Over The Hedge
Voices by Gary Shandling, Bruce Willis, Wanda Sykes,
Nick Nolte, William Shatner
Based on the Over The Hedge comic strip
Dreamworks 2006
83 minutes

When wildlife meets suburbia things go Over The Hedge in this excellent Dreamworks animated comedy DVD based on the Michael Fry and T. Lewis cartoon strip.  There are very few cartoons that can please the whole family but Over The Hedge manages to do just that. The voice work by Bruce Willis, Wanda Sykes, Gary Shandling, and William Shatner, to name a few, is excellent. The jokes around wildlife meets modern life are usually dead on and geared so both kids and adults will get a chuckle.

The story begins when R.J. the raccoon gets caught stealing the stash of hibernating bear Vincent and destroys it in the process. R.J., who puts the con in raccoon, ends up in suburbia just when Vern the turtle and his family of woodland denizens wake up from hibernation to find their idyllic home has been turned into suburbia.  R.J. sells them on the glory of living next to such a quantity of readily available food to scavenge and talks them into it, hoping they will replace the bear’s stash for him.

The bad guy in Over The Hedge is the homeowner’s association lady who cannot suffer having these critters near her home. She and the local exterminator wage war on the denizens beyond the hedge while R.J. slowly learns the kind of lesson you can only learn in an animated comedy DVD geared towards kids.

There is a definite influence of spy movies, Mission Impossible, and the Dirty Dozen in the kind of tactics the animals use to forage the food from the suburban home and this will certainly please the parents watching this animated DVD. They will also enjoy the various comments on modern society some of the animals make.

Over The Hedge is a fun, fresh, entertaining animation DVD the whole family can enjoy again and again and again (if you have some little ones).


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