Over the Hedge (film)
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|Over the Hedge|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tim Johnson
|Produced by||Bonnie Arnold|
|Written by||Len Blum
|Based on||Over the Hedge
by Michael Fry
|Music by||Rupert Gregson-Williams|
|Editing by||John K. Carr|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||83 minutes|
Over the Hedge is a 2006 American computer-animated comedy film based on the characters from United Media comic strip of the same name. Directed by Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick, and produced by Bonnie Arnold, it was released in the United States on May 19, 2006.
The film was produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed through Paramount Pictures. The film features the voices of Bruce Willis, Avril Lavigne, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, William Shatner, Wanda Sykes, and Nick Nolte. Over the Hedge is the first DreamWorks Animation movie to be distributed by Paramount Pictures, who acquired the live-action DreamWorks Studio in 2006.
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RJ a raccoon is foraging for snacks in a vending machine. When that attempt fails, he sneaks into the cave of a bear named Vincent to steal his large cache of food. Giving in to temptation and stealing everything, RJ suddenly wakes Vincent up by opening a can of "Spuddies potato chips." The food and the wagon it was on are inadvertently destroyed by a passing truck. To save himself, RJ offers to get the food and the wagon back for Vincent, and therefore has until the next full moon to do this in before the bear wakes up from his hibernation, and will kill RJ in case of transgression. Desperate for help, RJ finds an advertisement for a residential community and is inspired by that to get the food back.
Meanwhile, a group of foraging animals wake up from their hibernation. Led by the tentative turtle Verne, the animals include the hyperactive squirrel Hammy, the attitude-stricken skunk Stella, the porcupines Penny and Lou, along with their triplet sons, Spike, Bucky and Quillo, and the opossum Ozzie and his daughter Heather. While foraging, they encounter a hedge that separates them from the human community beyond the now-small forest, mistaking it for a monster; their confusion and lifestyle of foraging gives RJ an idea to use them to retrieve the goods he needs to appease Vincent. He quickly warms up to the group, convincing them about the "wonders" of human kind and the ease of stealing and gathering food from them. All of the animals accept, except for Verne, who is wary of RJ after encountering some of the humans and after homeowner and HOA chairman Gladys Sharp frightens them off her porch during their first venture out into the neighborhood. However, the others ignore his warnings for the more enthusiastic and charismatic RJ. After several incidents of their food theft, Gladys calls in an eccentric exterminator named Dwayne LaFontant, which Verne discovers after an incident during which RJ disguises Hammy as a rabid squirrel to steal cookies and a red wagon from two girl scouts. Frustrated with RJ's influence, Verne attempts to return the food, resulting in an argument between him and RJ, which excites a neighborhood rottweiler named Nugent, all of which results in the obliteration and total destruction of their food supplies. Verne, inadvertently insults his friends while trying to defend his actions; hence, the others turn their backs on him and restore their faith in RJ, who deep inside regrets his actions.
Before RJ can tell Verne of his real plans, he gets the idea of getting all of their supplies back by robbing Gladys' house as she prepares for a big party. Using Stella to lure her cat Tiger away, the others break in to steal the food, but they are caught when Gladys wakes up and finds them in her kitchen. Chaos during which RJ inadvertently reveals the true purpose of his plans when he's getting a can of "Spuddies". The raccoon goes to return the food to Vincent, leaving the others to be caged and captured by Dwayne. But when Vincent compares RJ's methods to his own, he realizes that he's got real friends and a true family, and should not be like the bear; therefore, he steals the food wagon, destroying the supplies again – which angers Vincent – and goes to rescue the others, the commotion causing Dwayne to be knocked out and the animals to take over the van. The ensuing chaos returns the party to Gladys' house and they destroy the house; so she, Dwayne and Vincent trap all the animals inside the hedge. Hammy is given an energy drink, which brings him to move faster than the speed of light in which he triggers an illegal trap called a Depelter Turbo Dwayne set up with Gladys' permission, trapping the humans and Vincent in it. The police arrive and arrest Gladys for having the Depelter Turbo in her yard and cage Vincent to be sent elsewhere. As for Dwayne, he also gets arrested but manages to escape. However, he comes face to face with Nugent and gets bitten. Tiger, having fallen in love with Stella earlier, abandons his life as a house pet to live with her and the others in the woods. RJ apologizes for his actions. Verne tells him if he told them he had been up front with his motives in the first place, they would have helped because that′s what family does for each other. Overcome with his emotions, RJ and Hammy share a warm hug. When they bring up the fact they haven′t foraged for food, Hammy reveals in his hyperactive state he filled the log they slept in with enough nuts to last them the entire year.
