes feel like they’ve eaten too much sugar: everything is poorly defined and amateurish. A lot of the voices don’t even match the movements of mouths. Compared to Dreamworks’ dreamy works or Pixar’s picture-perfect flicks, this movie looks like a shadow puppet play-acted by Jim Carrey wearing oven mitts.
Red Riding Hood (Hayden Panettiere) is training in a secret organization called the Sisters of the Hood. She and the Big Bad Wolf (Patrick Warburton) are called on by the Happily Ever After Agency to examine the sudden mysterious disappearance of Hansel (Bill Hader) and Gretel (Amy Poehler).
Along the way they are helped or hindered by various other figures from this distorted world of fairy tales including Granny Puckett (Glenn Close), Verushka the Witch (Joan Cusack), and Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers), the head of the HEAA.
So that’s one good thing going for this show: the acting talent is there. Cheech and Chong pretty much played themselves but, hey, at least they’re recognizable, right?
Still, the Weinsteins shouldn’t have waited five years between the original and the sequel. Certainly, a sizable proportion of the audience from the first instalment might have grown out of that phase in their lives where they would even want to watch this.
Considering the quality of the computer-generated visuals clunking around on the screen, there isn’t really much incentive for them to come back either.
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil
Starring the voices of: Hayden Panettiere, Glenn Close, Patrick Warburton, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, Joan Cusack, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, David Ogden Stiers, Martin Short, Brad Garrett, Andy Dick, David Alan Grier, Phil LaMarr, and Wayne Newton
Directed by: Mike Disa
Now playing at: Grandin Theatre and Scotiabank Theatre