The "audience" for our dvd viewing was a mix of people, ages 12 to 94. (Yes, you read that right. Leona's Great-Grandmother who is 94 was in the room watching the movie with us.) Kind of fun watching a movie that includes a cool granny with two grannies in the room.
Anyway, as we watched the movie, the "impromtu reviews" from the family assembled ranged from "I've never seen anything like that before" to "that was hilarious" to "can we watch the billy goat scene again?"
I was actually kind of surprised by how much I liked this movie. It has received a variety of mixed reviews since its debut, but I believe that any negative reviews came from people who must have missed the point. The overwhelming majority of reviews since the dvd has come out have been very positive.
The animation has a "storybook" look to it rather than an overly slick "cgi" look to it, which was perfect for the story. And although the movie has been compared to "Shrek" in how it plays off of the fairy tale/story book genre, I felt that "Hoodwinked" was really a different animal all together.
A few things I liked about it:
- It has a great premise. (Great lesson on why appearances can be deceiving. Things are truly not what they seem most of the time)
- It was clean. (No need to worry about kids repeating cursing cartoon characters.)
- It had a great sense of comic timing. (The director has much to do with that - keep reading)
- It has some unexpected "genre bending" moments (The scene where the wolf walks in slow motion past Red as they exchange glances to the sound of the thumping soundtrack cracked me up.)
- "An avalanche is coming and I do not feel prepared" (Gotta see it to understand.)
- It was creative, clever, slightly complex in the overlap of the stories, and it had great lines.
- I can recommend it as a good family flick that will crack up the parents as well as the kids.
After our visiting company departed, Leona, the kids and I watched the special features on the dvd. That's when I made an interesting discovery.
When I saw the "guy behind the movie" I said, "Wait a minute. That's Cory...Cory... um, what's his last name? Edwards. Yeah, that's him." I then refreshed the memory of my family by saying, "Grimmace? What is he? What product does he represent?!"" and "Crack that corn, Jimmy! We care! We care!" - All lines from Cory's standup comedy routine from a while back that they recognized immediately.
Some time ago, we had seen Cory's video preview on Outreachcomedy.com, and it just cracked us up. You can still read his bio and see the video of some of his comedy here.
Cory is a preacher's kid and Christ follower who is creating great stuff in the marketplace of the entertainment world. "In the world but not of it," while being "salt and light" in bland and dark places. I love everything about that.
I do not know him (and I hope he stays immune to the temptations and struggles of the industry he is working in) but guys like Cory Ewards are inspiring to me.
I think it would be cool to see a film making/art/writing/music school develop out of Compass Church, eventually. Where the best artists, musicians, authors and filmakers in the world trace their roots back to a church with a heart for Christ and a big vision for impacting the world...
Go rent or buy "Hoodwinked," and check out Cory's blog here.