Over the Hedge (film)

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Over the Hedge
Over the Hedge Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTim Johnson
Karey Kirkpatrick
Produced byBonnie Arnold
Screenplay by
Based on
Starring
Music byRupert Gregson-Williams
Edited byJohn K. Carr
Production
company
Distributed byParamount Pictures[N 1]
Release date
  • April 30, 2006 (2006-04-30) (Los Angeles premiere)[1]
  • May 19, 2006 (2006-05-19) (United States)
Running time
83 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$80 million[2]
Box office$340 million[3]

Over the Hedge is a 2006 American computer-animated comedy film based on the United Media comic strip of the same name by Michael Fry and T. Lewis. Produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures, which acquired the DreamWorks Pictures studio the same year,[4] the film was directed by Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick (with Kirkpatrick in his feature directorial debut) from a screenplay by Len Blum, Lorne Cameron, David Hoselton, and Kirkpatrick. Featuring the voices of Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, William Shatner, Wanda Sykes, and Nick Nolte, the film was released on May 19, 2006 in the United States. It received generally positive reviews from critics, and grossed $336 million on an $80 million budget.

Plot[edit]

RJ the raccoon fails to get a stuck bag of nacho chips to fall from a vending machine. He decides to raid the food stash of Vincent, a hibernating bear. However, Vincent awakens and the food is accidentally destroyed during the ensuing chase. RJ promises, on pain of death, to replace it in a week's time. The bag of chips falls moments later, to RJ's intense frustration.

Meanwhile, a blended family of animals led by Verne the turtle awakens from hibernation. They find a giant hedge has been built between them and their foraging grounds. While Stella the skunk, Ozzy the opossum and his daughter Heather, Hammy the hyperactive squirrel, and porcupines Penny and Lou and their three children stay behind, Verne cautiously goes across, only to find the foraging grounds have been replaced by a housing development. Frightened, he forbids the family to cross the hedge.

RJ convinces them the humans have better food. He guides the family in stealing food from the humans against Verne's wishes, and they soon fill a hollow log with food. RJ plans to steal it all and give it to Vincent once the time is right. Verne still distrusts both RJ and the humans, especially when his family is chased away by HOA president Gladys Sharp. Hammy is also injured by a Girl Scout while trying to steal her wagon of cookies, and Ozzy is nearly hit by a car. Gladys hiring exterminator Dwayne LaFontant is the final straw, and Verne decides the safest thing to do is return the food to the humans. RJ intervenes, but their arguing awakens a playful Rottweiler. The dog chases them across several yards until the food, as well as Gladys' SUV, is completely destroyed. In response, Gladys makes Dwayne fill her yard with every kind of trap there is, including the illegal De-Pelter Turbo.

After Verne accidentally insults the family during a heated argument, they all shun him out. After a while, RJ and Verne reconcile, and RJ considers telling the truth to Verne. He is interrupted by a truck arriving at Gladys' house with food for a neighborhood party. RJ decides to steal the food, as he has only one day left. Verne apologizes to the family, and RJ outlines his scheme. Late that night, Hammy goes across to the roof of the house and disarms the traps. Stella disguises herself to romance Tiger, Gladys' Persian guard cat. The others go through the cat flap and load up a wagon with food, while Stella keeps Tiger talking.

Despite having more than enough food, RJ refuses to leave without the Spuddies (Vincent's favorite), and inadvertently tells the family of his true motives. Gladys awakens, and RJ runs off with the wagon of food, leaving the others to be captured by Dwayne. However, when Vincent praises him for the con, RJ's conscience gets the better of him. He uses the wagon of food to wreck Dwayne's truck, knocking out Dwayne and freeing the family. The porcupine triplets drive the truck back to the housing development, with Vincent attempting to kill RJ. RJ begs for help, but the others, angry at him for his treachery, refuse, until Verne finally convinces them that RJ came back for them.

The animals crash the truck into Gladys' house and flee into the hedge. Trapped by Vincent on one side and Dwayne and Gladys on the other, RJ gives Hammy an energy drink, enabling him to run faster than light speed. Hammy arms the traps, and RJ and Verne lure Vincent across the hedge, where he and the two humans fall victim to the De-Pelter Turbo.

