As one-third of the writing and directing team of the sleeper hit animated film, "Hoodwinked" (2005), Cory Edwards, along with brother Todd Edwards and friend Tony Leech, scratched and clawed their wa...
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|Hoodwinked||Actor||Voice of Twitchy||1|
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Born Aug. 21, 1968, Edwards and his brother Todd were raised in Columbus, OH. Deep in the Midwest, both siblings shared a deep love of movies and animation, going so far as to make their own films using the limited technology of the time, Super 8 film. Undaunted by the challenges of the medium, they filmed their own sci-fi and fantasy epics with titles like "The Adventures of Captain Lightning." In high school, Edwards was fortunate enough to find summer work at an animation production company. After completing college, he landed a job at a production house in Tulsa, OK, where he worked on music videos and industrial films. While the younger Todd was still back home, Edwards met and became fast friends with fellow Midwesterner Tony Leech, a kindred spirit whom both Cory and Todd would follow to Los Angeles a few years later.
Once in L.A., Edwards dabbled in stand-up comedy and animation, but worked retail in order to pay the bills; both Todd and Leech worked similar odd jobs to make ends meet. Eventually, the frustrated trio decided to take matters into their own hands and teamed up to make a live-action film, "Chillicothe," (1999), which focused on a group of men trying to transition from college life to real life. The film earned a spot at the Sundance Film Festival and caught the eye of a San Francisco investor, Maurice Kanbar, who later agreed to finance their first animated feature, a retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" that took the form of a police procedural and contained a "Rashamon"-like twist. But Kanbar quickly realized he did not have the financial power or influence to distribute the film on his own, so he brought the film to the attention of the newly-formed Weinstein Company, which agreed to buy the movie. The result was "Hoodwinked!" (2005), a fairy tale comedy that featured Anne Hathaway as Red Puckett, Glenn Close as Granny Puckett and Patrick Warburton as Wolf W. Wolf.
The first computer-animated film to be fully funded outside the studio system, "Hoodwinked!" taxed the Edwards brothers and Leech to their limits, though in the end they encouraged others to try the same route. Though released to mixed reviews, the film was a financial hit after making over $110 million at the box office. While the trio was making the film, Edward appeared as the host of the ESPN2 television series, "K9 Nation" (2004), while he also provided additional voices on the animated "Doogal" (2006). Meanwhile, the Edwards brothers and Leech wrote the script and voiced characters for the sequel, "Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil" (2011), which depicted Little Red Riding Hood (Hayden Panetierre) joining forces with detective Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers) to find the missing Hansel (Bill Hader) and Gretel (Amy Poehler). Despite being a sequel to their debut, the film was not directed by Edwards and was subsequently savaged by critics while becoming a box office failure. Moving on, the Edwards brothers and Leech wrote their next animated film for the Weinsteins, "Escape from Planet Earth" (2013).
By Shawn Dwyer
From classic movie palaces to the state-of-the-art IMAX screens.