Directed by: Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick
Premise: An animated film. A group of animals awakens from hibernation to find that their forest home has been developed into a suburb. With the help of RJ (voiced by Bruce Willis) the animals begin raiding the spoils of the suburb for food.
What Works: This is a very sharp film. Computer-animated pictures have staked a claim in mixing mature references into the story, usually with intertexual humor or making semi-scandalous jokes designed to go over children’s heads. Over the Hedge goes a new direction and makes acute observations about suburbia, wastefulness, and American eating habits. Over the Hedge has an impressive voice cast including Willis, Gary Shandling, Steve Carell, William Shatner, and Eugene Levy.
What Doesn’t: The resolution of Over the Hedge does not quite fit with the film and in parts it gets too silly for its own good. Children will probably love these moments but adults will be snapped out of the film. The film does not do much new with the redemption plotline and it comes out rather predictably.
Bottom Line: Over the Hedge is a fun film for those who enjoyed Toy Story or Monsters, Inc. It is not as good as those films because it gets too cartoonish, but Over the Hedge does enough right and takes a new approach with the humor, and so it does make for quality entertainment. Over the Hedge is just begging for a Marxist film student to write a thesis about the socialist undertones of this film.
Episode: #97 (May 21, 2006)