|Over the Hedge|
Over the Hedge poster
|Directed by||Tim Johnson
|Produced by||Bonnie Arnold
|Written by||Len Blum
|Music by||Rupert Gregson-Williams
|Editing by||John K. Carr|
Pacific Data Images
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release date(s)||May 19, 2006|
|Running time||83 minutes|
Over the Hedge is a 2006 computer animated film based on the characters from United Media comic strip of the same name. Directed by Tim Johnson , Karey Kirkpatrick and produced by Bonnie Arnold, it was released in the United States on May 19, 2006. The film was released by DreamWorks Animation and distributed through Paramount Pictures. The film features the voices of Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, William Shatner, Wanda Sykes, Nick Nolte, and Avril Lavigne.
RJ the Raccoon, while foraging for food, encounters the hibernating bear, Vincent, and his large cache of food. RJ tries to steal it, but instead causes the food to be crushed in traffic on a nearby road when a truck crashes into it. Vincent threatens to kill RJ, but RJ quickly promises to replace Vincent's foodstocks within the week, when Vincent is fully awake from his hibernation. RJ discovers a nearby human suburban community, an optimal source for his task, and encounters a group of woodland creatures that have just woken up from their own hibernation in the only undeveloped forest that remains surrounded by the community (the urbanization was erected while in their sleep). The group is led by Verne the box turtle, and includes the hyperactive squirrel Hammy, Stella the skunk, father and daughter opossums Ozzie and Heather, and a family of porcupines, Lou and Penny and their children Spike, Bucky, and Quillo. The animals quickly find that a large hedge was put in place while they were sleeping to separate them from the rest of the human development, and are afraid to venture on the other side.
RJ uses the opportunity to introduce himself to the group and explain that they could have better food by scavenging off the humans. Though Verne is wary of RJ's plans and believes he may be using them, the group of animals quickly find that RJ is right, and begin raiding the human development repeatedly for food. The disappearance of food does not go unnoticed, and the development homeowner association president, Gladys Sharp, calls in the help of a pest control specialist, Dwayne LaFontant, aka "The Verminator", who installs an overpowered extermination system in her backyard while trying to track down all the animals in the world. Despite close calls with Dwayne, the group of animals continues to gather food from the humans, RJ secretly making sure the food collected will replace Vincent's stock exactly. RJ is brought in as part of the pack's extended family, making him feel guilty about hiding his true intent from them. When RJ tries to approach Verne about it, RJ cannot help but lie about the situation. Verne then tries to return everything back to the humans, but due to being chased by a playful rottweiler called Nugent and coming in contact with propane, all the food is destroyed.
A final raid planned by RJ before Vincent's deadline involves invading Gladys' home, which requires for someone to disarm her pest destroying security system that she bought from the Verminator, who says "it is illegal in every state, except Texas." Before they do that, they need to get someone to distract her persian cat, Tiger; Stella is quickly groomed to look like a cat to draw Tiger's attention away. Though they are able to collect most of the food in the kitchen RJ, inadvertently reveals the truth to Verne as he tries to get a can of Spuddies, which are Vincent's favorites. During their argument, RJ tells the truth about using them to get food for Vincent, and that "if these Spuddies aren't on the menu, [he] will be." The animals are soon discovered by Gladys and Dwayne, and though RJ gets away, the other animals are all captured. RJ takes the food to Vincent, but upon seeing the other animals captured, uses the food to stop Dwayne's van and knock the human unconscious, allowing RJ to free the animals. After apologizing for using the group to his own ends, RJ helps the others drive the van back to the forest, chased by Vincent who floated on balloons, a jester and a knight on a horse. The animals try to take shelter in the hedge, with Vincent trying to claw them out from one side, and Dwayne trying to shock them with a Cattle prod and Gladys trying to use a weedwhacker on them from the other side. RJ and Verne come up with a plan to give Hammy an energy drink, which makes him move at light speed and slow time. This allows him to safely activate the extermination traps while RJ uses himself as bait to lure Vincent into Gladys' backyard (and surprisingly lives because of Verne's shell). Vincent, Gladys, and Dwayne are momentarily confused just before they are seriously injured by the extermination system. Animal control is called to take Vincent to a nature preserve, while Gladys is arrested for the use of inhumane traps, Dwayne managed to slip away only to be attacked by a dog. Stella finds that Tiger still is in love with her despite knowing she is a skunk, as he has long since lost his sense of smell, and both RJ and Tiger are accepted into the group. When Verne realizes that they still need food for the winter, Hammy reveals that he stuffed their log home with nuts.
The film was screened out of competition at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. The film's opening weekend grossed $38,457,003 in 4,093 theaters. As of February 25, 2007, the film had earned $335,204,526 worldwide. Critical reaction was mostly positive with the film being rated 74% on the Rotten Tomatoes movie review aggregate site. Critic Frank Lovece of Film Journal International found that, "DreamWorks' slapstick animated adaptation of the philosophically satiric comic strip ... is a lot of laughs and boasts a much tighter story than most animated features" Ken Fox of TVGuide.com called it "a sly satire of American 'enough is never enough' consumerism and blind progress at the expense of the environment. It's also very funny, and the little woodland critters that make up the cast are a kiddie-pleasing bunch". Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper of Ebert & Roeper gave the animated movie a "two thumbs up".
A short film titled "Hammy's Boomerang Adventure" was released with the Over the Hedge DVD. Over the Hedge was released on DVD October 17, 2006.
The official soundtrack album of the film was released in 2006.
|Over the Hedge|
|Soundtrack by Various artists|
|Released||May 19, 2006|
|Label||Epic Records/Sony Music Soundtrax|
|1||"Family of Me"||Ben Folds||1:28||Film|
|2||"RJ Enters the Cave"||Rupert Gregson-Williams||4:37||Film|
|3||"The Family Awakes"||Rupert Gregson-Williams||2:32||Film|
|5||"Lost in the Supermarket"||Ben Folds (originally by The Clash)||3:30||Credits|
|6||"Let's Call It Steve"||Rupert Gregson-Williams||3:39||Film|
|7||"Hammy Time"||Michael Whitlock||2:28||Film|
|10||"Rockin' the Suburbs"||Ben Folds (featuring a speaking part by William Shatner)||4:57||Credits|
|11||"The Inside Heist"||Rupert Gregson-Williams||7:38||Film|
|12||"RJ Rescues His Family"||Rupert Gregson-Williams||4:18||Film|