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An enjoyable film with a bit of everything for everyone
DonFishies25 May 2006
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.

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A fun movie that thoroughly demolished my low expectations
0rganism21 May 2006
Let me say up front, I had low expectations going into the film. Although I like animation a lot, I wasn't too impressed with previous Dreamworks attempts. I tend to regard cutesy previews with suspicion, and was mostly just going along to have a potentially positive movie-going experience with my family. Things got a little worse when we arrived at the theatre, and both the ticket-tearing guy (if cinemas have a technical name for that role, I don't know what it is) and some poor sap from the commissary tried to pressure-sell the "fresh" soda and popcorn. We had to go out of our way to avoid an extra ad-hoc kiosk the food vendors established smack in the middle of the lobby. I hope that doesn't become standard practice. The twenty-odd minutes of previews were similarly underwhelming, and I was starting to get a little nervous -- is it going to be one of those days I'll want to forget? Then, at long last, Over the Hedge starts. Now I'm not an avid follower of the comic, partly because I don't get to read newspapers very often. The Over the Hedge strip is kind of a latecoming competitor to affections reserved for the beloved Bloom County of my childhood, so I'm not exactly salivating at the potential content. However, I gotta say, I was blown away from the start.

Over the Hedge is a neat movie. Granted, there are points where plot development is pure formula, and some of the dialog seems forced or weakly delivered, but these are minor snits. I was laughing out loud, along with most of the audience, which was well distributed agewise. I won't offer any spoilers, but I have to hand it to the screenwriters for seamlessly integrating action-based slapstick with some very cunning dialog, dialog that flies fast and furious enough that you'd better keep both ears wide open.

Messagewise, there are a few worth noting. I have not seen such a cutting indictment of suburbia since Edward Scissorhands. Some audiences may find the humor cuts a bit too close to home -- literally. Human eating habits are intensely scrutinized, for obvious reasons. Vanity and self-serving hubris are duly repudiated. Plenty of clever asides will appeal to a wholesome sort of cultural nostalgia, without ever seeming derivative or repetitive. There are both heartwarming and chilling references to the importance of family, especially a family under external pressures from a society that they do not understand, a culture that considers them vermin. But the messages aren't overplayed, and mesh well with the rest of this utterly hilarious movie.

There's more, of course, but the bottom line is entertainment, and this movie did not disappoint. Even the extended slapstick, which I seldom enjoy in movies, was so outrageous and excessive that it punched through to my funny bone and had me slapping my knee along with my family. Oh yeah, my family -- they liked the movie too, they liked it a lot. Over the Hedge is one of those solid films to which parents can bring children and everyone has an unreserved good time. That puts it in some pretty esteemed company -- right up there with Toy Story, Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, et al. Highly enjoyable, highly recommended, 8/10.
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Funny, Witty, and Well voiced!
Kryzak26 May 2006
While this movie doesn't have the depth of Finding Nemo or Shrek, it was a very fun and well done animation by Dreamworks. The animation was first rate, and the animals were very fun to watch. The voice acting was superb and well cast. What I enjoyed the most about this movie (other than the super funny bits here and there) is the social commentary they presented. It's nothing serious, but it shows us how gluttonous many of us "humans" have become. While many of the human characters are exaggerations, there's quite a bit of truth behind each caricature. My favorite is the Home Owner Association President. She was so overdone (yet so realistic!) that I wasn't sure if I was laughing because it was so true to life, or if it was just so out there.

Anyway, good movie, good times, and go with good company. After some mediocre animation movies from Dreamworks, they hit a good one again with Over the Hedge.
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showgirl62625 May 2006
Wow! Wow! Wow! I was transfixed! The animation? Gorgeous! The subtle humor? Uproarious! The not-so-subtle humor? Even better! This was a great movie that will surely be nominated for an Oscar if for no other reason than the beauty of the animation. While I could have honestly thought of a couple of better casting choices, I will mention that Wanda Sykes, Thomas Haden Church and Steve Carrell were brilliant in their roles. And who better to make fun of William Shatner than William Shatner? Worthy of special mention (and a second look - go see this movie again!): the Rottweiler interludes, the ripples in the water, the porcupine quills, the oh-so-amazing foliage throughout the movie, and Vincent's cartoonish-yet-strangely-scary expression.

