Hoodwinked! (2005) seemingly begins to follow the fairytale of Little Red Riding Hood, affectionately known throughout the film as Red, and her run-in with the Big Bad Wolf. However, the film's plot completely subverts the tale of an innocent little girl and feeble grandma vs an evil monster with a much more modern, innovative and comedic approach. Instead, the story told is equally as dramatic as it is a hilarious whodunnit that delves into each character's point of view in a bid to prove their innocence to the police over accusations of being the villainous Goody Bandit.
This criminal figure’s presence lurks throughout the whole film, with each character having their shares of run-ins with the unknown thief who goes around stealing goody recipes from different bakeries, subsequently putting them out of business. While the crimes of the Goody Bandit may seem juvenile, the film does what every great family film should do - appeal to both its children and adult audiences. I remember as a child being shocked at the unmasking of the villain, both at my heartbreak over who it was but also at the bigger evil plan that was uncovered. Now, older and wiser as I am, this reveal still affects me each time I watch it as I understand more things I missed in my youth and am rewarded with an even bigger pay-off.
Overall this film does so many things right. It delivers numerous unforgettable songs, is packed with humour and emotion, and is amazing at building suspense. The voice acting is incredible as the cast consists of many acclaimed actors including Anne Hathaway (Interstellar, Les Miserables), Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction, Hillbilly Elegy), and Patrick Warburton (Bee Movie, Emperors New Groove). To top it off, the film finishes on a high with an ending just as satisfying as the rest of the film. Personally, there is nothing more soul-wrenching than a great film with a terrible ending.
Maybe my nostalgia and childhood love toward this film has made me blind to its flaws because I wholeheartedly believe this is a perfect, must-watch film for everyone and is undeserving of its measly 46% on Rotten Tomatoes.