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86 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Summer Fun
"Over the Hedge" is funny. Pure summer fun, the kind of movie a car full of seventh grade boys see with a car full of seventh grade girls. While it was only released in May, it has all the makings of a summer movie, like the old Peanuts movies. Nothing here is too complicated to understand, most of it is pretty silly, and all of it is safe for the entire family...
Published on May 19, 2006 by A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com

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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars DREAMWORKS HEDGES THEIR BETS with GOOD, but SAFE screen version of popular comic strip
From TIM JOHNSON, the Director who brought you ANTZ, oh maybe I shouldn't have started that way...

...DreamWorks' animated film, "Over the Hedge," is a backyard ecological comedy outfitted with some fine, silly slapstick and clever animal characters. This one is aimed more at a younger audience than other DW efforts like "Shrek" but has plenty of entertainment...
Published on May 18, 2006 by Kevin J. Loria


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86 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Summer Fun, May 19, 2006
"Over the Hedge" is funny. Pure summer fun, the kind of movie a car full of seventh grade boys see with a car full of seventh grade girls. While it was only released in May, it has all the makings of a summer movie, like the old Peanuts movies. Nothing here is too complicated to understand, most of it is pretty silly, and all of it is safe for the entire family.

When movies are made, they intend an audience, and an audience reaction. Here, the bar was not set to be compared to the sentimental depth of "Finding Nemo," or the abject, hyperactive hilarity of "Aladdin." Here, "Over the Hedge" has a basic plot, and a basic conflict, and does the job it sets out to do.

RJ the Raccoon owes a very angry bear a wagon load of snacks, and realizes the new human suburb is packed with these snacks. He meets up with a friendly, but not too smart neighborhood of small forest animals, led by a careful-thinking turtle named Vern.

The characters are strong, each is distinguished from the other, with distinctive personalities, unlike the overblown homogeny found in some cartoons. This matters especially here, as there are more animals than some younger children will be familiar with.

Can RJ persuade the animals to help him steal the snacks from the humans? Will Vern remain the sensible leader, and help them avoid the 'Verminator' and his viscous animal killing tools?

For me, the funniest scene is an almost Matrix-like action sequence when the ordinarily hyper Hammy drinks a caffeine drink and goes in on a mission. Time stops, but not for Hammy.

The animation is good enough, and the story is told straight-ahead, without catchy songs. No one will leave the theater thinking, "That's incredible production value!" They will leave laughing, with an original story.

The structure of the movie is the reverse of Man vs his environment. As the humans take over former forest, there are fewer places for the animals to find food. Naturally, the animals smell potato chips and want more. Naturally, also, the humans want to retain a hedge between the woods and their home.

Messages about Man encroaching on his environment are throughout, but these do not overtake the movie. It might leave a few suburban moms and dads feeling a little sheepish, but everyone will laugh too much to really have a guilt trip.

I fully recommend "Over the Hedge."

Anthony Trendl

editor, HungarianBookstore.com
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58 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Over the hedge is over the top, August 10, 2006
By 
Daniel Lee Taylor "dan57" (GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Over the Hedge (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
A very funny and well executed new animated feature. The story is well written and the voices are well cast. The script is full of fun poking at current day society. When asked how many people normally travel in a SUV, Bruce Willis replies one. There are swipes at video games and high end consumer goods. The most fun is poked at food and the eating habits of the average American. The kids should like the animals and the grown ups should like the humor. There is something here for everybody. This is fun, try it.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC............., August 19, 2006
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Over the Hedge (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
This movie was very very funny. The Story was great, how the animals worked together even were they where being decieved. The kids in the movie were very well done, so were the animals. I do not think that they could have done a better job!!! I highly recommend this movie to everyone. Well Done.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious Family Comedy, June 6, 2006
I rarely laugh hard enough to bring tears to my eyes in a flick, especially a kiddie flick, but "Over The Hedge" managed to make me laugh until I cried in the climax of the film. This movie is just funny. Sure, it has the token moral message that is expected of children's fare these days, but comedy takes center stage.

The story is rather simple: R.J. Raccoon (Bruce Willis), owes a stockpile of food to a very angry bear named Vincent (hilariously pulled off by Nick Nolte) after he's caught stealing Vincent's stash and eventually losing it. If he doesn't get the food, ice chest, red wagon, etc. back, Vincent is going to kill him. Luckily, R.J. stumbles upon a hapless group of small woodland pals who've awakened to a brand new suburb which has literally grown up around them during their winter hibernation. The group is headed up by Garry Shandling's funny turtle, Verne. He heads up an all-star group of voices such as William Shatner, Wanda Sykes, and Eugene Levy, among others. Steve Carell steals the show as Hamilton, a very "Hoodwinked"-like squirrel who's very, very high-strung.