Really REALLY a great movie that should appeal to all.

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Hedge your bets on fun
rparham5 June 2006
The computer animated film has become to film studios what Mike Tyson was in the ring in the 1980's: a sure thing. You knew that when Tyson walked in the ring, somebody else was going down, and probably rather quickly. The same is true of most computer animated comedies these days: it is near sure to be a mix of material targeted at children and adults, feature lots of star voices and be entertaining, for the most part at least. Over the Hedge, the latest offering from Dreamworks, does not disappoint on any of the above fronts, and proves to be one more notch in computer animations belt.

The film opens on loner raccoon R.J. (Bruce Willis) who has made the mistake of raiding the hibernation supplies of Vincent the bear (Nick Nolte). After managing to lose all of Vincent's food, R.J. is given an ultimatum: he has one week to replace it all, or he will become a bear snack. R.J. then manages to stumble across a group of animals that hibernate together, Vern the turtle (Gary Shandling), Stella the skunk (Wanda Sykes), Ozzie the possum (William Shatner) and his daughter Heather (Avril Lavigne), Lou (Eugene Levy) and Penny (Catherine O'Hara) the porcupines and their brood, and Hammy the squirrel (Steve Carell). The clan has discovered that while in hibernation, their forest was developed into a residential neighborhood and has left them with only a small patch of land to gather food from.

R.J. appears and decides to take advantage of the situation: he will show the family how to raid the houses just on the other side of the hedge that separates their small patch of woodlands from the development, and when they have gathered everything together, he plans to take it all back to Vincent. Vern proves skeptical of R.J., but the rest follow along, and Vern begins to feel jealous about R.J.'s newfound place in their hearts. Meanwhile, the head of the development's association, Gladys (Allison Janney) has called in an exterminator (Thomas Hayden Church) to take care of this new infestation problem.

Over the Hedge is about as broad based as entertainment comes: it features lots of cute, cuddly animals who perform elaborate hijinks for kids to laugh at, while offsetting this with some more adult oriented jokes and situations for the older set. Over the Hedge is a little less successful at this blending than some other films, such as Monsters, Inc. or Shrek. It is a bit more child oriented, relying on cuter gimmicks than some of it's brethren. It doesn't prove to be off-putting, the film is still more than entertaining for adults, it's just not quite as sophisticated as some that have come before.

Plot-wise, Over the Hedge is about as predictable as they come: the outsider looking out for numero uno who gets his heart melted with the kindness of a new family unit he has found. This contributes to the more child centric feeling to the film; many children may not have seen this played out as often as adults, so the material may seem fresher. Over the Hedge manages to combat this weakness by being consistently funny for most of it's running time. There are plenty of good jokes, gags and situations to leave most audience members laughing a good bit of the time (and in the end, isn't that what a comedy is about).

Voice-wise, most of the parts are fittingly cast. Bruce Willis has just the right amount of wiseguy smarts in his voice to sell cynical, self-centered loner R.J., Gary Shandling has the perfect combo of worry and parental concern, and Steve Carell brings a degree of hyper intensity to Hammy. Nick Nolte is also near-perfect for a bear's growly voice and Thomas Hayden Church really fills out the exterminator.

Over the Hedge probably won't go down as a great entry in computer animated history, but it does it's job well enough to be entertaining, enjoyable and funny. Again, sometimes, what more can you ask?
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Kids will love it, adults will love, and I loved it.
Movieguy_blogs_com17 May 2006
In 'Over the Hedge' Bruce Willis plays RJ, a raccoon who is in trouble. He tried to take Vincent the bear's (Nick Nolte) food and has two weeks to replace it or else. RJ's plan, to con a group of foragers into collecting the food for him. Lead by Verne the turtle (Garry Shandling), who does not trust RJ, the group is impressed with RJ's knowledge of suburbia which has recently invaded their forest and has built a hedge around of what is left of their environment. The group decides to follow RJ, but will it be their undoing?

