Over the Hedge (film)

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Over the Hedge
Over the Hedge Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tim Johnson
Karey Kirkpatrick
Produced by Bonnie Arnold
Written by
Based on Over the Hedge 
by Michael Fry
T. Lewis
Music by Rupert Gregson-Williams
Edited by John K. Carr
Distributed by Paramount Pictures1
Release dates
  • April 30, 2006 (2006-04-30) (Los Angeles premiere)[1]
  • May 19, 2006 (2006-05-19) (United States)
Running time
83 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $80 million[2]
Box office $336 million[3]

Over the Hedge is a 2006 American computer-animated comedy film based on the characters from the 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, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, William Shatner, Wanda Sykes, and Nick Nolte. It is the first DreamWorks Animation film to be distributed by Paramount Pictures,1 which acquired the live-action DreamWorks Studio in 2006.[4]


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 while Vincent is finishing up hibernation. Giving in to temptation and stealing everything, RJ suddenly wakes Vincent up by opening a can of "Spuddies potato chips." In the ensuing confusion, the food and the wagon it was on roll away into a nearby road and are destroyed by a passing truck, enraging Vincent. To save himself, RJ offers to replace the food and wagon for Vincent, and is given until the next full moon to do this 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 newly-created 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 agree 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, preferring 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 ensues during which RJ inadvertently reveals the true purpose of his plans while attempting to get a can of "Spuddies". The raccoon then leaves to return the food to Vincent, leaving the others to be caged and captured by Dwayne. But when RJ compares Vincent's methods to his own, he realizes that he has 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 his van. In the ensuing chaos, the animals arrive back at Gladys' house and destroy it, after which she, Dwayne and Vincent trap all the animals inside the hedge.

Struck by an idea, RJ gives Hammy an energy drink, causing him to move faster than the speed of light and allowing him to safely trigger an illegal trap called the Depelter Turbo that 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 to the Rocky Mountains. Dwayne is also arrested but manages to escape, however he then 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 to the group for his actions, and Verne tells him that if he told them about his motives in the first place, they would have helped because that′s what family does for each other. Overcome with emotions, RJ shares a warm hug with Hammy, and becomes a member of the family. When they bring up the fact they haven′t foraged for food, Hammy reveals that in his hyperactive state, he filled the log they slept in with enough nuts to last them the entire year.


Bruce Willis at the film's premiere at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival
  • Bruce Willis as RJ, a raccoon who is duplicitous, selfish and extremely intelligent. Despite his hard outer shell, he is revealed to have a sensitive personality, developing feelings of guilt over using his new-found companions to his own ends.
  • Garry Shandling as Verne, a naturally cynical 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 free-spirited 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 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 friendly 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.
Avril Lavigne at the film's premiere at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival
  • 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.
  • 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 Shabazz."[5] 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.
  • Thomas Haden Church as Dwayne LaFontant,[6][7] 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.
  • Allison Janney as Gladys Sharp, a human and president of the Camelot Estates Home Owners Association. She is disgusted by animals and is strict on H.O.A. rules. At the end, Gladys is arrested for using an illegal animal trap called a Depelter Turbo.
  • Nick Nolte as Vincent, an American black bear whom RJ owes food and whose barbaric behavior intimidates him. He makes a cameo in the 2007 DreamWorks Animation film Bee Movie.[8]
  • Brian Stepanek as Nugent, a playful Rottweiler, whose only intelligible word is "Play!", other than barking.

Two minor human characters, appearing during the dog chase scene, were voiced by Lee Bienstock and Sean Yazbeck, two participants on The Apprentice 5 as part of a reward for winning a task.[9]

Reception [edit]

Box office[edit]

On opening weekend, the film was in second place to The DaVinci Code,[10] but its gross of $38,457,003 did not quite live up to DreamWorks Animation's other titles released over the past few years.[11] The film had a per-theater average of $9,474 from 4,059 theaters.[11] 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,[11] behind X-Men: The Last Stand and The DaVinci Code.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14] The film closed on September 4, 2006 after 112 days of release, grossing $155,019,340 in the United States and Canada along with $180,983,656 overseas for a worldwide total of $336,002,996.[3] Produced on an $80 million budget,[2] the film was a commercial success. Commenting the possibility of a sequel, Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation's CEO, said: "It was close. An almost."[15]

Critical response[edit]

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."[16] On another aggregator, Metacritic, the film has a rating of 67/100, indicating "generally favorable."[17] 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".[18]


Award Category Recipients and nominees Outcome
Annie Awards[19] Best Animated Feature Nominated
Character Animation in a Feature Production Kristof Serrand Nominated
Character Design in a Feature Production Nicolas Marlet Won
Directing in a Feature Production Tim Johnson & Karey Kirkpatrick Nominated
Production Design in a Feature Production Paul Shardlow Nominated
Storyboarding in a Feature Production Thom Enriquez Nominated
Gary Graham Won
Voice Acting in a Feature Production Wanda Sykes Nominated
Critics' Choice Awards[20] Best Animated Feature Nominated
Kids' Choice Awards[21] Favorite Animated Movie Nominated
Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Bruce Willis Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Awards[22] Best Animated FIlm Nominated
People's Choice Awards[23] Favorite Family Movie Nominated
Saturn Awards[24] Best Animated Film Nominated
Toronto Film Critics Association Awards[25] Best Animated Film Nominated


Karey Kirkpatrick
Bonnie Arnold
Co-director Karey Kirkpatrick and producer Bonnie Arnold in 2006 promoting the film.

