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
Screenplay 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 date
  • April 30, 2006 (2006-04-30) (Los Angeles premiere)[2]
  • May 19, 2006 (2006-05-19) (United States)
Running time
83 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $80 million[3]
Box office $336 million[4]

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. This was the first DreamWorks Animation film to be distributed by Paramount Pictures,1 which acquired the live-action DreamWorks studio in 2006.[5] The film earned $336 million on an $80 million budget.


While scavenging for food, RJ the raccoon enters the cave of Vincent the bear, who has a wagon full of human food taken from a nearby rest stop. RJ accidentally wakes Vincent from his hibernation, and in a race to escape, causes the stash to roll out onto the nearby highway and get run over by a large truck. To avoid being eaten himself, RJ promises Vincent that he will completely replace the stash within the week.

RJ heads towards a recently built suburban housing development in Chesterton, Indiana, separated from a forest glade by a large hedge. There he discovers a pack of animals recently awoken from their hibernation, led by Verne the turtle; the others include squirrel Hammy, skunk Stella, porcupines Penny and Lou, along with their triplet sons, Spike, Bucky and Quillo; and opossum Ozzie and his daughter Heather. The animals are scared, as the development had been built during their hibernation and they fear they will be unable to forage for food in the small glade. RJ shows them the amount of food humans consume and waste and suggests they forage from the humans. Verne is hesitant but the other animals acquiesce. They make bold attempts to steal food directly from the humans, with RJ secretly guiding them to help collect the food he needs to replace Vincent's stash.

When the animals raid the trash cans of the homeowners-association chairwoman Gladys Sharp, she calls an animal exterminator named Dwayne LaFontant, who offers to install in her backyard an illegal, lethal trap called the Depelter Turbo. Verne sees this and tries to warn the others, but RJ insists they will be okay. Fearing for the safety of the pack, Verne attempts to return what they stole; he and RJ argue, causing a small rampage through the development and destroying the stash RJ had collected for Vincent. RJ rallies the others to raid Gladys' home directly on the night before a large party. With Stella disguised as a cat to distract Gladys' own cat, Tiger, the others enter Gladys' home and collect all the food. RJ inadvertently reveals his duplicity to the animals, just as they are discovered by Gladys who calls Dwayne. RJ escapes with the food for Vincent but leaves the other animals to be captured by Dwayne.

As RJ returns the food to Vincent, he sees Dwayne's truck drive by and impulsively uses the food to knock the truck off the road, enraging Vincent. Dwayne is knocked out while the animals get free, and Spike, Bucky and Quillo use video game skills to drive the truck back to the development. RJ pleads to be let in the truck as Vincent tries to catch him, but the others, angry at his treachery, refuse. Verne convinces the group to forgive RJ since he came back to save them. They return the truck to the development, crashing through Gladys' home, and the animals flee into the hedge. Gladys and Dwayne converge on the animals from one side with a Weedhacker and a Cattle Prod respectively, while Vincent tries to swipe at them from the other. To escape, RJ gives Hammy a caffeinated beverage, allowing the hyperactive squirrel to move incredibly fast. Hammy is able to manipulate Dwayne into capturing Vincent, causing Vincent, Gladys, and Dwayne to be trapped by the Depelter Turbo while the animals escape. The police and animal control arrive, and Vincent is sent to the Rocky Mountains while Gladys and Dwayne are arrested for using the Turbo.

RJ and Verne apologize to each other, and RJ is brought into the group, as is Tiger, who became infatuated with Stella even after learning she was a skunk. Verne realizes they have not had a chance to forage for food until Hammy reveals that while sped up, he had been able to collect enough nuts for them all to last the 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 film are everyone calling him an amphibian and him correcting them with reptile (though Dwayne 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 children. 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 full Persian name is "Prince Tigerius Mahmoud Shabazz."[6] He falls in love with Stella, who's disguised as a cat for distracting him while the group steals food from Gladys' house, and comes to live with her at the end of the film.
  • Nick Nolte as Vincent, an American black bear whom RJ owes food and whose barbaric behavior intimidates him. He used to be friends with RJ until he had tried to steal his food and then losing it in traffic. He makes a cameo in Bee Movie.[7]
  • 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.
  • Thomas Haden Church as Dwayne LaFontant,[8][9] an over-zealous human pest exterminator hired by Gladys. He is 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 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.[10]

In July 2002, Jim Carrey announced he would co-star with Shandling in Over the Hedge.[11] In October 2004, however, he left the project and was replaced with Willis.[12]

Reception [edit]

Box office[edit]

On opening weekend, the film was in second place to The DaVinci Code,[13] but its gross of $38,457,003 did not quite live up to DreamWorks Animation's other titles released over the past few years.[14] The film had a per-theater average of $9,474 from 4,059 theaters.[14] 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,[14] behind X-Men: The Last Stand and The DaVinci Code.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[4] Produced on an $80 million budget,[3] the film was a commercial success.

