Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hoodwinked Too - Hood vs Evil

MPAA (G) CNS/USCCB (A-II) Michael Phillips (1 star) Fr. Dennis (1/2 star)

IMDb Listing -
CNS/USCCB review -
Michael Phillips review -,0,6521350.column

I found Hoodwinked Too - Hood vs Evil (directed by Mike Disa and co-written by Cory Edwards and Todd Edwards and two others) to be a very creative, often honestly very funny, but on reflection also a very disturbing animated film, one of several (including Hop) in which I found the accenting of the animated characters to be really problematic.

The film features various re-imagined staples from Grimm’s Fairy Tales working for the HEA (Happy Ending Administration) dedicated to keeping things running happily and ending well in their make-believe world.  Honestly, a “kinder, gentler CIA?”

Little Red Riding Hood (voice by Hayden Panettiere) begins the movie getting “green beret” training at a Himalayan martial arts center reminding one of Kung Fu PandaThe Big Bad Wolf (voice by Patrick Warburton) who’s now her partner is (when one thinks about it, unsurprisingly) a “master of disguises.”  Grandma (voice by Glenn Close) is the keeper of a secret truffle recipe on which the well-being of the world depends. 

Then there are the villains.  There’s the "mostly talk," but when it comes down to it "incompetent" green African American sounding Troll (voice by David Alan Grier) who serves as Red Riding Hood's sparing partner during her training.  There’s the Slavic sounding witch, named Verushka (voice by Joan Cusack), jealous of Grandma for "always coming to second to her" early in life.  There are the rather vindictive Hispanic sounding Three Little Pigs (voiced among others by Cheech Marin).  There’s the Italian mafia like “big guy”/”gumba” (Giant) from Jack and the Beanstalk who runs a seedy club in San Francisco. 

And then there is are the German accented twins Hansel and Gretel (voices by Bill Hader and Amy Poehler) around whom the whole story comes to revolve.

I found the story creative, and yes at times very funny.  Still, I can’t help but be concerned about the use of accents in these animated stories.  I have a sister who’s name is Vera, known to us in our Czech immigrant family as Veruška (pronounced Verushka).  And ironically, she’s spent most of her life trying really, really hard to be an American.  And here’s a Verushka cast as a Slavic sounding witch ...

Then there’s Cheech Marin saying “arriba los puecos!” (Long live the pigs!) as he leads three heavily armed “little pigs” as they try to get their vengeance against the English stately sounding  “Big bad wolf” who previously tried "to blow their house down." 

The Silverster Stalone looking “gumba” Giant isn’t exactly a bright light for Italian Americans trying to get past their stereotypes. 

And even Hansel and Gretel turn out to be rather “complex.”

Honestly, how’s is one supposed to wrap one’s head around all this if one is not a WASP?

It’s funny, no doubt. But honestly, what a collection of non-Anglo-Saxon stereotypical villains ...

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