This is an awesome film with an all-star cast. With the likes of Steve Carell, William Shatner, and Thomas Haden Church; this movie is a true hit. Kids will love it, adults will love, and I loved it. Everyone is perfect in their roles; I have not seen a better animated film since 'Finding Nemo'.
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Entertaining Movie!
nbruno2219 May 2006
This movie was better than I expected. I thought that it would be predictable and one of the dime a dozen animation films coming out now. I am an animation fan, and the animation was great, in addition to the story. The characters were somewhat predictable, but very well done and not boring. The voices are very well done as well. This is a movie that children can also enjoy (sounds kind of odd being that animation films are usually supposed to be for kids), in addition to adults. It has some really funny parts that are not cliché humor. Probably the best part about it is the message it sends about humans encroaching on animal habitats and how it affects the balance of nature.
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Great actors, great theme, great comedy, great movie.
spatton3 May 2006
I was able to see an advance showing of this movie with a mostly college-age audience and everyone was laughing throughout the movie. It was excellent. As my friend to the left said, sometimes the movie was over the top as well as over the hedge, but those times were some of the most hilarious. Action sequences early in the movie that had people roaring with laughter were topped by ones later on and small tidbits of comedy were spread throughout. Add to that the typical messages about family, friends, and doing-right and you have the formula for a great family comedy. The voice acting was solid; a really fine ensemble cast. I don't buy many animated movies, but I may have to pick this one up. Wheee!
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Sometimes the simplest stories make the best films
Flagrant-Baronessa23 October 2006
My low expectations were floored by a great adventure à la DreamWorks – a simple adventure about survival in which a raccoon 'accidentally' steals and loses all provisions belonging to a ferocious bear, whom then threatens him and demands he replenish every item of food lost within one week or else he will suffer the consequences. Over the Hedge thus sees RJ the raccoon (Bruce Willis) scour the environment in search for goods, a mission that is facilitated when RJ comes across a mismatched family of forest creatures whom he convinces to help him gather the food he needs from the Suburbian residences just over the hedge.

The film opens with RJ on a scrat-like adventure after that-one-piece-of-food and he suffers all the detours and diversion that this mission entails. As is the meticulous animation style of DreamWorks, it lacks the rewarding simplicity of Blue Sky Studios (Ice Age) and does not quite achieve the same level of hilarity and laughter that the latter effortlessly elicits. It even mimics the possum playing dead from Ice Age: The Meltdown which evokes more raised eyebrows than anything. At this point I am also noticing that Willis' voice is much too muzzled and unremarkable to be lent to a protagonist. Although, Nick Nolte makes for a fine bear villain.

Soon 'Over the Hedge' thankfully abandons mediocrity and completely stuns me with layered humour and an energy that it begins to apply to all aspects in the film, the hyper-active ADHD squirrel Hammy most of all. It spirals into an enjoyable romp evenly peppered with 1) goofy light laughs for kids (courtesy of Hammy the squirrel), 2) balanced gags-for-all such as the hilarious zealot exterminator who botches his way through the tracking down of the pesky vermin and 3) sophisticated humour and interwoven references from Citizen Kane, A Streetcar Named Desire and Dr Phil. It is a perfect amalgam of different sorts of comedy and blends and balances its content with deft strokes. Granted, the story neatly ticks off clichés from a formula but it does so skillfully.

Indeed there is a surprising amount of sophistication to be found when you weed through all the standard spoofs. Specifically the film directs social commentary on humans' – and animals' – eating habits as RJ remarks how "We eat to live. Humans live to eat." It juxtaposes these lifestyles when the forest family teams up to assault the neighbourhood in which larger-than-life boxes and packets of nachos, donuts and popcorn are abundant and the shiny silver fridge is Mecca. In the midst of the food-heists there is much action to be found in the form of vibrant, kinetic chases, shooting rockets and acrobatic stunts over the hedge. It is even a bit chaotic toward the end but a great slow-motion capture ties the pacing together.

