One of The Brothers Grimm's best loved fairy tales gets an overhaul using the latest in visual effects technology in this comedy-drama for the whole family. A little girl (Dakota Fanning) has a hard time getting to sleep, so her father (Daniel Roebuck) dusts off a book of children's stories and reads her one of his favorites. Hansel (Jacob Smith) and Gretel (Taylor Momsen) are two children who are being raised by their loving father (Gerald McRaney) and his shrewish second wife (Delta Burke) after the unfortunate death of their mother. When Father is forced to leave home to find work in the city, Stepmother decides this would be the perfect time to get rid of the children, and she manages to "lose" Hansel and Gretel in an enchanted forest. While the children make a valuable and magical friend in The Sandman (Howie Mandel), they also encounter a mysterious woman with a gingerbread house (Lynn Redgrave), who takes them in; however, it isn't long before they learn she's actually a witch, and has made some unorthodox dinner plans involving her young guests. Hansel & Gretel also features the voice talents of Sinbad, Bobcat Goldthwaite, and Tom Arnold as, respectively, a talking raven, a troll, and the Bogeyman.
by Mark Deming synopsis