Who’s In It: Hayden Panettiere, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Joan Cusack, Glenn Close, Patrick Warburton, David Ogden Stiers, Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Brad Garrett, Martin Short, Andy Dick, David Alan Grier.
The Basics: Hot on the heels of the failed live-action Red Riding Hood and cold on the heels of its own predecessor, the now-six-years-in-the-past Hoodwinked, comes a sequel nobody was asking for. It spins little Red into a Shaolin Powerpuff Girl who teams up with her old wolf nemesis, if that’s your thing. And if your other thing is an unquenchable thirst for kid movies that keep strip-mining that Shrek hole, the one where a screenwriter grabs a pop culture moment that exists outside the film’s universe and lets an animator allow an onscreen character to acknowledge it for crazy huge laughs of recognition, then you’re going to go “ha ha” and “hee hee” and scream to yourself, “YES, I, TOO, REMEMBER FONZIE AND THE FILMS OF MARTIN SCORSESE! IT’S SO FUNNY HOW WE ALL REMEMBER THAT THOSE THINGS HAPPENED!”
What’s The Deal: I have seen Delgo and I have seen Happily N’Ever After and I have seen Alpha and Omega. In fact, I’m old school: As a kid I saw Pinocchio in Outer Space, as well as Santa and the Three Bears. I am not new to this sort of dim-witted child abuse. Those films gave me a thick armored coat of bad-kid-movie protection and nothing can hurt me. But you might not be so lucky. And everything about this shoddy pile of video game-quality garbage announces its creators’ intentions to get the money from 3D ticket surcharges right away instead of waiting for it to slowly gather its investment capital back as a straight-to-DVD throwaway. Which is what it is. If your little ones are clamoring for this then make them wait for cable. Instead you should take them to a library, check out some books, teach them to read and put the cash you save in their college tuition fund. They’ll thank you later.
Besides The Occasional Emphasis On Delicious Baked Treats, Here’s What’s Not Miserable: Amy Poehler and Bill Hader as the voices of Gretel and Hansel, respectively. They go wild with the German accents, so that’s funny. Eventually someone with time to kill will compile their best moments into a copyright infringing video clip. It’ll get posted online and no one will bother to have it taken down.
There’s Always Rio: If you reject my library suggestion and are still dead set on picking between animated features, then choose wisely. Even if you’ve already seen it. It’s Pixar quality compared to this thing.