Critical response[edit]

On the film-critics aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has received 75% positive reviews, based on 168 reviews with an average of 6.8/10. 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."[18] On another aggregator, Metacritic, the film has a rating of 67/100, indicating "generally favorable."[19] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[20]

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".[21]


Award Category Recipients and nominees Outcome
Annie Awards Best Animated Feature[22] 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 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[23] Nominated
Kids' Choice Awards Animated Movie Nominated
Voice From an Animated Movie[24] Bruce Willis Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Animated FIlm[25] Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Family Movie[26] Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Animated Film[27] Nominated
Toronto Film Critics Association Awards Best Animated Film[28] 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,[29] and it premiered on April 30, 2006, in Los Angeles.[2] Nick Nolte, Bruce Willis, Avril Lavigne, Garry Shandling, Wanda Sykes, Catherine O'Hara and Steve Carell attended the premiere.[2] The film was theatrically released in the United States on May 19, 2006.[30] In select New York and Los Angeles theatres, it was accompanied by a DreamWorks Animation's animated short film First Flight.[30] The film was also screened out of competition on May 21, 2006, at the Cannes Film Festival.[31][32]

Home media [edit]

Over the Hedge was released on DVD by DreamWorks Animation's newly formed Home Entertainment division on October 17, 2006.[33] 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."[34]

Over the Hedge: Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released May 16, 2006
Length 48:45
Label Epic Records / Sony Music Soundtrax
Producer Hans Zimmer[34]

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 2:33
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 3:40
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
13. "Still (Reprise)" Ben Folds 6:07
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.[35] 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.[36]


  1. ^ In July 2014, the film's distribution rights were purchased by DreamWorks Animation from Paramount Pictures.[37]


  1. ^ "Over the Hedge". American Film Institute. Retrieved January 14, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c "Celebrity Circuit - 'Over The Hedge' Premieres". CBSNews. April 30, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Over the Hedge". The Numbers. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Over the Hedge". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ DreamWorks Animation SKG (February 1, 2006). "DreamWorks Animation Begins New Distribution Deal With Paramount Pictures" (Press release). DreamWorks Animation. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  6. ^ Ziebarth, Christian (May 18, 2006). "Over the Hedge: review, interviews, and production notes". Animated Views. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ DeMott, Rick (October 17, 2014). "Over the Hedge Lands on DVD With New Hammy Short". Animation World Network. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  9. ^ Zahed, Ramin (October 27, 2006). "Over the Hedge Critters Prove Popular on Discs". Animation Magazine. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  10. ^ Dehnart, Andy (May 16, 2006). "Lee and Sean record Over the Hedge cameos and Sean kisses Hollywood ass". Reality Blurred. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Jim Carrey will costar with Garry Shandling in Over the Hedge". Entertainment Weekly. July 16, 2002. Retrieved August 23, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Willis Replaces Carrey in Over the Hedge". Animation World Network. October 25, 2004. Retrieved August 23, 2015. 
  13. ^ "May 19-21, 2006". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c "Over the Hedge - Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  15. ^ "May 26-28, 2006". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  16. ^ "May 26-29, 2006". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  17. ^ "June 2-4, 2006". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Over the Hedge (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Over the Hedge". Metacritic. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  20. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. 
  21. ^ Over the Hedge Review. TVGuide.com. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
  22. ^ "34th Annual Annie Nominations and Awards Recipients". Annie Awards. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  23. ^ Beachum, Chris (January 27, 2007). "'United 93' was Critics' Choice Awards' second-best picture". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  24. ^ Gervich, Chad (March 29, 2007). "Kids' Choice Awards grows up". Variety. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Online critics nominate favorites". Variety. January 3, 2007. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  26. ^ "2007 Nominees & Winners". People's Choice. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  27. ^ Tyler, Josh (February 20, 2007). "Saturn Awards Correct Oscar Error". Cinema Blend. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Past Award Winners". Toronto Film Critics Association. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Over the Hedge". Indianapolis International Film Festival. Archived from the original on October 18, 2007. Retrieved May 30, 2015. 
  30. ^ 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. 
  31. ^ Over the Hedge (2006). Festival de Cannes. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  32. ^ "Weekend At Cannes - 'Over The Hedge'". CBS News. May 2006. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  33. ^ McCutcheon, David (August 1, 2006). "Over the Hedge Trims Up". IGN. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  34. ^ 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. 
  35. ^ 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. 
  36. ^ DreamWorks Animation (October 12, 2006). "Activision Begins Shipment of Over the Hedge™: Hammy Goes Nuts!" (Press release). Business Wire. Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  37. ^ Chney, Alexandra (July 29, 2014). "DreamWorks Animation Q2 Earnings Fall Short of Estimates, SEC Investigation Revealed". Variety. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 

External links[edit]