The film was screened as a "work-in-progress" on April 29, 2006, at the Indianapolis International Film Festival,[26] and it premiered on April 30, 2006, in Los Angeles.[1] Nick Nolte, Bruce Willis, Avril Lavigne, Garry Shandling, Wanda Sykes, Catherine O'Hara and Steve Carell attended the premiere.[1] The film was theatrically released in the United States on May 19, 2006.[27] In select New York and Los Angeles theatres, it was accompanied by a DreamWorks Animation's animated short film First Flight.[27] The film was also screened out of competition on May 21, 2006, at the Cannes Film Festival.[28][29]

Home media [edit]

Over the Hedge was released on DVD by DreamWorks Animation's newly formed Home Entertainment division on October 17, 2006.[30] A short film based on Over the Hedge, titled Hammy's Boomerang Adventure, was released with the DVD.


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."[31]

Over the Hedge: Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released May 16, 2006
Length 42:36
Label Epic Records/Sony Music Soundtrax
Producer Hans Zimmer[31]

Track list:

No. Title Artist Length
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
4. "Heist"   Ben Folds 3:02
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
8. "Still"   Ben Folds 2:38
9. "Play?"   Rupert Gregson-Williams 1:49
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
Total length:

Video games[edit]

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.[32] 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.[33]


  1. ^ In July 2014, the film's distribution rights were purchased by DreamWorks Animation from Paramount Pictures and transferred to 20th Century Fox.[34]


  1. ^ a b c "Celebrity Circuit - 'Over The Hedge' Premieres". CBSNews. April 30, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Over the Hedge". The Numbers. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Over the Hedge". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  4. ^ DreamWorks Animation SKG (February 1, 2006). "DreamWorks Animation Begins New Distribution Deal With Paramount Pictures" (Press release). DreamWorks Animation. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  5. ^ Ziebarth, Christian (May 18, 2006). "Over the Hedge: review, interviews, and production notes". Animated Views. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  6. ^ DeMott, Rick (October 17, 2014). "Over the Hedge Lands on DVD With New Hammy Short". Animation World Network. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  7. ^ Zahed, Ramin (October 27, 2006). "Over the Hedge Critters Prove Popular on Discs". Animation Magazine. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  8. ^ Ziebarth, Christian (September 14, 2007). "Bee Movie Fun Facts". Animated Views. Retrieved September 11, 2014. Vincent the bear from Over the Hedge appears in both a trailer for Bee Movie and in the courtroom scene in the film. 
  9. ^ Dehnart, Andy (May 16, 2006). "Lee and Sean record Over the Hedge cameos and Sean kisses Hollywood ass". Reality Blurred. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  10. ^ "May 19-21, 2006". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c "Over the Hedge - Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  12. ^ "May 26-28, 2006". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  13. ^ "May 26-29, 2006". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  14. ^ "June 2-4, 2006". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  15. ^ Bond, Paul (May 2, 2007). "2nd 'Hedge' fund drives DWA Q1". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Over the Hedge (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Over the Hedge". Metacritic. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  18. ^ Over the Hedge Review. TVGuide.com. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
  19. ^ "34th Annual Annie Nominations and Awards Recipients". Annie Awards. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  20. ^ Beachum, Chris (January 27, 2007). "'United 93' was Critics' Choice Awards' second-best picture". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  21. ^ Gervich, Chad (March 29, 2007). "Kids' Choice Awards grows up". Variety. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Online critics nominate favorites". Variety. January 3, 2007. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  23. ^ "2007 Nominees & Winners". People's Choice. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  24. ^ Tyler, Josh (February 20, 2007). "Saturn Awards Correct Oscar Error". Cinema Blend. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Past Award Winners". Toronto Film Critics Association. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Over the Hedge". Indianapolis International Film Festival. Archived from the original on October 18, 2007. Retrieved May 30, 2015. 
  27. ^ a b "Dreamworks Animation Plans a New Animated Short Film to Soar With "Over the Hedge" in NY & LA" (Press release). DreamWorks Animation. May 4, 2006. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  28. ^ Over the Hedge (2006). Festival de Cannes. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  29. ^ "Weekend At Cannes - 'Over The Hedge'". CBS News. May 2006. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  30. ^ McCutcheon, David (August 1, 2006). "Over the Hedge Trims Up". IGN. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  31. ^ a b Epic Records (April 25, 2006). "Ben Folds Brings a Magical Sound to a Suburban Backyard in the `Over the Hedge' Film Soundtrack Releasing on May 16th" (Press release). Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  32. ^ Activision (May 9, 2006). "Find Out What Awaits Over the Hedge(TM) in Activision's New Video Game, Available Now at Retail Stores Nationwide". PR Newswire (Press release). Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  33. ^ DreamWorks Animation (October 12, 2006). "Activision Begins Shipment of Over the Hedge™: Hammy Goes Nuts!" (Press release). Business Wire. Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  34. ^ Chney, Alexandra (July 29, 2014). "DreamWorks Animation Q2 Earnings Fall Short of Estimates, SEC Investigation Revealed". Variety. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 

External links[edit]