Over the Hedge (2006)

PG   |    |  Animation, Adventure, Comedy


Over the Hedge (2006) Poster

A scheming raccoon fools a mismatched family of forest creatures into helping him repay a debt of food, by invading the new suburban sprawl that popped up while they were hibernating...and learns a lesson about family himself.

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6.7/10
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  • Wanda Sykes in Over the Hedge (2006)
  • Steve Carell in Over the Hedge (2006)
  • Omid Djalili and Wanda Sykes in Over the Hedge (2006)
  • Shane Baumel and Mikaila Baumel at an event for Over the Hedge (2006)
  • Ben Folds in Over the Hedge (2006)
  • Nick Nolte in Over the Hedge (2006)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


25 May 2006 | DonFishies
8
| An enjoyable film with a bit of everything for everyone
Unbeknowist to me, Over the Hedge is based on a comic strip. I've never seen it, but I can only imagine that it would be just as good as the film, if not better. And while it's not an astonishment, I can say that Hedge is genuinely enjoyable, and great fun for everyone.

R.J. (Bruce Willis) is a hungry raccoon, who just happens to make the mistake of his life when he tries to steal the huge supply of food that Vincent (Nick Nolte), a bear, has stored during his winter hibernation. Vincent is obviously upset, but he gives R.J. a week to collect all the food and everything that went with it, or he'll eat him. So as R.J. sets out, he comes across a new suburban area, filled with food and all of the things he needs. In the neighbouring forest, he finds a "family" of animals, lead by Verne the turtle (Garry Shandling). They are all searching for food as well, so R.J. helps teach them things about the human world that they are unaware of, and sets out to get the food he needs.

Of course, this is the main premise of the film, but it takes a few turns as all animated films do. And like many animated films before it, it has a great message, and is great for kids and adults. The film is packed with light laughs for children, and then the even bigger laughs for the adults. At the heart of the film, it's all basically about the effects of living/creating suburbia, and abusing consumerism. While it only touches on being satirical in this sense, it does offer the usual pop culture references, and many others too. And luckily, it was saved from the obligatory song and dance number that plagues other animated films.

The story is well written, but feels very brisk. It starts, it continues for a bit, and then it ends. It is not as short as some films, but you can't help but wonder what more could have been done if they had a little more running time. It is a much stronger film than other Dreamworks titles like Madagascar and Shark Tale, and really seems like it can stand next to the likes of Shrek 1 and 2.

The voice acting is all top-notch, from Willis' take no-nonsense raccoon, to the sadly missed Shandling as a neurotic turtle. Steve Carrell also stands out as the absolutely insane Hammy the squirrel, as does William Shatner as Ozzie the possum. As I had read before seeing the film, Shatner does an absolutely fabulous job playing possum. I couldn't stop laughing any time his character did something, it's just that great. The rest of the voice cast, from Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara as parents of hedgehogs, to Wanda Sykes as a skunk, to Thomas Hayden Church as an exterminator, to Nick Nolte as Vincent the bear, all are great and well suited for their roles. They all have quite a bit of screen time, and none feel over-used at all (unlike Madagascar's blatant overuse of Ben Stiller and no one else). Of course, the random inclusion of Avril Lavinge as Shatner's daughter Heather was a little bizarre, you can see that she is at least making an attempt at voice acting here.

And as usual, the animation is excellent. While not being a total improvement from the likes of other Dreamworks films, the advancements are still very noticeable. The grass, the fur, the emotions and gestures, all of them are perfectly captured, and look gorgeous on film. All the colours are great too.

It's a funny movie, and a fabulous cast. It's one of the better animated films of the last few months.

8/10.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second animated film of 2006 to star William Shatner (Ozzie the Opossum) and Eugene Levy (Lou the Porcupine), and the first animated film of the same year to star Wanda Sykes (Stella the Skunk) and Catherine O'Hara (Penny the Porcupine). Shatner's first one, being The Wild (2006), that released a month prior, and Levy's first one being Curious George (2006), that also released a month prior. Sykes later would be in Brother Bear 2 (2006), and Barnyard (2006), (the former of which is not theatrical, and is traditionally animated), which both released three months after Over the Hedge (2006), and O'Hara would later be in Monster House (2006), Brother Bear 2 (2006) (with Sykes), and Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses (2006) (only the former of which was theatrical), which all released between July and November later that year.


Quotes

RJ: No! Come on!


Goofs

(at around 1h) When Heather gets kicked down the stairs by Gladys, Gladys has a coffee cup in one of her hands. However, when Gladys walks halfway down the stairs, she's not holding a coffee cup.


Crazy Credits

Characters from the movie appear repeatedly during the closing credits, with the hedge as a background. Sometimes the characters perform actions that match the credits currently in display. For example, Stella sprays the screen when the effects credits appear; and during the lighting crew credits, some of the characters appear unlit (rendered in plain white), then a light flashes and they appear in full color. Halfway through the credits, there is an audio only scene in which R.J. introduces the others to television.


Soundtracks

Lost in the Supermarket
Written by
Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, & Topper Headon
Performed by Ben Folds
Ben Folds recordings used courtesy of Epic Records

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Animation | Adventure | Comedy | Family | Fantasy

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