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 onOver the Hedge
by Michael Fry and
T. Lewis
Starring
Music byRupert Gregson-Williams
Edited byJohn K. Carr
Production
companies
Distributed byParamount Pictures1
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. Produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures, which acquired the live-action DreamWorks studio the same year,[4] the film was directed by Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick (the latter in his 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 and grossed $336 million on an $80 million budget.

Plot[edit]

After RJ (Bruce Willis), a hungry raccoon, fails to get snacks from a vending machine, he becomes so desperate that he tries to raid a large food cache belonging to Vincent (Nick Nolte), a hibernating bear. However, while trying to finish by stealing a can of "Spuddies" potato chips, he wakes Vincent and loses both the food and the wagon that it is on when a truck runs it over. Hastily, he promises to replace everything by the time Vincent reawakens in a week.

Meanwhile, a group of forest animals, led by Verne (Garry Shandling) the turtle, emerge from hibernation to find their food cache nearly empty. The animals consist of, Hammy the hyperactive squirrel (Steve Carell), Stella the skunk (Wanda Sykes), oppossums Ozzie (William Shatner) and his daughter, Heather (Avril Lavigne), and porcupines Lou (Eugene Levy), his wife, Penny (Catherine O'Hara), and three children, Spike (Shane Baumel), Bucky (Sami Kirkpatrick) and Quillo (Madison Davenport). They begin foraging but find a large hedge blocking their way. Verne investigates, discovering a human residential community that confuses and frightens him. RJ, who sees the entire commotion, convinces the other animals that it is easier to raid the humans' garbage for food rather than forage for it, and they manage to get enough food to keep them from starving. Verne, however, remains wary, especially after homeowners association president, Gladys Sharp, (Allison Janney) discovers the animals in her yard, chases them out through the hedge, and hires VermTech exterminator (or "Verminator") Dwayne LaFontant (Thomas Haden Church) to keep them out.

Worried for his family's safety, Verne decides to return the food to the humans. RJ tries to stop him, resulting in an argument between the two. This attracts the attention of a playful Rottweiler named Nugent (Brian Stepanek), who chases them across several lawns before all of the food the animals gathered is destroyed along with Gladys's car. Verne gets into a fight with RJ and insults the others, causing them to turn against him.

After RJ and Verne reconcile, they discover that Gladys has just restocked her pantry with a large food supply for an upcoming party and concoct a plan to get past the exterminator-planted boobytraps in her yard. Working together under cover of darkness, the animals get the food. RJ and Verne get into another argument, again over a can of "Spuddies", during which Verne and the others learn of RJ's true motives. Gladys wakes up, discovers the animals in her house, and calls VermTech, but not before Stella sprays the house. Dwayne arrives and captures the animals except for RJ, who escapes with the food.

RJ takes the food to a now-awake Vincent, but when the latter points out and praises RJ's treachery, the raccoon decides to sacrifice the food to save his friends. This angers Vincent, who chases RJ as he pursues Dwayne's truck. RJ pleads to be let in the truck as Vincent tries to catch him, but the others, angry at him for abandoning them, refuse before Verne finally convinces them otherwise. Vincent gets taken by giant balloons, the animals then subdue Dwayne, hijack his truck, and turn it toward home, but the truck goes out of control and demolishes Gladys' house.

The animals hide in the hedge, trapped by Vincent (who comes down with a balloon) on one side and Dwayne and Gladys on the other. RJ and Verne get an idea to give Hammy his first caffeinated drink, which puts him into overdrive. Exceeding the speed of light, Hammy activates an illegal trap that Dwayne had installed (at Gladys' insistence, while warning her that it was illegal in every state except for Texas), capturing Vincent, Dwayne, and Gladys and destroying a satellite in the process. Gladys and Vincent are taken into custody by the police and animal control, respectively, while Dwayne tries to escape after taking advantage of Gladys' attempt at fighting a police officer and resisting arrest, only to encounter Nugent.

Back in the forest, Verne tells RJ that if he had explained what he was trying to do in the first place, the others would have helped because "that's what families do," and welcomes him back to the family. The animals also find that while Hammy was in his caffeine-charged state, he had refilled their food cache with nuts to satisfy them for 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 naïve and childish in nature, with an extremely short attention span.
  • Wanda Sykes as Stella, a short-tempered, sassy striped skunk with an unhappy love-life. She later becomes Tiger's love interest.
  • Eugene Levy as Lou, a North American porcupine father, Penny's husband, and family patriarch with an overly friendly and optimistic attitude.
  • Catherine O'Hara as Penny, the porcupine family mother, Lou's wife, 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 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] He falls in love with Stella when she is disguised as a cat.
  • Nick Nolte as Vincent, an American black bear; RJ's former friend to whom RJ owes food, motivating the story. He makes a cameo in Bee Movie.[8]
  • Allison Janney as Gladys Sharp, president of the Camelot Estates Home Owners Association. She is disgusted by animals and is strict on H.O.A. rules.
  • Thomas Haden Church as Dwayne LaFontant,[9][10] an over-zealous human pest exterminator styled as a "Verminator" 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, 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.[11]

