Over the Hedge (film)
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, the film was directed by Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick 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 earned $336 million on an $80 million budget.
|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 Pictures|
|Box office||$336 million|
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 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 finds a nearby, recently-built suburban housing development 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 an illegal, lethal trap called the "Depelter Turbo" 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 pack, Verne attempts to return what they stole; he and RJ argue, causing a small rampage through the development during a chase with a large, excitable dog named Nugent and destroying the stash RJ had collected for Vincent. After a brief argument, RJ and Verne make up and 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 but leaves the other animals to be captured by Dwayne.
As RJ brings the food to Vincent, he is consumed by remorse, and instead uses the stash to knock Dwayne's truck off the road, enraging Vincent. Dwayne is knocked out while the animals get free, and Spike, Bucky and Quillo use skills they learned from a videogame to drive the truck back to the development. Verne convinces the group to forgive RJ since he came back to save them, and they save him from Vincent. 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 string trimmer and a cattle prod respectively, while Vincent tries to swipe at them from the other. To escape, RJ gives Hammy an energy drink, allowing the hyperactive squirrel to move incredibly fast. Hammy causes 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 is arrested for using the Depelter Turbo, but Dwayne successfully escapes only to encounter Nugent who bites him on the leg.
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 collected enough nuts for the group 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. His shell falls off regularly.
- Steve Carell as Hammy, a hyperactive American red squirrel, whose mouth moves as fast as his feet and loves cookies. 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.
- 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'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; his full Persian name is "Prince Tigerius Mahmoud Shabazz." 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.
- Allison Janney as the human 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, an over-zealous human pest exterminator 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.
On opening weekend, the film was in second place to The Da Vinci 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 Da Vinci 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.
On the film-critics aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has received 75% positive reviews, based on 170 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." On another aggregator, Metacritic, the film has a rating of 67/100, indicating "generally favorable." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
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.
Over the Hedge was released on DVD by DreamWorks Animation's newly formed home entertainment division and Paramount Home Entertainment on October 17, 2006. A short film based on Over the Hedge, titled Hammy's Boomerang Adventure, was released with the DVD. The film was quietly released on Blu-ray on February 5, 2019 by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment as a Walmart exclusive, and was subsequently given a wider release on June 4.
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."
|Over the Hedge: Music from the Motion Picture|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||May 16, 2006|
|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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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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- "Flushed Away and Shark Tale Heading to Blu-ray (UPDATED)". Blu-ray.com. April 12, 2019. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
- "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.
- "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.
- "Activision Begins Shipment of Over the Hedge™: Hammy Goes Nuts!" (Press release). Santa Monica, CA: DreamWorks Animation. October 12, 2006. Retrieved October 25, 2013.