The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: The Weinstein Company - 2005
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 81 minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Voices: Anne Hathaway, Jim Belushi, David Ogden Stiers, Glenn Close, Andy Dick, Patrick Warburton, Anthony Anderson, Xzibit
Written & Directed by: Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards, Tony Leech
Music by: John Mark Painter (score), Todd Edwards (original songs)
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 15, 2011
"Trouble in the Hood"
In a new spin on the beloved fairy tale, Red, Granny, the Big Bad Wolf, and the Woodsman, all face Detective Flippers as he attempts to deterimine the real events of the Little Red Riding Hood story.
So you think you know the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Don't be too sure... When the police arrive at Granny's cottage in the woods to answer a domestic disturbance call, it looks like just another open-and-shut case. But Red, Granny, the Big Bad Wolf and the Woodsman are not your usual suspects, as they have their own dark secrets, wily deceptions and conflicting accounts of the crime. Together, they must put aside their differences and find their own original twist on Happily Ever After.
I would hope that everyone reading this is familiar with the classic tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Hoodwinked is an ambitious and original retelling that opens at the end of the story and is recounted from the perspectives of the Red, Granny, The Wolf and The Woodsman. It is a whodunit that revolves around a recent rash of thefts in the forest. The perpetrator is known as the Goody Bandit and his pilfering has left the forest devoid of sweets and the local police baffled. The only remaining source of goodies is Granny Pucket and the story begins with what appears to be an attempt by the Big Bad Wolf to impersonate Granny in order to get the basket of goodies being delivered by her granddaughter Red. The police, lead by Chief Grizzly, arrive to find Granny, Red, The Wolf and The Woodsman and call in their crack Detective Nicky Flippers to investigate. Each is a suspect and Nicky interviews them separately. As each recounts the events of the day it is evident that the Goodie Bandit could be one of them, all of them or none of them. The answer can be found in a common denominator that only surfaces after all of their stories are told. So the real question is..who IS the Good Bandit?This is my first time seeing Hoodwinked! and I have to admit that I had fun. I mean this isn't Disney/Pixar or DreamWorks storytelling, (nor is it meant to be) but it's lighthearted and enjoyable family entertainment nonetheless. I liked the idea of presenting the story from differing perspectives. I got a kick out of the reality of each characterization and their things aren't always what they seem connection to the truth. Traditional and modern elements are infused in the story and the situations/dialogue offer enough funny bone tickling humor to keep both adults and younger viewers chuckling. I found the voiceovers by the cast to be spot on. I liked Hoodwinked for its delightful whimsy, quirky imagination, and sarcastic wit. It may not be a standout among today's family oriented animated films but it has something to offer while providing a bit of escapism that I found entertaining.
The rating is for some mild action and thematic elements.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Hoodwinked! comes to Blu-ray Disc from Vivendi HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.
This film was a little difficult to initially evaluate in terms of video quality. Unlike many of the digitally sourced animated films we see today it lacks the delineated attention to detail that draws the image forth from the screen. The animated human characters have plastic doll like texture with limited/staggered physical mobility that is akin to what you might see in a video game. I wouldn't describe it as fake looking however lifelike doesn't quite fit either. Images are plenty sharp with varying levels of refinement that is equally applicable to the characters, objects and backgrounds. Colors are vividly pleasing with deeper emphasis on primary colors and clean overall rendering. I didn't see any signs of compression related problems and other than a little aliasing the video was pretty clean. I will assume that the quality of the animation is probably attributable to a limited budget. In reality I didn't have a problem with it and thought that it kind of added to the film's charm.
The disc's default soundtrack selection is the lossy Dolby Digital option. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track has to be manually accessed from the setup menu. This is an engaging lossless mix that feature high level detail and crisp, well intonated dialogue. I was impressed with the intricate detail that went into the sound effects and loved the smooth integration and balance of the music featured in the film. Dynamics were solid and low frequency impact offered appreciable tactility. Be to give the sequence with Kirk and the rolling log, Granny's extreme skiing and Red and the singing goat in the mining car a little extra volume. These scenes contain elements that actively engage the entire surround platform and fill the room with a combination of both discrete and spatial sounds that envelope nicely. This is a well designed audio presentation that accents the film and sounds great doing so.
- The True Behind-the-scenes story - 30 minute making of featurette
- Bonus DVD
- DVD Features:
- Deleted/extended scenes with optional commentary by writer/director Cory Edwards
- Feature commentary by writer/director Cory Edwards, writer/co-director Tony Leech, and writer/co-director Todd Edwards
- Critters have feelings Music video
- How to make an animated feature film - 12 minute featurette
- Theatrical trailer
Hoodwinked! is a quirky and entertaining animated film that puts a non-traditional spin on the classic fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood. The result makes for rewarding family fun that can be enjoyed by all. Its digitally animated imagery appears dated when compared to the best animation from studios like DreamWorks and Disney/Pixar but this high definition presentation appears faithful and the 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio sound is excellent. If you haven't seen this charming family film this Blu-ray Disc offering from Vivendi Entertainment is the best game in town.
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