Over The Hedge

Over The Hedge

(2006)

A DreamWorks animated feature (Antz, Shrek, Madagascar) about a group of forest critters coping with encroaching suburbia. Raccoon conman RJ (Willis) is in a pickle. He has one week to fill a grizzly bears cave with purloined human goods or he’s breakfast. Early in his mission RJ meets Verne the tortoise (Shandling). Verne is the cautious leader of a family of critters (possums, squirrels, hedgehogs etc), who have all just awoke from hibernation to find themselves no longer in their beloved forest – but amidst a freshly built subdivision.... More

Taking advantage of the critters’ naivety, RJ coaxes them into helping him gather goodies. Verne resists, but the temptation of human treats proves too great – they follow RJ into suburban trashcans, and into danger.Hide

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Flicks Review

The best animated film of the year, so far, is DreamWorks' incessant & giggle inducing 'Over The Hedge'. Most striking is its unspoken mantra of fun over morals - it has old fashioned cartoon violence, genuine comedy and a full scope of life's characters.

RJ (Willis) is a street-wise racoon who lands himself in trouble with a bear. Indebted to the tune of a year's worth of food & candy supplies. Meanwhile, a group of forest critters awake from their hibernation and find their habitat enclosed by a mysterious hedge (hibernation = genius). During the season long time-out the suburban spread has surrounded them - leaving only a little square of forest left. Beyond the hedge are disgusting humans and their kitset homes.

Desperate, RJ plops down on the gang and announces the wonders of candy, cookies and food-scraps found just over that hedge. The gang eventually come around to the idea, and accepts RJ as their new leader - to teach them how to live in this new world (much to the frustration of the former leader, Verne the Tortoise). RJ of course is just trying to find the man power to help him get all he owes.

Animated films these days are so cheese laden with the story's moral. It's served on a platter, you're made to eat it, and the children see it coming. They find it the most boring part too. Don't under-estimate the children. And they're too sappy. Too soft. Kid's like violent slapstick. That's what's funny. Better when repeated - not just hit once, twice or thrice.

Here 'Over The Hedge' (like its DreamWorks predecessors 'Antz', 'Shrek', 'Madagascar') stands apart. The morals are there alright, but it's t second billing. For instance the subject of encroaching suburbia on these poor buggers habitat is really just a plot device. Because it's not dwelt on, its effect is stronger. The critters don't care how it's happening; they're just trying to survive.

The cast of characters are charmingly drawn and complete with insecurities and foibles - as well as kind folk there are morons, evil-doers, the misunderstood, schemers & liars.

Steve Carell does the stand out voice work. You know it's good when you forget the celebrity. With RJ you hear Bruce Willis, like the donkey in Shrek - all I could see was Eddie Murphy standing in front of a microphone. Carell's helped also by a fine character in Hammy the squirrel. Naturally over-excitable, and easily distracted, Hammy provides the biggest laughs as the team try to contain him.

A scene when Hammy drinks an energy drink is particularly genius. The effect of the caffeine is over powering, and seen from Hammy's now million miles an hour perspective - the world slows right down, and our earnest friend strolls about a backyard in the time it takes the other animals to sit down.

Do the kids a favour.


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 9 ratings, 7 reviews
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its a great movie


Couldnt quite get the start of this movie. For a few minutes there I wondered if it was one of those short intro cartoons they sometimes have at the beginning of these movies!! Maybe that was just me being blonde! Who knows!
Overall a good movie, enjoyed the charachters and had a laugh or two, just what I needed.


Very cool. Perfect for kids and the parents - I agree, the best animated film in years. We laughed our pants off.


I really think this movie was aimed at five year olds. I was saddened that I had bothered to see it, very disappointing.


Best kids movie I have seen in a couple of years and my 6 yr old daughter loved it too. A really od laugh:)


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The Press Reviews

  • BBC

    While the stunt casting of Avril Lavigne as Shatner's daughter results in the blandest vocal performance since Brad Pitt's in Sinbad. Thank goodness then for Steve Carell's hyperactive squirrel Hammy, easily the funniest and most appealing critter in this particular forest... Full Review

  • Not at the level of "Finding Nemo" or "Shrek," but is a lot of fun, awfully nice to look at, and filled with energy and smiles... Full Review

  • You’ll soon be sick of digital furballs, but there’s plenty of fun here — and Hammy is up there with Ice Age’s Scrat in the pantheon of lunatic movie rodents... Full Review

  • Aside from having some great animation, the writing is funny and clever... Full Review

  • A backyard ecological comedy outfitted with some fine, silly slapstick and clever animal characters. This one is aimed more at a younger audience than, say, "Shrek" but has plenty of entertainment value for older family members... Full Review

  • Amid the cutesy topical references, the film includes throwback violence (plainly inspired by the work of Warner Bros. and the great Chuck Jones), lunatic and incessant... Full Review

  • A raucous, funny and fresh look at the 3 C's: conservation, consumerism and consumption (of the excessive and conspicuous kind)... Full Review

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