Woody Woodpecker
Directed by: Alex Zamm
Written by: Alex Zamm, William Robertson
Starring: Timothy Omundson, Thaila Ayala, Eric Bauza, Graham Verchere

Review by Stephanie Cooke

I’m sitting here on my couch in a stupor of sickness with the case for Woody Woodpecker in my hands. I have so many questions going through my head at the moment like: When did this movie get made? How did it fly under the radar like this (no pun intended)? Who asked for this movie? Who let this happen? Why am I the one that has to review this?

As you can tell, I’m basically having a for real crisis. But seriously: who out there was like “You know what the youths need? A WOODY WOODPECKER LIVE-ACTION MOVIE!”

Who did this?

Literally the only saving grace for this film as I stare at the cover is that Timothy Omundson – the apple of my eye from the criminally under appreciated series, Galavant – stars in this… along with other people that I’ve never heard of; Thaila Ayala, Graham Verchere, and as the voice of Woody Wood-please-peck-my-ear-drums-out is Eric Bauza.

Seriously why is this happening to me.

The film starts with Woody messing with some hillbilly poachers in the woods in what I assume is like, I don’t know… Minnesota or maybe Portland. Who knows. The point is that it all happens in a place where I didn’t realize poaching was a thing.

The fourth wall is immediately broken by Woody who explains to us how much fun it’s going to be to get them out of his forest. The hillbillies immediately resort to gun violence which Woody shrugs off unflinchingly. Which… I mean… bro, kids should be very afraid of guns. Gun violence is a for real and scary thing.

Turns out they only have tranquilizer darts and everything is mostly fine. Clearly guns aren’t a horrifying and for real threat in America if they don’t have bullets, I guess. The hunters shoot themselves and Woody is very pleased with himself.

Again— why is this happening to me. A question that I have asked so many times already that I’m losing count.

OH LOOK, it turns out the film takes place in Seattle! I was pretty close with the Portland thing.

Seattle: where poaching is a problem. Seems legit.

Okay… I can’t possibly keep up with the film like this bit by bit. I have a lot of cold meds in my system and I can’t drink and watch this soooooo…

Oh no. Oh no oh no oh no. Timothy Omundson just said:

“Since when do we need to be so overly concerned with the rights of wildlife. Wildlife don’t vote! Wildlife don’t pay taxes. Big oil creates big jobs. When was the last time you saw a bear create a job?”

I smell a character arc coming up… either that or a really flimsy villain.

Oh wait… we’re back to the poachers. I guess they’re the villains which means that yep, Omundson’s character is going to learn a lesson about wildlife. The poachers are looking up photos of woodpeckers on their computer. Real photos and not CGI. They’re trying to identify what kind of bird Woody is when they come across a photo of a Pileated Red-Crowned Woodpecker and BY GOLLY, Woody’s picture is up there. Amongst the real photos of real birds.

OH MY GOD. The bird database that the poachers are looking at is a BLACK MARKET AUCTION BIRD REFERENCE SITE. Whyyyyyy Jesus, whyyyyyyyyyy. Apparently “the last known bird of this kind was allegedly sold at a black market auction for USD $500,000”.

Good thing this black market bird site exists for these west coast poachers.

Honestly you guys— I can’t tell anymore if I’m just sick and on too many cold meds or if this is all actually happening and somebody wrote this.

As a sidebar, Thaila Ayala is terrible in this but she looks REMARKABLY like Mallory Jansen (also from Galavant or you may remember her from Agents of SHIELD) and it keeps weirding me out. Again, this might be the cold meds. She just said “I’m not a kid person. Even when I was a kid.”

Please send help. S-O-S.

Omundson and family have ended up in the woods now post-losing his job. He’s decided to build and flip a house in the woods on a beautiful piece of property close to the Canadian border. Of course, this is where Woody Woodpecker lives so you can imagine where this is going.


Okay turns out that the poachers in the area are specifically BIRD POACHERS. Which I didn’t realize was a thing. Is that a thing?

I went and did some stuff around my living room while watching Woody Woodpecker in the background and focused back in on the film just in time for a whole scene of woodpecker farts. Woody farting while doing his trademark laugh. Oh my god. Please make it stop. How am I only 17 minutes into this now.

I’m tapping out. Reviewing this play by play style is actually killing my very soul. Or what’s left of it…

I think it’s safe to say that this movie will be the bane of your existence if you’re watching it without a child to please. Woody Woodpecker is, uh, a thing that happened in 2017, I guess and despite having Timothy Omundson in it, this could not be salvaged for me. I’m a pretty big advocate for nature and wildlife etc. and even I was on Timothy Omundson’s side for most of this film. Woody Woodpecker is beyond irritating in every single capacity and I wanted all parties to cease to exist.

And the sum up the rest of the film… Omundson learns a lesson, the poachers don’t win at life, kids are terrible to each other, and CGI animals are the worst.

Woody Woodpecker DVD Special Features:

  • Guess Who? The Evolution of Woody
  • The Making of Woody Woodpecker
  • Working with Woody

I mean… do I even really need to tell you what I thought again? This is a silly enough film for kids (but burn it quickly after the first watch so it doesn’t become a household favourite) but for anyone else, run for the hills.

Woody Woodpecker worked as a cartoon way back in the day but it doesn’t do a good job of being a modern Fern Gully for the youths. It has some positive messages worked in, I guess? But it’s worked in amongst a lot of annoying other stuff.

Stephanie Cooke
Stephanie is a Toronto based writer and editor. She's a comic book fan, avid gamer, movie watcher, lover of music, and sarcasm. She is a purveyor of too many projects and has done work for Talking Comics, JoBlo.com, Agents of Geek, Word of the Nerd, C&G Magazine, Dork Shelf, and more. Her writing credits include "Home Sweet Huck" (Mark Millar's Millarworld Annual 2017), "Lungarella (Secret Loves of Geek Girls, 2016), "Behind Enemy Linens" (BLOCKED Anthology, 2017), "Home and Country" (Toronto Comics Anthology, 2017) and more to come. You can read more about her shenanigans over on her <a href="http://www.stephaniecooke.ca">personal web site</a>.

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