The aforementioned render 'Over the Hedge' a very alive film and its action alone rightfully vaults it into 'Great Animated Comedies' status. It is no Shrek, but it's extremely enjoyable. Like Shrek however, DreamWorks provides for the crisp, aesthetically-intoxicating animation of nature whose every screenshot is so picturesque that you just want to snap a picture of, frame and hang in on your wall. What's more is that its heist-oriented core with its mandatory sense of immediate danger tingling in the air is something of what Mike Tyson was the boxing in the 1980's: A safe bet.

8 out of 10
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Witty, warm and absolutely enjoyable
laurenintokyo16 May 2006
There's nothing not to like about this fantastic, engaging film--other than the fact that Avril Lavigne is lackluster in her big-screen debut. But her role has little impact on the bigger picture, so it's easy to skip over. Kids and adults will get an equally big kick out of OTH--it provides astute commentary on Americans' gluttonous relationship to food and precarious understanding of the animals that live on the outskirts of our lives; kids will love the brilliant animation, lovable characters and simple yet clever plot. It's a film about good vs. evil, and yes, lessons are learned. But it's far more than just a good way to fill two hours with your kids. I think it'll rank up there as one of Dreamworks' best films to date.
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Excellent movie for all ages
mmoran5621 April 2006
I saw this film in a preview.It's release date is next month. Clever writing and wonderful animation make this movie a "must see" for both children and adults. The characters are well defined and the voices are perfect for each character. Some of the humor in the movie may be missed if one doesn't pay full attention to the dialog.There are several messages in the movie. One is a look at consumerism in the United States, another shows that using others for personal gain is a bad idea and lastly the importance of family in our society. The messages are there without this charming movie being preachy. I recommend that families attend the movie together and discuss it afterward.I am looking forward to the sequel!
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So much better than you can possibly imagine
punchinello232 May 2006
My wife and I were able to attend an advance screening of Over the Hedge, and the two of us thought it was great. I had no idea what DreamWorks was planning to do with the comic strip, but I was pleasantly surprised. I am not a Madagascar or Shrek fan, but this film was actually pretty good and certainly worth my time. I am holding out hope that people who were otherwise on the fence, will decide to see it. Subtle messages about equal treatment, honesty, trust, and friendship are present without being heavy handed. The satire about America's consumer driven economy(particularly in the food industry) is relevant, refreshing, and intelligent. Adults will easily enjoy this film as much as kids, which is no easy task for a cartoon movie. I'm a big classic Disney fan and a lover of animation in general, and my advice to people who have a soft spot for great animation is to take the time to see what's "Over the Hedge", my daughter thinks that RJ and Hammy are the two cutest animals ever created. The trailer sells the slapstick humor that will draw its target audience into the theater, but please be aware that this film does in fact have heart and substance. I'm even wondering if the torch will pass from Disney to DreamWorks this year. In either case, Over the Hedge definitely gets my support!
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Surpassing all the expectations...
jluis198412 July 2006
Like most people, I was convinced that Pixar's "Cars" was going to be the animated movie of the year and that "Over the Hedge" was just another cheap attempt with the proved formula of cute talking animals. I was very surprised by the end result as it ended up not only being an enjoyable fable about friendship and the typical stuff, it is also a very witty commentary about our modern way of life.

Based on the syndicated comic strip written and drawn by Michael Fry and T. Lewis, "Over the Hedge" is the story of R.J. (Bruce Willis), a witty and knowledgeable raccoon with a problem: he must restore the food he stole from a bear in two weeks or he will have to be eaten in its place. To do it, he decides to raid the houses of the new suburban landscape, and to do it he recruits a group of naive animals who never had seen a human before. almost without knowing it he'll become a member of the family and will begin to have serious doubts about his plan of deceiving the gang.

Directed by Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick, "Over the Hedge" is a huge step forward from Dreamworks' previous animated feature, "Madagascar". Technically the movie looks beautiful and the animation is for the most part superb. Great care was taken with the characters' design and while they look quite different from their original versions, the change was definitely for the better.

The plot at its core is once again the typical story of an outcast who finds a family, but it's spiced up by the satire and wit of the original comic strip and that's what makes the movie different from others. This balance between the comic strip's sharp social commentary and the funny and simpler slapstick comedy makes that the film can be enjoyed by both children and adults without being overtly filled with pop-culture references. The characters are very well written although due to the large number of them some may feel a bit underdeveloped.

