Josh Bell

Taking a Rashomon-like approach to the story of Little Red Riding Hood, the computer-animated film Hoodwinked attempts a Shrek-style modernization of fairy tale conventions—and falls flat in every way imaginable. It may only be January, but this is already a contender for the worst movie of 2006.

Everyone knows the story of cute little Red (voiced by Hathaway), her Granny (Close), the big, bad Wolf (Warburton) and the Woodsman (Jim Belushi) who saves the day. Or do they? This film tells the story once from the perspective of each of the four characters, making it four times as tedious and tiresome. Like Shrek, Hoodwinked posits a world inhabited by fairy-tale creatures that's also full of modern conveniences, and attempts to derive humor from the clash of the two.

The key word here is "attempts," as all the jokes are painfully unfunny, the plot is labored and predictable, the few songs are annoying, and the animation is poor. The pop- culture references, which exist to keep adults interested, are dated and stale, and there aren't even any valuable lessons for kids. Only the most easily amused youngsters will be able to tolerate this waste of time.

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