Shawn got Hoodwinked 2 which caused us to go back and watch Hoodwinked. Although the movies have many similarities to the Shrek movies, I think they stand on their own very well.
In Hoodwinked, the classic story of "Little Red Riding Hood" is re-examined from the viewpoint of each character in turn: Red, the wolf, Red's grandmother, and the woodcutter. Related to the classic scenario, is the mystery of the "goody theif." It's more fun to watch the narratives unfold by themselves, so I won't spoil that, but the movie admirably shows how, as one character puts it, "If a tree falls in the forest there will be three stories: yours, mine, and the tree's."
Hoodwinked 2 took on the story of "Hansel and Gretel," mainly from the perspective of our main characters from Hoodwinked as they get involved in the "Hansel and Gretel Story. while Hoodwinked 2 does not look as in-depth into the fairy tale as Hoodwinked, it still produces some very satisfying twists. The main message of Hoodwinked 2 is summed up when Red's grandmother tells her, "A person can never really fail unless they give up." The temerity to keep trying even when things are going badly is a character trait that is badly needed among the children of this youngest generation, and even among the young people of my own generation. I have seen too many of them give up at the first sign or hint of failure as though everything should just be handed to them, and despite continuous protestations that their goals are so very important to them. I strongly believe that this tendency to give up is because members of my generation and below get discouraged when our goals aren't as easy to attain as as they seem to be "in the movies." The fact that a movie is addressing this issue is both amusing and heartening.
In addition to many references to other fairy tales, these movies give subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) nods to The Village People, XXX, Kill Bill, Terminator, Lassie, Starsky and Hutch, Don Quixote, Peanuts, Silence of the Lambs, Entrapment, Mission Impossible, Star Wars, and several others that I failed to either recognize or name. Despite this inundation of references, Hoodwinked and Hoodwinked 2 are a great pair of movies which stand well on their own story-telling merit.