The voice cast is appropriate, although like in most Dreamworks movies, movie stars are preferred over professional voice actors creating a bit of a mixed bag. Bruce Willis is good, although nothing spectacular, and Garry Shandling as Verne, the gang leader, was also not as surprising. On the other hand, Steve Carell makes a brilliant job, as well as Wanda Sykes and a surprising Avril Lavigne. Wanda Sykes, William Shatner and Thomas Hayden Church are also brilliant.

Frankly, the movie's biggest flaw was the large amount of characters it has. While everyone has their moment to shine (and in most cases is very well used), at the end one has the feeling that either the movie was too short or that there was one or two characters too many. The movie's plot also may be predictable to most people, however, the way the director handles the movie truly makes up for the unoriginal storyline. Tim Johnson proves his talent once again and demonstrates why he is a very underrated director.

To summarize, I was very surprised by the way "Over the Hedge" developed and I truly enjoyed it. It's great assemble of characters and the witty script makes up for its defects and the final product is a very good one. While it probably be overshadowed by the more popular "Cars", this sleeper hit definitely deserves a watch. 7.5/10
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Funny, funny movie - for kids and adults
isamuelson30 May 2006
What can I say? This movie, albeit on the short side at 97 minutes, is one laugh-fest after another. It pokes fun at neighborhood association rules and their sometimes over-zealous presidents, while driving home the message that family is key and of course, it also touches on how new neighborhoods popping up out in the country are driving forest animals into smaller areas, making it harder to find the food they need. Luckily, this is not thrown in your face and is only mentioned once since most of that would go over the kid's heads and would detract from what is actually a slap-stick comedy of animals searching for the "ultimate" food.

Overall, the show-stealer is Hammy the squirrel voiced by Steve Carell. IMHO, he stands right up there with Donkey from Shrek. He is definitely the comic-relief. Bruce Willis is great as RJ the Racoon. William Shatner as Ozzie the possum is also great.

Some of the funny moments, such as references to West Side Story and such, may go over some kids heads, but they definitely caused me to laugh until my sides hurt. Still, there are PLENTY of laughs for both kids and adults that makes this movie a fun one to watch.

Sometimes my kids might get board during movies, but even my youngest daughter enjoyed this one so much she wanted to go and buy the DVD that day. Imagine what her feelings were when I had to inform her that the DVD is not out yet and won't be for a few months.

This is a must-not-miss movie.

BTW, stay for the entire credits. There is a final scene at the end that is hilarious.
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I love nuts!
Acharren20 May 2006
As a person who doesn't read many comics, I never miss a day of Over the Hedge. The movie doesn't disappoint! The Hammy from the comics really comes alive on the big screen (my favorite part is the Mach 6) and Verne the turtle stays true to his comic character. Some of the characters in the movie never appeared in the comic strip but they fit right in. The movie had enough slapstick for the kids and enough innuendo for the adults. Bringpopcorn because the movie will motivate you to eat junk food but be careful of the soda...at some points it might come out your nose! I was very impressed by how well the story was written, it wasn't complicated to follow and it didn't have any annoying dull points. All around a fantastic movie! Go see it now!
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Lots of fun for all ages - and I've found most animated films lately to be lame
Blazer211 June 2006
I liked this film a lot. After reading the decent reviews here, I went in with high expectations and wasn't disappointed at all. Such a breath of fresh air after Ice Age - The Meltdown, which should be "The Letdown" - a lame formula of a movie which dragged out every cliché in the book. Ugh! No match for the original. Enough of that.

