Taking a page from the DreamWorks' playbook, the newly formed Weinstein Company's first family offering is an enjoyably ironic rethink of a beloved fairy tale. And while this post-modern spin on "Little Red Riding Hood" isn't exactly SHREK, in some ways it might even be a little bit better. Trouble is afoot in Granny's neighborhood. For the past five months, a mysterious felon known only as "The Goody Bandit" has been breaking into the cozy cottages of the forest's best bakers and making off with their precious recipes; the venerable Muffin Man himself was forced to close up shop after he fell victim to the Bandit. Naturally, Red (voice of Anne Hathaway), a headstrong 'tween who's quite fond of riding capes equipped with red hoods, is worried that her sweet, seemingly helpless Granny (Glenn Close) will be the Bandit's next target. Not only is Granny's Goody Shop one of the very best in the forest, but it's well known that her recipe book contains all the secrets to her success. Red offers to take the book to the other side of the mountain for safekeeping, but Granny won't hear of it: It's one thing to make goody deliveries to all the woodland creatures, but Red is far too young to be traipsing so far from home. Eager to prove Granny wrong and protect her grandmother's business, Red steals the recipe book from the family vault and embarks on a dangerous mission up the mountain, where big, bad Wolf (the inimitable Patrick Warburton) is just one of the many dangers lying in wait. This spunky, fractured fairy tale unfolds like an episode of CSI: Storyland with the crime occurring in a pre-credit sequence and the events leading up to it told in flashback, as long-legged Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers) — a sarsaparilla-sipping frog in a double-breasted suit — questions is array of story-book suspects and a posse of porcine police search the crime scene (and Granny's refrigerator) for evidence. No one is above suspicion — certainly not Wolf, not even Red herself — and no one, Granny included, is exactly what she seems. The human animation is a bit rough — at first Red looks particularly grotesque — but the animals are hoot and when it comes to voice talent you can't beat the likes of Close, Warburton and Andy Dick, who makes a memorable appearance as a rabbit named Boingo. Instead of the usual Elton John-style emotional bombast and Randy Newman cutesiness, the ace soundtrack opts for instantly hummable songs in a power-pop vein. Even Red's requisite "Over the Rainbow" moment — Ben Fold's clever "Red Is Blue" — is a catchy pop tune with some real bite.
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- Released: 2005
- Rating: PG
- Review: Taking a page from the DreamWorks' playbook, the newly formed Weinstein Company's first family offering is an enjoyably ironic rethink of a beloved fairy tale. And while this post-modern spin on "Little Red Riding Hood" isn't exactly SHREK, in some ways it… (more)
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