Dwayne and Gladys are arrested for the illegal use of the De-Pelter Turbo while park rangers take Vincent far away. Once safely back in the woods, Verne explains to RJ that, had he told them the truth from the beginning, the family would have gladly helped him to repay Vincent. RJ is officially made part of the family, as is Tiger, who ran away with Stella. They wonder what to do about food, but Hammy reveals that, while in light-speed mode, he filled the entire log with enough acorns and nuts to last them the year.

Voice cast[edit]

Bruce Willis
Avril Lavigne
Bruce Willis and Avril Lavigne at the film's premiere at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival
  • Bruce Willis as RJ, a raccoon who is duplicitous, selfish, a con artist, 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. Jim Carrey was originally set to voice the character,[5] but in October 2004, he left the project and was replaced with Willis.[6]
  • 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 can be patronizing. His shell falls off regularly and is laughed at. He is commonly mistaken for an amphibian despite the fact that he is a reptile.
  • Steve Carell as Hammy, a hyperactive American red squirrel, whose mouth moves as fast as his feet. He is naive and childish in nature, with an extremely short attention span.
  • Wanda Sykes as Stella, a short-tempered, sassy striped skunk. She later goes undercover as a black female cat to distract Tiger, and ends up falling in love with him when he reveals he has no sense of smell.
  • Eugene Levy as Lou, a North American porcupine. He is Penny's husband and the porcupine family patriarch with an overly friendly and optimistic attitude. He has a strong Minnesota accent.
  • Catherine O'Hara as Penny, the porcupine family mother, Lou's wife, and matriarch of the porcupine family; 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 children. They enjoy playing 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 constantly feigns death to get away from danger.
  • Omid Djalili as Tiger, a Persian cat; his full Persian name is "Prince Tigerius Mahmoud Shabazz."[7] Initially hating the forest animals, he helps guard Gladys' house from them. However, he joins their family after he falls in love with Stella.
  • Nick Nolte as Vincent, a murderous, sadistic and conscienceless American black bear to whom RJ owes food, motivating the story. He later makes a cameo in Bee Movie.[8]
  • Allison Janney as Gladys Sharp, the president of the El Rancho Camelot Estates Home Owners Association. She is disgusted by animals and is strict on H.O.A. rules and is not taken seriously by the other residents of the housing development, much to her irritation.
  • Thomas Haden Church as Dwayne LaFontant,[9][10] an over-zealous, middle-aged pest exterminator nicknamed the "Verminator" who is hired by Gladys. He can detect the species of any animal that has recently been in the area by smell. He spoofs the Terminator.
  • Brian Stepanek as Nugent, an excitable Rottweiler whose only spoken word is "Play!". He otherwise communicates by barks.
  • Two minor human characters named Lunch Table Larry and BBQ Barry, 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.[11]

Production[edit]

The film was originally set up at 20th Century Fox through its 20th Century Fox Animation division; The idea of the film was conceived when Don Bluth and Gary Goldman showed the comic strip to its head Chris Meledandri, who was impressed by its humor and acquired rights to the strip. He asked the screenwriting duo of Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman to write the screenplay for the project for Bluth and Goldman’s Fox Animation Studios; however, in February 2001, due to the disappointing performance of its recent film Titan A.E., it was later picked up by DreamWorks Animation under the leadership of its CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg when Fox put the film in turnaround.[12]

Release[edit]

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

The film was originally going to be released in November 2005;[13] however, in December 2004, the date was changed to May 2006. The film was screened as a "work-in-progress" on April 29, 2006, at the Indianapolis International Film Festival (according to the scene in which the Depelter Turbo destroys a satellite, this film took place in suburban Indianapolis)[14] 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.[15] In select New York and Los Angeles theatres, it was accompanied by a DreamWorks Animation's animated short film First Flight.[15] The film was also screened out of competition on May 21, 2006, at the Cannes Film Festival.[16][17]

Home media[edit]

Over the Hedge was released on DVD by DreamWorks Animation's newly formed home entertainment division and Paramount Home Entertainment on October 17, 2006.[18] A short film based on Over the Hedge, titled Hammy's Boomerang Adventure, was released with the DVD. The film was released on Blu-ray on February 5, 2019 by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment as a Walmart exclusive,[19] and was subsequently given a wider release on June 4.[20]

Reception [edit]

Box office[edit]

