The Art Department went to a bowling alley to sketch the design of the 'perfect' vending machine. They went to various supermarkets to sketch chip bags and bottles. They eventually got kicked out of a Safeway because the manager felt uncomfortable with them being there for such an extended amount of time.
Ben Folds said on his blog about the title credits song "Family of Me": "The original lyric was 'Ooh, I'm an asshole', but obviously that didn't last for long. The directors and producers got a good laugh, and then they stopped laughing when I tried to explain why it's okay to say 'asshole' in front of kids. I think it's the 'hole' part. Ass might be all right. I don't know."
According to the film makers on the DVD commentary, the movie originally opened with R.J. sneaking into Vincent the bear's cave to steal his food. But, then they quickly realized that they were beginning with something more suspenseful and that R.J. would need a reason to go after the food in Vincent's cave, so they invented the "vending machine" sequence at almost the last minute.
The "forest side" of the hedge is based on the hedge in front of DreamWorks. The exterior of the hedge is based on the vines growing in their parking garage. The hedge is approximately seven feet tall.
Ben Folds re-wrote the lyrics to the closing song "Rockin' the Suburbs", replacing the teenage angst and nu metal parodies with a more child-friendly attack on Suburbia. This version also features a spoken part by William Shatner, who plays Ozzie in the film.
(At around 39 minutes) When Hammy gives R.J. the energy drink, saying, "I'm not supposed to have this", he sits down and starts to sip on a juice box. If you look closely, you can see enough letters to make out the name on the juice box as "Nearly Juice", possibly a joke on the FDA's "restriction" that you can only call something a "fruit juice" drink if it has at least ten percent real juice.
David Morehead, an animator of Over the Hedge (2006), created reference footage by putting a camera on the back of his friend's dog and letting it run around his house. This gave the layout artists some great ideas about scale, animals' perspective, and how animals moved. In addition, the layout team compared a house to an apartment building and a kitchen to a cathedral.
Whenever R.J. is searching through his bag, he occasionally tosses out (among other things) an audio CD. Looking close in multiple shots, you can see it's a John Tesh CD, which apparently sold for ten cents.
Based on "Over the Hedge", a syndicated comic strip written and drawn by Michael Fry and T. Lewis. It tells the story of a raccoon named R.J., and a turtle named Verne, who come to terms with their woodlands being taken over by suburbia, trying to survive the increasing flow of humanity and technology, while becoming enticed by it at the same time. Four collections have been published: Over The Hedge, Over The Hedge 2, Over The Hedge 3: Knights of the Picnic Table, and Over The Hedge: Stuffed Animals.
The stackable potato chips branded Spuddies in the film is a spoof of Pringles chips. In an early trailer, the chip brand was known as Jingles and featured the Pringles logo with a court jester's cap on.
(At around one hour eighteen minutes) Ozzie is voiced by William Shatner. Hammy later talks about Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), where Shatner played James Tiberius Kirk, who is similar to the namesake of the cat "Prince Tigeriess Mahmood Shabaz."
A Walmart cross-promotion ad was once aired in advance of the film's release, but was quickly pulled after authors Michael Fry and T. Lewis objected to it, citing Walmart's supposed "anti-environmental" activities.
(At around 38 minutes) Pay close attention to the porcupine kids, after Ozzie's melodramatic performance in the streets. As they declare "Props for the OzzMan!!", they're holding their hands in the "Horned Devil" gesture which is done by fans of heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne.
The logo of Dwayne LaFontaine, the Verminator's pest and vermin control company, featuring a man resembling himself hitting a rabbit with a hammer, is a spoof of a pest control company in California, Nevada, and Arizona, Western Extermination Company, whose logo features a man named Kernel Kleenup with a top hat and suit about to squash a rat with his hammer.
Last animated DreamWorks film, with the 2004-2009 logo, where the balloons that the fisher boy uses to get up onto the moon forms the words "DreamWorks". Starting with Aardman Studios' Flushed Away (2006) released later the same year, the logo would fade in under the moon, focusing more on the fisher boy, than the balloons he uses.
(At around thirteen minutes) At the start of the film, when Verne trips into the hedge, Ozzie says "Steve, it. Ate. Verne". This is based on one of the common improvises by his voice actor, William Shatner, where he'd pause while speaking.
Originally announced for a November 2005 release, but was pushed back to May 2006 to avoid clashing with Aardman Studio's The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005), which released on October 2005, and is also distributed by DreamWorks. Both of these films have the full moon as a major part of the plot.
T. Lewis is one of the creators of the comic strip. Dwayne is voiced by Thomas Haden Church. Both Lewis and Church attended the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Additionally, Dr. Dennis is a parody of Dr. Phil, who also attended UNT and at the same time as Lewis.
This is the first of two fully CGI films released in 2006, that takes place in the American wilderness. The other one being Open Season (2006), which also has a bear, a squirrel, a skunk, and a porcupine.