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Over the Hedge (2006)
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Review Date: May 22, 2006
Director: Tim Johnson, Karey Kirkpatrick
Writer: Len Blum
Producers: Bonnie Arnold
Actors:
Bruce Willis as RJ
Garry Shandling as Verne
Steve Carell as Hammy
Plot:
An assorted range of forest animals including a turtle, some possum, a squirrel, a family of porcupines and a skunk, hook up with a scheming raccoon to rustle themselves up some food for the winter. The one difference between this year and previous years is that they won’t be searching for this food in the forest, but rather, the kitchens of actual human beings. The humans are not amused. Bruce Willis ensues.
Critique:
As seen at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival


This film “does its job” but not much more than that. It fulfills all of the required elements needed to populate any animated kid’s movie these days, including a gaggle of quirky characters, one or two bad guys, a few action sequences to pep things up, a “message” for the kids and ultimately, a few laughs, a few emotional moments and my favorite part of all…a short runtime. I say “favorite” because unlike movies like THE INCREDIBLES, SHREK or TOY STORY, this film doesn’t really pack all that much juice for the “older kids” such as myself and all of the other movie-nerds around the world who still enjoy the animation, but aren’t into animal fart jokes as much. The aforementioned movies also jammed a few adult ribs in there, along with fun homages and a handful of laugh-out loud moments for all. This film didn’t really have much of that, although the “Stella!!” line was pretty funny, and the nod to SILENCE OF THE LAMBS was cute, I guess (and the montage of what humans do for/with food was clever). But overall, it’s basically a “kid’s movie” and like I said earlier, for what it’s going for…it works and it’s sure to delight many a kid, especially with all of its lead characters developed pretty nicely.

That said, it was hard for me to get past Bruce Willis’ voice during the film’s first half hour or so, but after a while, they all blended nicely, with Willis’ character coming through as the rogue to start things off, and Garry Shandling also perfectly cast as the cautious turtle. Wanda Sykes can likely steal any animated movie with that voice of hers, and does a great job here as the skunketty-skunk. The real life people in the film were a little lame and one-dimensional, but obviously the filmmakers weren’t going for that, and concentrated instead on the possum family (Shatner was fun), the FARGO-esque porcupines and my favorite of all, the 100MPH squirrel, once again, voice-cast nicely with Steve Carell. I also don’t think you could have found a more ideal voice for the bear in this film than Nick Nolte, who gruffs his way through an easy bad guy part. All in all though, there weren’t many memorable moments in the film, but some of the emotional stuff worked in the end, the CGI was sharp and I’m sure kids will have a blast watching this one over and over again, with a nice mix of chuckles and adventures all around. I was also pretty impressed with how no product placement was utilized in the movie, despite much of it featuring junk food items found in everyone’s homes. Wow.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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6:21AM on 06/28/2006
Let me put it simply: this is the second best of 2006's CG (and none CG) animated films, well ahead of CARS, ICE AGE 2 and Hoodwinked, and just behind Disney's criminally underrated THE WILD. The reason why I appreciated OVER THE HEDGE that much, is that it took a simple story, with a good moral conclusion, and it didn't rely on grand set peices (Ice, exotic cars city, woods and mountains) and created a visual fest based on suberbian scenary with its small houses and streets and simple design.
Let me put it simply: this is the second best of 2006's CG (and none CG) animated films, well ahead of CARS, ICE AGE 2 and Hoodwinked, and just behind Disney's criminally underrated THE WILD. The reason why I appreciated OVER THE HEDGE that much, is that it took a simple story, with a good moral conclusion, and it didn't rely on grand set peices (Ice, exotic cars city, woods and mountains) and created a visual fest based on suberbian scenary with its small houses and streets and simple design. The character animation was top-notch and the voice cast was excellent (namely Bruce Willis and Steve Carell's work). My favorite scene was the slow-motion "attack" of the squarrel, it was so good I had to see the filom again for it. The "heist" plot is well-written in a way that thrills the kids and entertains the adults. Kudos to all involved for making such an excellent and entertaining film. I love it and can't wait for the DVD to see it again.
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6:18AM on 05/29/2006

meh

Its nothing grat or bad, its just kind there, like the coffee table in your living room, it serves its purpose but nothing else. I did enjoy the large slew of bug name actors lending there voices, its almost a game these days, "guess that actors voice!" Then again whats the point the target audience for these movies have no friggin clue who Bruce Willis, Steve Correll, or Thomas Hadden Church are.

The only thing that really stood out in this movie was Steve Correll's character of Hammy.
Its nothing grat or bad, its just kind there, like the coffee table in your living room, it serves its purpose but nothing else. I did enjoy the large slew of bug name actors lending there voices, its almost a game these days, "guess that actors voice!" Then again whats the point the target audience for these movies have no friggin clue who Bruce Willis, Steve Correll, or Thomas Hadden Church are.

The only thing that really stood out in this movie was Steve Correll's character of Hammy. The other characters where bleh.

If you have kids take them to see it, they will like it, and you won't feel like you wasted your money.
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