I'm here to talk about Over the Hedge! It is original, funny, well-paced and very easy to sit through with my twelve year-old daughter and friend. We all laughed throughout the movie. They laughed at some of the jokes, but mainly at the usual silliness and cute animal antics. I laughed at the endless references cynically poking fun at life in the suburbs in 2006. And to watch William Shatner be William Shatner, Shandling to be Shandling. Great fun! Highly recommended for dads, moms, and of course, children of all ages. For once I actually wish they made an animated film a bit longer.
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This is definitely one of the better Dreamworks animated movies
TheLittleSongbird24 December 2009
I really wasn't expecting to enjoy Over the Hedge as much as I did. Perhaps not as stirring as the Prince of Egypt or as zany as Shrek, but it is an improvement on Shark Tale. Well, Over the Hedge is absolutely delightful family entertainment. If I had a minor quibble, it would be that the writing isn't always as sharp as it could have been but this is only occasionally, plus the film was a little on the short side. But all the same, it is very very funny especially the uproarious action sequences at the beginning, and the gags come thick and fast. The CGI animation on the animals is very well done and the backgrounds are audacious. The soundtrack is cool, and the story is engaging and heartwarming. The film is also quite sweet, not sickly sweet, like say Troll in Central Park, but naturally sweet.

And while the ending is surprisingly great, the real delight comes from the animals and the voice acting. RJ the Racoon is simply adorable, and Verne is another great character. My favourite character though has to be Hammy the squirrel, he was absolutely insane in a good way! And the voice cast? All did a splendid job, in what is essentially an ensemble cast. Bruce Willis and Nick Nolte are great, but the real kudos has to go to Steve Carell as Hammy in one of his better performances. All in all, great animated movie. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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A movie with substance and hilarious to boot—what a concept!!!
msyoung63 June 2006
Beautiful, honest characters and dialog. Loved RJ, the rascally mastermind, and Vern, the cautious, but brave head of the "family." Both are strong characters and balance the story very well. Each member of this family contributes something unique—and truly funny. Lots of great sight gags, too!

Talk about multiple levels of humor for both kids and adults: Wait 'til you see Gladys—the homeowner association pres from 'ell—and her lifestyle. And let's not forget (intonation here) the VERMINATOR...

Even when poking fun at human behavior, the story and characters are never mean. The movie makes you laugh...Makes you think...Makes you laugh again! Very satisfying experience.

Okay—I'm not giving any more away here. And yes, I'm going to go see it again. What can I say? I loved it.

Go see Over the Hedge. Your kids will love it and YOU will howl!!!
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Think Quick!
flatliner34530 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I loved this movie. The characters were awesome, and the plot was phenomenal.

Bruce Willis plays con artist, raccoon, RJ. When he attempts to steal food from hibernating bear, Vincent, played by Nick Nolte, a small accident leaves the food destroyed. Vincent gives RJ 1 week to replace all the food. If RJ doesn't replace the food Vincent will eat him.

While contemplating almost certain death, RJ stumbles upon a group of naive woodlanders. The woodlanders have awoken from hibernation to find that half of their woodland is now a suburban paradise. With their food source now depleted, the woodlanders turn to smooth talking RJ. Who convinces them that all they need to do is steal the food from the humans.

All of the woodlanders seem open to this idea, all of them except Verne, a cautious turtle, who does not trust RJ at all. RJ on the other hand convinces him and the rest of the 'family'.

The ultimate question in this movie is, Can RJ really con these woodland animals?

Favorite Character: RJ!

Favortite Quote - Guy on TV: You know you're a dirtbag. You say it in your head all the time. You say "I'm a dirtbag." Now say it out loud. Say, "I'm a dirtbag!"

RJ: (under his breath) I'm a dirtbag!
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Well animated, great voice work, fun characters and a half-decent plot...what more could you want?
Vampenguin3 June 2006
Call me childish, call me immature, do as you wish, but I really enjoyed this movie. It's cute, it's funny, it's just plain enjoyable all around.

The plot is nothing new really, basically just a dummed down gangster type plot. A raccoon named RJ (voiced by Bruce Willis) is caught trying to steal food from a bear (Nick Nolte), and is given a week to replace it or else the bear will eat him. He comes across a family of woodland creatures, and tricks them into helping him. Needless to say, the obligatory guilt trip soon follows as they welcome him as one of their own. It's nothing we haven't seen before, but kept my interest and had some pretty fun plot devices, mostly near the end. The only thing that could have been better about the plot was that it wasn't very fleshed out, everything seemed to happen all at once.