On opening weekend, the film was in second place to The Da Vinci Code,[21] but its gross of $38,457,003 did not quite live up to DreamWorks Animation's other titles released over the past few years.[22] The film had a per-theater average of $9,474 from 4,059 theaters.[22] 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,[22] behind X-Men: The Last Stand and The Da Vinci Code.[23] 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.[24] 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.[25] 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 internationally for a worldwide total of $336,002,996,[3] against a production budget of $80 million.[2]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 75% based on 172 reviews, with an average of 6.81/10. The site's consensus states: "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."[26] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 67 out of 100 based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[27] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[28]

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".[29] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called it "Not at the level of Finding Nemo or Shrek, but is a lot of fun, awfully nice to look at, and filled with energy and smiles."[30]

Accolades[edit]

Awards
Award Category Recipients Result
Annie Awards Best Animated Feature[31] Nominated
Character Animation in a Feature Production Kristof Serrand Nominated
Character Design in a Feature Production Nico Marlet Won
Directing in a Feature Production Tim Johnson & Karey Kirkpatrick Won
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 Best Animated Feature[32] Nominated
Kids' Choice Awards Animated Movie Nominated
Voice From an Animated Movie[33] Bruce Willis Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Animated FIlm[34] Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Family Movie[35] Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Animated Film[36] Nominated
Toronto Film Critics Association Awards Best Animated Film[37] Nominated
Cannes Film Festival Golden Camera Karey Kirkpatrick Nominated
Capri, Hollywood Capri Arts Award Enzo Ghinazzi Won
Genesis Awards Outstanding Family Feature - Animated DreamWorks Nominated
Gold Derby Awards Best Animated Feature Best Animated Feature| style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated
Golden Schmoes Awards Best Animated Movie of the Year Best Animated Movie of the Year Nominated

Soundtrack[edit]

Over the Hedge: Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedMay 16, 2006
Length48:45
Label
ProducerHans Zimmer[38]

The soundtrack for the film was released on May 16, 2006 by Epic Records. Rupert Gregson-Williams composed the 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."[38]

No.TitleArtistLength
1."Family of Me"Ben Folds1:28
2."RJ Enters the Cave"Rupert Gregson-Williams4:37
3."The Family Awakes"Rupert Gregson-Williams2:33
4."Heist"Ben Folds3:02
5."Lost in the Supermarket"Ben Folds (Originally by The Clash)3:30
6."Let's Call It Steve"Rupert Gregson-Williams3:40
7."Hammy Time"Michael Whitlock2:28
8."Still"Ben Folds2:38
9."Play?"Rupert Gregson-Williams1:49
10."Rockin' the Suburbs"Ben Folds (Featuring a speaking part by William Shatner)4:57
11."The Inside Heist"Rupert Gregson-Williams7:38
12."RJ Rescues His Family"Rupert Gregson-Williams4:18
13."Still (Reprise)"Ben Folds6:07
Total length:48:45

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.[39] Shane Baumel, Sami Kirkpatrick, and Madison Davenport were the only ones to reprise their roles for the video game while everyone else was voiced by different voice actors.

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.[40]

Picture books[edit]

Scholastic published a series of picture books to tie-in with the film. Over the Hedge: Meet the Neighbors and Over the Hedge: Movie Storybook were both authored by Sarah Durkee and illustrated by Michael Koelsch.[41][42]

Possible sequel[edit]

In May 2007, DreamWorks Animation CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg, said that despite the company exceeding Wall Street's expectations during the second consecutive quarter of 2007, the film would not get a sequel due to the box office performance of the film, saying "It was close. An almost."[43]