Production[edit]

The film was originally set up at 20th Century Fox through its Fox Family Films division; however, in February 2001, 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 October 2005; 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,[13] 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.[14] In select New York and Los Angeles theatres, it was accompanied by a DreamWorks Animation's animated short film First Flight.[14] The film was also screened out of competition on May 21, 2006, at the Cannes Film Festival.[15][16]

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.[17] 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,[18] and was subsequently given a wider release on June 4.[19]

Reception [edit]

Box office[edit]

On opening weekend, the film was in second place to The Da Vinci Code,[20] but its gross of $38,457,003 did not quite live up to DreamWorks Animation's other titles released over the past few years.[21] The film had a per-theater average of $9,474 from 4,059 theaters.[21] 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,[21] behind X-Men: The Last Stand and The Da Vinci Code.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24] 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 budget.[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."[25] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 67 out of 100 based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[26] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[27]

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".[28] 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."[29]

Accolades[edit]

Awards
Award Category Recipients Result
Annie Awards Best Animated Feature[30] 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[31] Nominated
Kids' Choice Awards Animated Movie Nominated
Voice From an Animated Movie[32] Bruce Willis Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Animated FIlm[33] Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Family Movie[34] Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Animated Film[35] Nominated
Toronto Film Critics Association Awards Best Animated Film[36] Nominated

Soundtrack[edit]

Over the Hedge: Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedMay 16, 2006
Length48:45
Label
ProducerHans Zimmer[37]

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."[37]

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.[38] 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.[39]

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."[40]

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.[41]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In July 2014, the film's distribution rights were purchased by DreamWorks Animation from Paramount Pictures and transferred to 20th Century Fox.[42] The rights were moved to Universal Pictures in 2018 after the buyout of DreamWorks Animation by Comcast/NBCUniversal.

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. ^ Dehnart, Andy (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. ^ "Over the Hedge". Indianapolis International Film Festival. Archived from the original on October 18, 2007. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "OVER THE HEDGE". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  16. ^ "Weekend At Cannes - Photo 12 - Pictures". CBS News. May 2006. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  17. ^ McCutcheon, David (August 1, 2006). "Over the Hedge Trims Up". IGN. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  18. ^ https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Over-the-Hedge-Blu-ray/42463/
  19. ^ "Flushed Away and Shark Tale Heading to Blu-ray (UPDATED)". Blu-ray.com. April 12, 2019. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  20. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for May 19-21, 2006". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  21. ^ a b c "Over the Hedge (2006) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  22. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for May 26-28, 2006". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  23. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for May 26-29, 2006". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  24. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for June 2-4, 2006". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  25. ^ "Over the Hedge (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  26. ^ "Over the Hedge Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  27. ^ "CinemaScore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on December 20, 2018.
  28. ^ Fox, Ken. "Over The Hedge - Movie Reviews and Movie Ratings". TV Guide. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
  29. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Over the Hedge movie review & film summary (2006)". Chicago Sun-Times.
  30. ^ "34th Annie Awards". Annie Awards. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ Gervich, Chad (March 29, 2007). "Kids' Choice Awards grows up". Variety. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  33. ^ "Online critics nominate favorites". Variety. January 3, 2007. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  34. ^ "2007 Nominees & Winners". People's Choice. Archived from the original on July 27, 2014. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  35. ^ Tyler, Josh (February 20, 2007). "Saturn Awards Correct Oscar Error". Cinema Blend. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  36. ^ "Past Award Winners". Toronto Film Critics Association. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  37. ^ 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.
  38. ^ "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.
  39. ^ "Activision Begins Shipment of Over the Hedge™: Hammy Goes Nuts!" (Press release). Santa Monica, CA: DreamWorks Animation. October 12, 2006. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  40. ^ Bond, Paul (May 2, 2007). "2nd 'Hedge' fund drives DWA Q1". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
  41. ^ "Why There Wasn't an Over the Hedge Sequel".
  42. ^ Chney, Alexandra (July 29, 2014). "DreamWorks Animation Q2 Earnings Fall Short of Estimates, SEC Investigation Revealed". Variety. Retrieved July 30, 2014.

External links[edit]