The actors were all a lot of fun, and the voice work was great. William Shartner does a great job making fun of himself, playing a completely over the top possum. Willis also did a very good job as the raccoon, as did Garry Shandling as Verne the turtle. But, as the previews would lead you to believe, it's Steve Carell that really steals the show. His manic, insane, hyper-active squirrel, Hammy, was easily my favourite character. Sure, some of his jokes might have been a tad immature (Wanna help me find my nuts?), but I still found myself laughing at every perfectly delivered line he said.

I don't know what else to say other than that this movie is a lot of fun. Well animated, great voice work, fun characters and a half-decent plot...what more could you want?

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One of the Best Animated Films I have ever seen!
Camisado9231 May 2006
Wow, amazing! This movie is wonderful and easily is one of (or possibly my all-time) favorite animated film. It's brilliant, hilarious, and beautiful. Kids, tweens, teens and adults alike will love it.

The story is original, and not too complex for kids. The story is also detailed and its a good story. The characters are awesome, they're all unique and funny in their own way (my personal favorites were RJ and Hammy). Good, clean fun.

This movie tops all the CG films. Oh yes, it tops "Finding Nemo", "Shrek", and "Shrek 2". This film is hilarious and the characters are lovable. I recommend it! Two thumbs way up!
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"Over the Hedge" is the best animated film since "The Incredibles."
MovieManMenzel21 May 2006
A raccoon named RJ (Bruce Willis) attempts to steal the food from a hibernating bear (Nick Nolte). RJ unfortunately gets caught and the food gets accidentally destroyed. In an attempt to save his life, RJ has a week to bring the bear all the food he destroyed. On his way to the suburbs, RJ happens to come across a group of various animals who have just awoken from hibernation. The animals soon discover that the rest of their forests have been cut down and the only thing left is a giant hedge that blocks them from entering the human world known as the suburbs. With the help of RJ, the animals make a plan to get enough food so they can survive for the year and replenish their food supply for next year's hibernation. A very fun and entertaining animated film ensues…

I have always been a big fan of animation films and there have been some really great animated films in the recent years and I am proud to say that "Over the Hedge" ranks up their with various Pixar products such as "Finding Nemo" and "Monsters Inc". "Over the Hedge" is probably the best animated film of the year and I am not sure if "Cars" will be able to top it. This film is loaded with fun and interesting characters that each has their own unique humor and personality to them. Every character from RJ, to Hammy to Ozzie was unique and this made watching each character fun and enjoyable.

Most animated films focus on a few main characters in "Over the Hedge" you have about a dozen or so main characters so for DreamWorks and the writers to pull off every character being liked is quite a challenge but they did it flawlessly. I also found the writing and dialogue to be very clever and witty. This is definitely a film that is going to win over both the kids and adults alike. It's well crafted, well written, and has various enjoyable characters.

Normally I don't understand why animation studios get a big name cast to voice their movies but in this case, I think the voice talent was amazing and actually made the film a little better. Being a fan of most of the actors and actresses who voiced this film I was able to identity all the characters based on their voices. William Shatner, Garry Shandling, Avril Lavigne, Eugene Levy, Bruce Willis, Steve Carell and Wanda Sykes were all instantly recognizable in my eyes. I think I see the purpose of the big name celebrities now because some of the characters have actual resemblances to the actual person or roles they played. I think everyone did a great job voicing the characters and I absolutely loved the little hedgehogs and Hammy.

If DreamWorks keeps making films like "Over the Hedge" I think they could one day be bigger and better than Pixar who I still feel makes the best animated films. But "Over the Hedge" is the closest thing I have seen to a Pixar film (outside of "Antz" which was better than "A Bug's Life) and it is a lot better than last year's Madagascar which I liked but it wasn't as great like most people raved about. DreamWorks and Pixar are both companies that are goldmines because while "Over the Hedge" may not make $80 million its first weekend like "The Da Vinci Code," it will still make a lot of money and be playing for many weeks to come.