R.J. plans to use the groups gathering skills to collect everything he needs to pay Vincent back. Of course, the suburbs are full of dangers for any small creature. From Girl Scouts to a very aggressive exterminator to a playful pup, the gang faces all of these problems with funny outcomes. Along the way, R.J. realizes that his selfish motives are wrong, and he decides to make things as right as possible between the group and Vincent.

This is a wonderful tale for the entire family to see. It includes plenty of adult "inside" jokes that the kids won't catch onto and plenty of slapstick humor for the kids and parents alike. It's heartwarming at times and laugh-out-loud funny at others.

I highly recommend this flick. It's the funniest movie I've seen in quite a long time.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars DREAMWORKS HEDGES THEIR BETS with GOOD, but SAFE screen version of popular comic strip, May 18, 2006
By 
Kevin J. Loria (New Orleans, LA USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
From TIM JOHNSON, the Director who brought you ANTZ, oh maybe I shouldn't have started that way...

...DreamWorks' animated film, "Over the Hedge," is a backyard ecological comedy outfitted with some fine, silly slapstick and clever animal characters. This one is aimed more at a younger audience than other DW efforts like "Shrek" but has plenty of entertainment value for the rest of the fam. Unlike Pixar, DreamWorks isn't pushing the envelope with their animation. DW is playing it safe here with a PC comedy that delivers an ecological message while pitching family values to the extreme. The CG animation is routine, but writer Len Blum (Pink Panther) along with Lorne Cameron, working from the popular comic strip and character animators under the supervision of directors Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick do a crackerjack job of filling the screen with lively, ingratiating creatures. The comic strip Created by Michael Fry and T Lewis, OVER the HEDGE takes a quirky view of suburban living from the perspective of the animals who lived there first. The comic strip, like the movie, stars RJ, a mischievous raccoon, and Verne, his sensitive best-buddy turtle. Together they ponder life and adapt their natural habitat to incorporate all the "unnatural" creature comforts that suburbia has to offer. Fry & Lewis have written an original screenplay for the film.

RJ (voiced perfectly by Bruce Willis, why hasn't he done this before, oh yeah the "Look Who's Talking" movies count), arrives in a woods outside a midwest town, excited about the wonders that living near humans can bring. He finds instead a community of porcupines, possums, a squirrel, skunk and chipmunks that is deathly afraid of humans, after their leader, Vern (Gary Shandling), has had a BAD EXPERIENCE with human boys. As they get closer and closer to humans, however, their comfortable lives in the woods appears to be at an end. Motivated by RJ, however, the animals slowly breech the hedge that separates them from the brand new housing development that has destroyed their food source over the winter while they were sleeping, and RJ shows them is a world where humans throw all sorts of food away in big metal canisters, ripe for the taking. By combining RJ plans and the family's foraging talents, maybe they can fill next winter's larder in time to meet the deadline imposed by grizzly bear (Nick Nolte). When the family makes it over THE HEDGE -- well, through it -- they pilfer, led by Hammy, an overcaffeinated squirrel (Steve Carell) who is fightingly similar to the Hoodwinked overcaffeinated squirrel not voiced by Steve Carell. This leads the humans to call pest control: Dwayne the Verminator (Thomas Haden Church).

This story sets in motion more than enough comic action sequences to fill the movie's 84 minutes. The final caper mimics and rivals the "Mission: Impossible" films' derring-do to hilarious results.

Character animators beautifully marry their creatures to the voice actors' individual eccentricities. Especially noteworthy are William Shatner (that's Capt. Kirk kids) uses his panache for dieing as Ozzie the possum, Wanda Sykes' slinky skunk, Carell (the Office, 40 yr Old Virgin) is always brilliant and his hyperactive Hammy is no exception , Omid Djalili's Persian housecat, SCTV alums Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara as Lou & Penny.

Fans of the original comic strip as well as animation devotees will appreciate this film more than the average moviegoer, but overall OVER the HEDGE is an okay effort. Rated PG and runs under 90 mins.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastalistic, May 20, 2006
By 
S. Lin (West Hills, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Funniest movie I've seen in a long time. Funnier than Ice Age 2, the most recent CGI comedy. My friends and I laughed until our throats were sore. There were just so many ridiculous impossibilities it'll make you cry (in a good way). I'd recommend this for anyone who just wants to sit back and have a good laugh.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Movie I've Ever Seen!!, August 14, 2006
A Kid's Review
Alright, I'll admit it, when I first saw a poster for this movie at the theater, I thought "Great, another crappy kids movie..." Then I went and saw it, and I totally love it!! This has got to be THE best movie I've ever seen. I won't even mention how many times I saw it, you'll think I'm crazy.

