The Eye Of The Beholder
Audiences have a wide variety of reactions to “Hoodwinked.” Everyone has a different favorite character or joke. But some people even see a different moral to the story. This is ironic and even poignant, since this is a story about varied observations of the exact same event.
One of the most unusual observations has come from an editorial I just read on a site called Associated Content. The journalist, Timothy Sexton, found our film to be an incredibly subversive statement on big business. He writes:
“When it’s finally revealed who the true villain of the film is, that character takes on all the attributes of the exploitation capitalist business owner that American media have turned into folk heroes, but who are in reality the worst kind of villain.
Proponents of capitalism love to point out that their system is preferable to communist systems because in a free enterprise system you have competition. Competition is what drives innovation and keeps prices reasonable. Except, of course, every capitalist owner wants nothing more than to create a monopoly. You see it every day: one big company buying up another company.”
He goes on to write about how, CLEARLY, the film’s creators wanted to show how evil capitalism can become:
“Hoodwinked turns from a movie that questions the validity of absolute truth into a movie that maintains an absolute truth: capitalism that runs amok without regulation is detrimental to society. The great hype that free enterprise as a system engenders competition and innovation is a lie and the villain of Hoodwinked is the personification of that truth.”
Whoa. Did we say all that? Kind of, I guess. We just thought it was a pretty convenient evil scheme we’d seen in most James Bond movies and Bugs Bunny cartoons. The big power-hungry guy always wants to shut down the little guys and run them out of business. Come to think of it, that’s also the plot of every single episode of “The A-Team.”
If Mr. Sexton sees my movie as a sermon against mega-corporations monopolizing America, that’s fine. But our villain is just as easily the face of every dictator in history, or every schoolyard bully who is compensating for low self-esteem, or any Mafia boss who dominates by either absorbing or wiping out his competition. Hey, if you look at an abstract painting and see the devil in a red splotch, that’s your prerogative. That’s what’s so cool about art when it’s put in front of an audience.
Then Sexton gives us the grand-daddy of all proclamations:
“Hoodwinked, that silly little cartoon about Little Red Riding Hood, turns out to be the most subversive movie released nationwide since Fahrenheit 9/11.”
Wow! Put that on the posters! I guess a movie’s message is only partially supplied by the filmmaker. The other part is what you take with you into the theater. As our frog detective Nicky Flippers says, “If a tree falls in the forest, you get three stories: yours, mine and the tree’s.” So I guess I’m proud to be seen as such a subversive filmmaker, even if I never knew I was.
Hey, don’t look at me. I’m just the tree.