Hoodwinked! Release Moved Up

Animation fans seeking an alternative to the product of Disney, DreamWorks and Pixar will get an early Christmas present this year as The Weinstein Co.’s Hoodwinked! arrives a bit ahead of time. Originally scheduled to hit theaters on Christmas Day, the CG-animated comedy will instead bow on Friday, Dec. 23 in select cities.

Written and directed by Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards and Tony Leech, Hoodwinked! offers a fractured fairytale treatment of the classic Brothers Grimm fable of Little Red Riding Hood. The pic centers on a band of creatures investigating a domestic disturbance at Grandma’s famous cottage. The animated players, which include a karate-kicking Red, a smart-aleck wolf, a goofy Woodsman and a thrill-seeking Granny, are voiced by the likes of Glenn Close, Jim Belushi, Anne Hathaway, Anthony Anderson and hip-hop artist Xzibit.

Through their former company, Miramax, Bob and Harvey Weinstein released the direct-to-video LEGO Bionicle movies, but Hoodwinked! is their first animated theatrical effort. The toon feature was produced by Kanbar Ent., which was founded by SKYY Vodka entrepreneur Maurice Kanbar and former Disney Animation exec Sue Bea Montgomery.

The Weinstein Co.’s first theatrical release, Derailed starring Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen, will open in theaters nationwide on November 11. Other features slated for release through the company include Robert Rodriguez’s and Frank Miller’s Sin City 2 and the fourth movie in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.