Hoodwinked vs. Happily N'ever After: Part 1

To celebrate the fact that one of my favorite animated movies of all-time has come onto Netflix again (Hoodwinked Too! Hood versus Evil), I’m going to write one of the most necessary multi-part articles to ever be written. For those of you who don’t know, around the same time (2005/2006) two very similar animated movies came out. They were Hoodwinked! and Happily N’ever After. As a child, I loved both of these movies dearly, and I thought that the only movie better than these was Beauty and the Beast (which is still completely true, don’t come at me). However, after a few years of not watching Happily N’ever After because it wasn’t on Netflix and my laptop can’t play DVDs, I had the chance to re-watch it a few months ago. I was blown away by how bad it was; it was nothing like the adorable, funny movie I remembered. Then, I rewatched Hoodwinked! as I do every month or so, and I realized that these two movies are eerily similar. In this essay I’m going to - I’m kidding, but I am going to educate you fine people about just how similar these animated classics are, and yet how the same things make Happily N’ever After a bad movie and Hoodwinked! a great movie.

1. They’re both based on fairytales

Happily N’ever After is a remake of Cinderella, complete with the fairy godmother, evil stepmother, and Prince Charming. And this isn’t a bad thing, there have been numerous remakes of Cinderella, so it would make sense for this one to be popular (which it wasn’t, but whatever). However, even as it diverges from the original story and attempts to make a statement about women saving themselves, it falls flat. The characters are very stereotypical, and to my disappointment, Cinderella somehow saves the day and gives her love interest all the credit, and proceeds to marry him even though she was frustrated the entire movie about having to follow her fairytale by the book.

Now, Hoodwinked is a story that follows the same characters as Little Red Riding Hood; Little Red, her granny, the wolf, and the lumberjack. However, in this story, the wolf is a reporter trying to find the person who’s been stealing goodie recipes from the animals in the forest, and for a while, he believed it was Little Red and her Granny. Where this movie differentiates itself from the fairy tale is what makes it spectacular. The movie is primarily told in flashbacks of the day leading up to the police investigation they are all a part of, and in this way, we get a backstory to these characters, and they’re completely unlike what you would expect.

And don’t even get me started on the squirrel, I freaking love Twitchy, and he was an excellent character to add in this movie.

2. Both movies include singing

Now, this might not seem strange as many... MANY animated movies have singing. This is different. Happily N’ever After really only has one song, and while I loved the song as a kid, it’s lost something over the years. The song is sung by Cinderella and her friend, and it’s about whether they want the ability to choose their destiny, or if it would be better to let the story play out as it always does. The movie also includes a bit of the Monster Mash, but it’s just during some dancing. I feel like if the movie creators wanted to include singing, then there should be more than one song, and if they only wanted one song, then it would have to be spectacular. It’s not, so it reflects pretty badly on the movie.

On the other hand, Hoodwinked has some bops! The first song is sung by Red, and it’s about how she wants to leave the forest, and there are some dancing hedgehogs. It’s great. There’s also a whole character that is a goat who has been cursed to sing everything he says, and he’s the best character! His song is about being prepared, and it is extremely catchy. Then there’s the song that plays when Granny talks about her skiing competition (yeah, Granny is bad*ss). That one is such a bop I can’t even explain. Then there are other songs, including one the bad guy puts on when Red finds him, and it’s a complete theatrical performance that everyone should witness. Also, the song that plays during the credits is amazing, it's a rap that goes back over everything that happened during the movie. It is one of the best songs I've ever heard. Needless to say, Hoodwinked is amazing, and the songs will leave you happy and entertained forever.

These are just two points of similarity I've found in Hoodwinked and Happily N'ever After. Since Hoodwinked Too! is now also on Netflix, I encourage everyone to watch both the first and the second one. You don't need to worry about Happily N'ever After, it's not worth your time. Next week I'll be talking about some more similarities between these animated movies, and let me tell you, it's all great.