In the end, "Over the Hedge" is probably the best animated film to be released from DreamWorks animation studios in years. It's definitely a great film complete with great voice talent, witty and clever dialogue, likable characters and a pretty good script. There really isn't anything to complain about with "Over the Hedge," it's a great movie that both children and adults will love and enjoy for many years to come.

MovieManMenzel's final rating for "Over the Hedge" is an 8/10. A must see for those who love animated films that have a nice mix of comedy, drama, action and lovable characters.
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Absolutely Amazing! Best animated film since Finding Nemo!
babunnel18 May 2006
This movie was beyond excellent. Probably th best animated film I have seen since finding Nemo. Over the hedge has all the pizazz that you could ever want in an animated film. Great plot, great characters, and very clever animation. It was very funny, and controlled its humor in a very family matter, so kids of all ages could go see it, and still laugh! I would recommend this film to anyone! It's definitely worth the money! The voices of the characters that were played by a wide range of celebrities fit the critters perfectly. None of the voices seemed off, and everything was on key. The only downside to the movie is that I seriously wish that it was a bit longer. But it is a children's animated film. You can't really expect it to be over 1hr and 30 minutes anyway. But like I said before, It is definitely worth your money and I have doubt that the family will enjoy it.
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A great fun kids movie
buiredintime31 May 2006
Dreamworks what can be said about them it's a hit and miss field with them. First they release Shrek a fun and goofy movie. Then comes antz not so good, then comes Shrek 2 a fun filled even goofier film. Then Dreamworks hit's it's slump Shark Tale and Madagascar too me are two of the worst animated films in the last decade, but hey it's only my opinion. Then comes Over the Hedge a fun exciting and quite funny film based on the very popular comic strip.

The story if you don't know star's RJ a raccoon with extremely large appetite and devious nature. When RJ tries to steal food from a bear and causes the food to roll down hill and get hit by a car, he is given a week to return all the food. RJ travels to Suburbia where he meet's up with a group of wilderness animals who have just gotten out of hibernation. RJ convinces the group to take the food from suburbia and shows them that there is many a delectable item's that we as humans take for granted. What the group of animals don't know is that the RJ is just using the group for his own benefit to retrieve the lost items.

What makes this movie so good is that you feel for these characters, you feel that you could be one of them. They act sort of like humans who are just there to survive and rest in peace. They also have the uniqueness that almost compares them to the likes of a cast of characters that you would see in any Pixar movie. What this movie has also got going for it is just that it's so funny. The jokes are so clever that you laugh even when you think that you should not be laughing due to it being a kid's movie. It's also got lovable characters like the hype Hammey the squirrel who is voiced by the extremely funny Steve Carrell. This is also a movie of great character actors, You have everyone from Bruce Willis to William Shatner to Wanda Sykes to Even Nick Nolte, and every part they play is played to perfection.

Another great thing about this movie is just looks visually stunning, I mean everything looks so life like, and suburbia looks like well suburbia many rows of houses and small lawns. Plus the neighbors are just like a suburbia neighbor should be. Also there is some really funny moments with the Verminator vs. the Animals. I think Dreamworks has officially outdone themselves in the visual department I can finally compare this movie to the likes of something like Finding nemo. I still think it will be a while till they get to Cars visual's but even with Shark tale and Madagascar event though they were not great films they looked and felt life like.

In closing I give Over the Hedge a 9 out of 10 for being a smart fun and entertaining film that has it all and handles it with a smart attitude that I will defiantly say put's them into the league of Pixar.
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Wonderfully funny for all ages
llj6922 May 2006
I saw this movie yesterday with my 2 daughters and future son-in-law, youngest daughter is 18, and we all laughed through out this movie (especially with Hammy the squirrel).

The audience had many children in it, but as it was a late show, it was primarily adult and most of the audience (all ages) were laughing during the show. One youngster in front of us (maybe 4?) actually cried at one point when a "bad man" was setting out traps for the animals! (lol)

The climax near the end of the film got the biggest laugh of the night and we were still talking about it and laughing all the way home.

It's great to see a family movie come out like this, I just wish Hollywood would keep these coming out!

I highly recommend it if you want a good family movie or just a great laugh.
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