In a post-credits scene, the animals go to the vending machine seen in the beginning of the film, and make every snack to fall into the access bin. However, the big pile of snacks jams the access door from opening, prompting Hammy to remark that this is "kind of anti-climatic."
- Bruce Willis as RJ, a raccoon who is very devious and deceptive. Despite his hard outer shell, he is revealed to have a softer personality, developing feelings of guilt over using his new-found companions to his own ends.
- Garry Shandling as Verne, a naturally tentative ornate box turtle, the leader of the foragers. He has his own ways of doing the daily tasks, but his world is turned upside-down when RJ introduces his chaotic lifestyle into the mix. Though Verne genuinely cares for his family, he tends to condescend to them. A couple of running gags throughout the movie are everyone calling him an amphibian and him correcting them with reptile (though LaFontant already knew he was a reptile, but first mistook him as an amphibian), as well as his shell constantly falling off.
- Steve Carell as Hammy, a hyperactive American red squirrel, whose mouth moves as fast as his feet and loves cookies. He is naive and very childish in nature, with an extremely short attention span. The double entendre of Hammy′s constantly trying to find his nuts is a third running gag in the film.
- Wanda Sykes as Stella, a short-tempered, sassy striped skunk who is constantly being told by the other foragers that she needs a man in her life.
- Eugene Levy as Lou, a North American porcupine father and family patriarch with an overly talkative and optimistic attitude.
- Catherine O'Hara as Penny, the porcupine family mother and matriarch; she serves as a ground between their family and the other animals.
- Shane Baumel, Sami Kirkpatrick, and Madison Davenport as Spike, Bucky and Quillo, Lou and Penny′s three identical sons. They′re big on video games and are the most enthusiastic about exploring the world beyond the hedge.
- William Shatner and Avril Lavigne as Ozzie and Heather, a Virginia opossum father and daughter, who see the world from different points of view; Ozzie often embarrasses Heather when he feigns death to get away from danger. This is Avril's first movie voice role.
- Omid Djalili as Tiger, a Persian cat, whose sense of smell has faded to nothing after years of his "beautiful" evolution, and his Persian name is "Prince Tigerius Mahmoud Shaboz." He falls in love with Stella – however disguised as a cat for distracting the group while they steal food from Gladys' house, and comes to live with her at the end of the movie.
- Nick Nolte as Vincent, an American black bear whose ruthless behavior intimidates RJ. He made a cameo in the film "Bee Movie", but doesn't speak.
- Allison Janney as Gladys Sharp, a human and president of the Camelot Estates Home Owners Association. She is disgusted by animals and is very strict on H.O.A. rules. At the end, Gladys is arrested for using an illegal animal trap called a Depelter Turbo.
- Thomas Haden Church as Dwayne LaFontaine, an over-zealous human pest exterminator hired by Gladys. He′s often fooled by plastic garden flamingos, but has an innate sense of the animals surrounding him by sniffing and then killing them. Through this, he can detect the species of any animal that has recently been in the area. He spoofs The Terminator.
- Brian Stepanek as Nugent, a playful Rottweiler, whose only intelligible word is "Play!", other than something that sounds more like barking.
