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Over the Hedge
DVD disk
11.02.2006 By: Sturdy
Over the Hedge order
Director:
Tim Johnson

Actors:
Bruce Willis
Gary Shandling
Steve Carell

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A loner raccoon gets over zealous and manages to destroy a bearís winter stash of food. Now he has one week to replace it, or he becomes the replacement. Along the way, he makes some new and valuable friends and learns the importance of family.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
For the longest time, Over the Hedge, Calvin and Hobbes, and The Far Side were the only three comic strips I would read. Calvin and Far Side stopped and soon I was left with only Over the Hedge. I say that only to say that it took me a long time to make the connection between the comic strip and this new animated feature.

The beauty of the comic strip was the witty insights the forest animals had into the lives of humans. Although thatís touched on in the film, itís not the focal point. Itís as though they had a script, and they wrote the characters around it. The story is a bit weak, and they donít waste much time trying to establish a plot to motivate the characters. The sad thing is that the theme of the comic strip wouldíve made for a good film and it wasnít necessary to dumb the movie down at all. I understand itís geared towards kids 2-5 years old, but Pixar has managed to make movies that appeal to both kids and adults and I feel Dreamworks could have done a better job of that with this film.

With that said, OVER THE HEDGE did provide enough laughs and enough memorable characters to make this a solid recommendation to anyone under 10. Everyone will love Hammy because heís just plain funny. The other characters will find their fans, but no one provided laughs quite like Hammy. He was great mainly because of the voice talents of Steve Carell. Also, all of the voices were cast perfectly, even though Wanda Sykes canít talk without irritating me. She always sounds angry.

I had high expectations for OVER THE HEDGE given how much I love the comic strip. The movie didnít have the same wit and humor of the comic and Iím sure that had a lot to do with the creators not having much to do with the film. Despite that, the film was cute enough to recommend to animation fans and anyone who enjoys a cute animal movie.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Tim Johnson, Karey Kirkpatrick and Bonnie Arnold: These three are a little dry for my taste. I always find it odd how commentaries for animated films are always the most boring. Iím sure kids love that.

Hammyís Boomerang Adventure (4:32): Hammyís great, and this is a funny short film about him finding a boomerang. Good stuff.

Behind the Hedge (11:59): Finally, the original creators Michael Fry and T. Lewis play a part in the DVD. This is a quick featurette that covers almost everything that went into the film. Itís worth watching for Fry and Lewis alone.

Verm-Tech Institute Infomercial (2:55): This is a funny little infomercial featuring Dwayne LaFontant from the film. Itís not head over heals funny, but itís worth the three minute investment.

Meet the Cast Featurette (15:42): OVER THE HEDGE had a lot of big name voices, so this wasnít as exciting as it normally is for other animated films. However, its always nice to see actors talk about their animated counterparts.

The Tech of Over the Hedge (6:01): Again, Iím sure kids will love this one. Itís not too technical, but itís technical enough to make most viewers lose interest. It goes into detail about what went into creating the look of the movie. Itís very familiar, but itís pretty interesting.

There are also some Previews, including one for Jerry Seinfeld's BEE MOVIE.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Iím pretty sure every kid out there will enjoy OVER THE HEDGE. It has cute animals, itís funny, and itís fast paced enough for those with short attention spans. Adults, however, might find themselves a little bored.
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