Over the Hedge (film)
|Over the Hedge|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tim Johnson
|Produced by||Bonnie Arnold|
|Based on||Over the Hedge
by Michael Fry
|Music by||Rupert Gregson-Williams|
|Edited by||John K. Carr|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures1|
|Box office||$336 million|
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. The film earned $336 million on an $80 million budget.
While scavenging for food, RJ the raccoon enters the cave of Vincent the bear, his only friend who has a large 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. To avoid being eaten himself, RJ promises Vincent that he will completely replace the stash within the week.
RJ heads towards a recently-built human suburban housing development in Indiana, surrounded a forest glade separated from the rest of the development by a large hedge. There, he discovers a pack of animals recently awoken from their hibernation, led by Verne the turtle; the others include the squirrel Hammy, the skunk Stella, the porcupines Penny and Lou, along with their triplet sons, Spike, Bucky and Quillo, and the opossum Ozzie and his daughter Heather. The animals are scared as the development had been built during their hibernation and fear they won't be able to forage for food in the small glade, but RJ shows them the amount of food that humans consume and waste. Verne is hesitant but the other animals are awed by RJ's knowledge and the taste of human food as well as other human indulgences. 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 home owners association chairman Gladys Sharp, she calls in an animal exterminator Dwayne LaFontant, who offers to install a highly lethal trap called the Depelter Turbo, which is illegal in every state but Texas, in her backyard. Verne sees this and tries to warn the others, but RJ insists they will be okay. Fearing for the safety of the animal pack, Verne attempts to return what they stole; he and RJ get into an argument that ends up causing a small rampage through the development and destroying all of 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 manages to escape with the food for Vincent but leaves the other animals to be trapped by Dwayne.
As RJ returns the food to Vincent, he sees Dwayne's truck drive by on the road, and decides to use 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 insist that RJ let them be captured. Verne is able to convince the group to forgive RJ since he came back to save them. They drive the truck back to the development, crashing through Gladys' home, destroying everything in the process, and the animals flee into the hedge. Gladys and Dwayne converge on the animals from one side 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 in Gladys' backyard while the animals escape to the glade. The police and the 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 part of the family, as is Tiger, who became infatuated with Stella even after learning she was a skunk. Verne realizes they haven't 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 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.
- 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." 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 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.
- 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, 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.
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 in the United States and Canada, 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.
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".
|Award||Category||Recipients and nominees||Outcome|
|Annie Awards||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||Won|
|Production Design in a Feature Production||Paul Shardlow||Nominated|
|Storyboarding in a Feature Production||Thom Enriquez||Nominated|
|Voice Acting in a Feature Production||Wanda Sykes||Nominated|
|Critics' Choice Awards||Best Animated Feature||Nominated|
|Kids' Choice Awards||Animated Movie||Nominated|
|Voice From an Animated Movie||Bruce Willis||Nominated|
|Online Film Critics Society Awards||Best Animated FIlm||Nominated|
|People's Choice Awards||Favorite Family Movie||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Best Animated Film||Nominated|
|Toronto Film Critics Association Awards||Best Animated Film||Nominated|
The film was screened as a "work-in-progress" on April 29, 2006, at the Indianapolis International Film Festival, and it premiered on April 30, 2006, in Los Angeles. Nick Nolte, Bruce Willis, Avril Lavigne, Garry Shandling, Wanda Sykes, Catherine O'Hara and Steve Carell attended the premiere. The film was theatrically released in the United States on May 19, 2006. In select New York and Los Angeles theatres, it was accompanied by a DreamWorks Animation's animated short film First Flight. The film was also screened out of competition on May 21, 2006, at the Cannes Film Festival.
Home media 
Over the Hedge was released on DVD by DreamWorks Animation's newly formed Home Entertainment division on October 17, 2006. 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."
|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||2:33|
|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|
|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|
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.
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- 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.
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- Zahed, Ramin (October 27, 2006). "Over the Hedge Critters Prove Popular on Discs". Animation Magazine. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
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- 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.
- Bond, Paul (May 2, 2007). "2nd 'Hedge' fund drives DWA Q1". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- 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.
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