In October 2010, an article was posted on the official Over the Hedge blog, explaining what would happen if a sequel was made, saying that if the sequel did not perform as well as the first one, then DreamWorks could lose money, and that a sequel probably would not happen until DreamWorks Animation was bought by a large studio, which eventually happened in 2016 when NBCUniversal bought DreamWorks Animation.[44]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In 2013, the film's distribution rights were purchased by DreamWorks Animation and transferred over to 20th Century Fox, and later Universal Pictures in 2018.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "'Over The Hedge' Premieres - Celebrity Circuit". CBS News. April 30, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Over the Hedge (2006) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Over the Hedge (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  4. ^ "DreamWorks Animation Distribution Late With DreamWorks Pictures" (Press release). Glendale, CA: DreamWorks Animation. February 1, 2006. Archived from the original on December 12, 2013. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  5. ^ Susman, Gary (July 16, 2002). "Jim Carrey will costar with Garry Shandling in ''Over the Hedge''". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  6. ^ DeMott, Rick (October 25, 2004). "Willis Replaces Carrey in Over the Hedge". Animation World Network. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  7. ^ Ziebarth, Christian (May 18, 2006). "Over the Hedge: review, interviews, and production notes". Animated Views. 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. ^ DeMott, Rick (October 17, 2014). "Over the Hedge Lands on DVD With New Hammy Short". Animation World Network. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  10. ^ Zahed, Ramin (October 27, 2006). "Over the Hedge Critters Prove Popular on Discs". Animation Magazine. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  11. ^ Andy Dehnart (May 16, 2006). "Lee and Sean record Over the Hedge cameos and Sean kisses Hollywood ass". reality blurred. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  12. ^ "Comics2Film: Over The Hedge". Comics2Film. Archived from the original on April 7, 2001. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  13. ^ Netherby, Jennifer (August 8, 2004). "In the pipeline". Variety. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  14. ^ "Over the Hedge". Indianapolis International Film Festival. Archived from the original on October 18, 2007. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  15. ^ 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. Archived from the original on March 20, 2012. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  16. ^ "OVER THE HEDGE". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  17. ^ "Weekend At Cannes - Photo 12 - Pictures". CBS News. May 2006. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  18. ^ McCutcheon, David (August 1, 2006). "Over the Hedge Trims Up". IGN. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  19. ^ https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Over-the-Hedge-Blu-ray/42463/
  20. ^ "Flushed Away and Shark Tale Heading to Blu-ray (UPDATED)". Blu-ray.com. April 12, 2019. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  21. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for May 19-21, 2006". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  22. ^ a b c "Over the Hedge (2006) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  23. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for May 26-28, 2006". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  24. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for May 26-29, 2006". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  25. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for June 2-4, 2006". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  26. ^ "Over the Hedge (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  27. ^ "Over the Hedge Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  28. ^ "CinemaScore". Archived from the original on December 20, 2018.
  29. ^ Fox, Ken. "Over The Hedge - Movie Reviews and Movie Ratings". TV Guide. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
  30. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Over the Hedge movie review & film summary (2006)". Chicago Sun-Times.
  31. ^ "34th Annie Awards". Annie Awards. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  32. ^ Beachum, Chris (January 27, 2007). "'United 93' was Critics' Choice Awards' second-best picture". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on January 6, 2007. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  33. ^ Gervich, Chad (March 29, 2007). "Kids' Choice Awards grows up". Variety. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  34. ^ "Online critics nominate favorites". Variety. January 3, 2007. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  35. ^ "2007 Nominees & Winners". People's Choice. Archived from the original on July 27, 2014. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  36. ^ Tyler, Josh (February 20, 2007). "Saturn Awards Correct Oscar Error". Cinema Blend. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  37. ^ "Past Award Winners". Toronto Film Critics Association. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  38. ^ a b "Ben Folds Brings a Magical Sound to a Suburban Backyard in the 'Over the Hedge' Film Soundtrack Releasing on May 16th" (Press release). New York, NY: Epic Records. April 25, 2006. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  39. ^ "Find Out What Awaits Over the Hedge(TM) in Activision's New Video Game, Available Now at Retail Stores Nationwide" (Press release). Santa Monica, CA: Activision. May 9, 2006. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  40. ^ "Activision Begins Shipment of Over the Hedge™: Hammy Goes Nuts!" (Press release). Santa Monica, CA: DreamWorks Animation. October 12, 2006. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  41. ^ Durkee, Sarah (2006). Over the Hedge Movie Storybook. Scholastic. ISBN 978-0-439-80145-4.
  42. ^ Emslie, Peter; Koelsch Studios; DreamWorks Animation (2006). Over the hedge. Internet Archive. New York : Scholastic. ISBN 978-0-439-87509-7.
  43. ^ Bond, Paul (May 2, 2007). "2nd 'Hedge' fund drives DWA Q1". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
  44. ^ "Why There Wasn't an Over the Hedge Sequel". October 19, 2010.

External links[edit]