The film was screened out of competition at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. On opening weekend, the film was in second place to The DaVinci Code, but its gross of $38,457,003 did not quite live up to DreamWorks Animation's other titles released over the past few years. The film had a per-theater average of $9,474 from 4,059 theaters. In its second weekend, the film dropped 30% to $27,063,774 for a $6,612 average from an expanded 4,093 theaters and finishing third, behind X-Men: The Last Stand and The DaVinci Code. Since it was Memorial Day Weekend, the film grossed a total of $35,322,115 over the four-day weekend, resulting in only an 8% slide. In its third weekend, the film held well with a 24% drop to $20,647,284 and once again placing in third behind The Break-Up and X-Men: The Last Stand, for a $5,170 average from 3,993 theaters. The film closed on September 4, 2006 after 112 days of release, grossing $155,019,340 domestically along with $180,983,656 overseas for a worldwide total of $336,002,996. Produced on an $80 million budget, the film was a commercial success. Commenting the possibility of a sequel, Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation's CEO, said: "It was close. An almost."
Critical reaction was mostly positive with the film being rated 75% "Certified Fresh" on the Rotten Tomatoes movie review aggregate site; the site's consensus states [that] "Even if it's not an animation classic, Over the Hedge is clever and fun, and the jokes cater to family members of all ages." On another aggregator, Metacritic, the film has a rating of 67/100, indicating "generally favorable." 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".
Home media 
A short film titled Hammy's Boomerang Adventure was released with the DVD. Over the Hedge was released on DVD by DreamWorks Animation's newly formed Home Entertainment division on October 17, 2006. No Blu-ray release date has been announced yet.
The soundtrack for the film was released on May 16, 2006 by Epic Records. Rupert Gregson-Williams composed an original score, while Ben Folds contributed three original songs, along with a rewrite of his song "Rockin' the Suburbs" and a cover of The Clash's "Lost in the Supermarket."
|Over the Hedge: Music from the Motion Picture|
|Soundtrack album by Various Artists|
|Released||May 16, 2006|
|Label||Epic Records/Sony Music Soundtrax|
|1.||"Family of Me"||Ben Folds||1:28|
|2.||"RJ Enters the Cave"||Rupert Gregson-Williams||4:37|
|3.||"The Family Awakes"||Rupert Gregson-Williams||2:32|
|5.||"Lost in the Supermarket"||Ben Folds (Originally by The Clash)||3:30|
|6.||"Let's Call It Steve"||Rupert Gregson-Williams||3:39|
|7.||"Hammy Time"||Michael Whitlock||2:28|
|10.||"Rockin' the Suburbs"||Ben Folds (Featuring a speaking part by William Shatner)||4:57|
|11.||"The Inside Heist"||Rupert Gregson-Williams||7:38|
|12.||"RJ Rescues His Family"||Rupert Gregson-Williams||4:18|
A video game based on the film was released on May 9, 2006. Developed by Edge of Reality, Beenox and Vicarious Visions it was published by Activision for PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, Xbox, GameCube, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance. Three different versions of Over the Hedge: Hammy Goes Nuts! were released by Activision in the fall of 2006: a miniature golf game for Game Boy Advance, an action adventure game for Nintendo DS, and a platform game for PlayStation Portable.
- "Over the Hedge". The Numbers. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
- "Over the Hedge". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
- Over the Hedge (2006). Festival de Cannes. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
- Bond, Paul (May 2, 2007). "2nd 'Hedge' fund drives DWA Q1". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- "Over the Hedge (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- "Over the Hedge". Metacritic. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Over the Hedge Review. TVGuide.com. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
- McCutcheon, David (August 1, 2006). "Over the Hedge Trims Up". IGN. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
- "Ben Folds Brings a Magical Sound to a Suburban Backyard in the `Over the Hedge' Film Soundtrack Releasing on May 16th". April 25, 2006. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
- "Find Out What Awaits Over the Hedge(TM) in Activision's New Video Game, Available Now at Retail Stores Nationwide". PR Newswire. May 9, 2006. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
- "Activision Begins Shipment of Over the Hedge™: Hammy Goes Nuts!". Business Wire. October 12, 2006. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
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