Woody Woodpecker review by Bobby Blakey
There have been many attempts at bringing classic cartoons and childrens books to life, but for every successful one like Paddington you end up with more like Underdog and Garfield. The latest getting the treatment is one of my favorites Woody Woodpecker starring Timothy Omundson, Thaila Ayala, Graham Verchere, and Eric Bauzan as Woody. Is there any way this film could deliver the mad hijinx of the character or should it have stayed lost in the woods?
Woody Woodpecker follows the hyperactive red-headed bird who enters a turf war with a big city lawyer wanting to tear down his home in an effort to build a house to flip. For those that didn’t know this film was even in production it was because despite it being an English production it was more focused for Brazil where the character is still massively popular, but that doesn’t help the numerous problems. I so wanted this film to work despite assuming it likely wouldn’t from the trailer. The look of Woody and even his voice and mannerisms are spot on, but there seemed to be no effort to make him blend in with the real world.
The story and performances are all generic and predictable as expected for a film like this geared towards the younger audience, but I was hoping it would have a bit more clever way of blending the two worlds together. The CGI of Woody would be perfection had this been a completed animated feature, but there is never a scene in this film where you feel they belong together. There are a few laughs here and there, but sadly I never could get passed the lack of fusion between the two worlds here and in turn just made the film fall flat for me.
While this film was meant to bring the nostalgia of the old school fans it was clear that this film was made for the new generation of kids to enjoy. They hit every silly over the top chaotic beat you might expect that will no doubt keep young kids laughing, but have the old school fans likely disappointed. Decide for yourself and grab your copy of Woody Woodpecker when it flies on Digital, On Demand and DVD on February 6th from Universal Home Entertainment.