RJ the raccoon (My favorite since the second I saw him) tries to steal food from the hibernating, Vincent the bear. He almost makes it, when he decides to open a thing of chips called "Spuddies", which wakes Vincent up. The food accidently rolls (It's in a red wagon) into the street and a truck destroys it all. Vincent tries to kill RJ, but RJ says he can get all the food back for him. Vincent only gives RJ a week to replace the food, because that's when he was supposed to wake up from hibernation. "When the moon's full, I'm waking up. And all my stuff, had better be right back where it was!" Vincent tells RJ. RJ then finds a group of forest animals who have awakened from hibernation. Verne, a turtle, is the leader of the animals. When Hammy, a squirrel, tells Verne about the "big scary thing" that appeared near their home, Verne goes over to investigate. But he doesn't find a land full of junk food, he finds a place full of danger. When he returns, he tells his "family" to never go over the hedge. RJ steps in and gives the animals Nacho Chips, and they want more. RJ then takes the rest of the animals over the hedge and tells them about humans, everything we have, and all the food we can eat in one sitting. But when they are caught snooping aound garbage cans, the danger starts. Gladys Sharp, the president of the Homeowner's Association, attacks them with a broom. The animals escape, but they don't like RJ or the idea of going back over the hedge. Will RJ gain back their trust and get all the food for Vincent in time? You'll have to find out on your own!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie for all ages!, September 13, 2006
This review is from: Over the Hedge (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
I hesitated about spending the money to take my 3 kids to yet another slap-it-on-the-screen-and-make-a-buck animated movie about talking animals. There are so many it's hard to tell one from another, and after reading reviews by those who felt whacked between the eyes by the environmental message we decided to wait until it came to the discount cinema. But we LOVED it! I thought it was a nice departure from the jiving, urban tone of so much of the current animation (but not too saccharine and preachy, either). The animation was impressive, the characters were well-developed and the humor was actually FUNNY and didn't wallow in the gross-out type aimed at your typical 4-year-old. Like Wallace & Gromit, I think I need to see it again just to catch all the background gags thrown in. Actually, I came just hoping not to get that fingernails-on-a-chalkboard feeling too often and ended up with a new movie for my favorites list. Although my family ranges from 6 to 40-something, we all can't wait for the DVD!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific - Worth Owning, Not Just Renting, November 2, 2006
By 
This review is from: Over the Hedge (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
Funny, well written and acted, high-quality family entertainment. Funny enough for the adults to enjoy -- not merely tolerate, looking at your watch the whole time, as we find ourselves doing during so many "kids" movies. The cast is EXCELLENT across the board, and the DVD contains lots of great features, including commentary, "behind the scenes" stuff, and interviews with the charming stars, including the extremely charming Hammy the squirrel, "The Office" star Steve Carrell. Loved it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good family entertainment, September 9, 2006
It's an amusing, if slightly formulaic animal story, set in today's world of shrinking woodland habitat. The critters, led by Verne the turtle, emerge from months of hibernation to find three things. First, they are ravenously hungry. Second, all but a scrap of their forest is now suburban sprawl. Third, fast-talking RJ, the racoon, knows how to turn this to their advantage.

And, although they don't know it, to RJ's own advantage. At first, it's easy - the goodies are right out there on the curb, conveniently packed in trash cans. There are plenty of good visual gags as the wild beasties learn their way around the concrete trails of suburbia. Then, the opposition appears: Gladys, the evil chair of the neighborhood commitee, garbed in black worthy of Cruella DeVille. Appalled at the thought of animals in HER neighborhood with no pooper-scooper in sight, she calls the bumbling Verminator to eliminate them.

Once the Verminator is done with the yard, the sensors and boobytraps ("outlawed in every state except Texas") make the Korean DMZ look like a kiddie park. That's when the animals come back with their secret weapon: Manny, the manic squirrel, and a whole can of caffeine drink. Plenty of sensing and boobytrapping follows, but I'll let you figure out who it happens to. And yes, there's a suitably sappy ending.

Although it's clearly a kids' movie, plenty of items keep the adults amused, too. I just have to believe that Gladys is drawn from someone's personal and unhappy experience, and the must-have chips match a craving that just about everyone has had at some point. This isn't a movie that has to be in my personal collection, but it's a fair way to spend a family evening. Enjoy!

//wiredweird
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Over the Hedge (Widescreen Edition)
Over the Hedge (Widescreen Edition) by Tim Johnson (DVD - 2006)
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