- Directed by Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick (his feature directorial debut)
- April 30, 2006 (Los Angeles) / May 19, 2006 (US)
- Based on the comic strip Over the Hedge by Michael Fry and T. Lewis
- RJ-Bruce Willis
- Verne-Garry Shandling
- Hammy-Steve Carell
- Stella-Wanda Sykes
- Ozzie-William Shatner
- Heather-Avril Lavigne
- Lou-Eugene Levy
- Penny-Catherine O’Hara
- Spike-Shane Baumel
- Bucky-Sami Kirkpatrick
- Quillo-Madison Davenport
- Gladys Sharp-Allison Janney
- Dwayne “Verminator” LaFontant-Thomas Haden Church
- Vincent-Nick Nolte
- Prince Tigerius Mahmoud Shabazz (or just “Tiger”)-Omid Djalili
- Nugent-Brian Stepanek
A raccoon must find replacements food for he stole from a bear and manipulates a group of animals that have recently awakened from hibernation in order to speed up the process.
Over the Hedge is a fun bit of CGI animation from DreamWorks that they released back in the day. It’s surprisingly entertaining though the only really strong laughs for me came in the finale and I’ll get to that at some point here. The story itself follows a pretty standard and oft used formula of a self-centered con artist tricking people into helping him out of a severe jam before realizing he has a family, gaining a heart, and regretting what he’s doing.
It’s pretty well-worn territory but just because of that does not mean it’s a bad movie. A lack of originality it’s not necessarily a problem. The problem in such situations only comes with presentation and is fine. They do a nice job here with the jokes as well as a slight skewering of suburban development and its encroachment on nature. The commentary is not heavy but notable.
Some of my favorite moments come from the father/daughter opossum duo. It takes on a weird dynamic that is only normal if you are family. Those oddities that are odd to outsiders but not to family members is what I am talking about. It is just sweet and cute.
That is not to say the dynamic between RJ and Verne is bad but what happened between Ozzie and Heather stole the show. RJ and Verne they are opposites but not so different that you can understand why Verne distrusts him. It is a weakness that they were not further apart. They are entertaining as well however I just enjoyed the opossums better.
Over the Hedge is one of the family friendly films that doesn’t talk down to the audience. Kids will like the visuals and the crazy situations that the characters repeatedly find themselves and adults will get most if not all humor and the more mature things.
While the film is entertaining it just went bonkers with the finale. By the closing minutes of the film an exterminator has been called in to deal with the local animals who were robbing the suburbanites blind of whatever food they can get. In this film there’s a very manic hyperactive squirrel named Hammy that is part of this eclectic group and the characters had spent a good chunk of the film keeping energy drinks away from him but being the finale, they do not.
It was absolutely hilarious because he’s so wired on the energy drink that for him everyone else stops moving and he’s just casually walking around. It’s just a fun little play on the idea of being jacked up on caffeine. What really sells the scene is that he is a normal character there and not manic at all. And then Vincent the bear comes in and it’s just a silly chasing involving GPS and miscommunication with individuals getting arrested for illegal animal traps and so on.
Aside from the romantic subplot involving Stella and Tiger, this film just works well. That moment felt forced and rather heavy handed. It was like somebody tossed it in to an already completed script. Neither character was developed enough to make the connecting of the two make sense.
That gripe aside, Over the Hedge has some good laughs and it’s just entertaining. Your kids will like it and you will too. This is definitely recommended for family viewing and perhaps even solo viewing!