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Showing 1-10 of 36 reviews(3 star)show all reviews
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 18, 2006
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 8 people found the following review helpful
This movie was much anticipated in our house, but I don't think we'll be anticipating the DVD release. I expected more in the story area from Dreamworks than this movie got. The animation is fabulous, and adults from suburban enclaves will squirm a little at the honest, wry interpretation of suburban life. However, I don't feel empathy with any of the characters. It's a problem for this film. When Walt Disney was asked why Sleeping Beauty didn't appeal to audiences in the same way Snow White did, he said it was because the movie lacked heart. In the same way we don't care about Sleeping Beauty, we don't care for any of the characters in Over the Hedge either. Dreamworks can do the job--they did it in Shrek and Shrek 2. It's a shame they decided to skip developing a character we want to root for in this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2011
I didn't realize it at the time when I brought this movie from Amazon, but I actually must have seen it at some point in the past. Once I started watching the movie, I began to remember some of the characters and events.

It's never a good sign when you totally forget a movie. I hoped that maybe I would like it more on my second viewing, so I watched it anyways. But this wasn't all that great. It was entertaining enough, but it didn't really make me laugh and I never warmed to any of the characters. I'll have forgotten it again in another few weeks.

Fun for a rainy day, perhaps, but I'd recommend watching something like Toy Story or Shrek instead. They're both much more fun than this one was.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 3, 2010
In the middle of the past decade it seemed after exploiting living toys, personified insects, ogres and fish the computer generated feature film industry turned its collective attention on groups of talking animals. Flicks like Ice Age, Madagascar, The Wild, and Open Season began flooding the marketplace. Amidst the implicit stampede there was 2006's Over the Hedge; a star studded entry to the genre that didn't exactly revolutionize things but detracted nothing from them either.

The story opens with an opportunistic raccoon named RJ (voiced by Bruce Willis) trying to find a meal when a coin operated vending machine refuses to spit out the nacho chips he purchased. Desperate times and foolish measures result in his getting caught stealing, and inadvertently destroying the food stock of Vincent the bear (Nick Nolte). The grumpy bear makes things much simpler for the small scavenging thief: RJ has until the next full moon to replace all of the food, or RJ himself will become a meal.

In the meantime the residents of the forest (ranging from possums, porcupines, a squirrel, skunk, and turtle) discover that a huge barrier of green has been erected in the middle of the forest during their long hibernation. It turns out this wall is a hedge that separates the small section of forest from the development complex that has apparently spread around the woods like a virus.

Sensing opportunity to capitalize on the critters' apparent ignorance, RJ decides the suburb would be an ideal location to earn back the incredible food debt he racked up with Vincent. RJ moves in and quickly teaches the foragers to scavenge with plans of using the added labor force for all their worth.

One would think that with a cast like this, the writers could have scribbled complete gibberish on paper and it would have been hilarious. In fact that's almost exactly what appears to have happened.

Stars like Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes, William Shatner, Thomas Haden Church, Avril Lavigne, Eugene Levy, and Catherine O'Hara accompany the previously mentioned Bruce Willice and Nick Nolte. There is nary a peep or grunt in this one that doesn't come from some Hollywood heavy hitter and yet the best gags here seem to be the ones that play out on the screen without dialog (an already hyper active squirrel drinking soda only to have time stand still to an SUV containing more latent explosive potential than a nuke to a pest control truck becoming a house destroying projectile and so on).

The dialog, as written, falls pretty flat and this is only further magnified by the deliveries that, save for Steve Carell's portrayal of the hyper squirrel Hammy, are precisely animated versions of the stars themselves. Never will the viewer forget that the skunk is played by Wanda Sykes or that Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara play the possum couple. Perhaps the ultimate overacting comes from Mr. Shatner himself, in the form of his...patented...pause...style...of...talking.

However, even with such criticism about, there are a few laughs to be had here. And the animation and textures still look amazingly clean and crisp even now, nearly five years after the fact.

A slightly richer plot or at the very least, a bit of better scripting for the actors to work from could have made this one a genuine top contender in an already crowded genre but as it stands, it's fairly middle-of-the-road material. Worth a look if you're set on covering the entire personified-animal genre but DreamWorks does have more consistently clever titles in their ever-increasing catalog.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2011
I love this show and my kids really wanted it for a "pre-Christmas" gift to hold them over until I made it back from a business trip. I returned home to disappointed children. Although the listing clearly shows it as a Region 1 DVD (NTSC), I was sent a Region 2 DVD (PAL) which won't play on my Region 1 DVD players. Of course, my kids (6 & 3) didn't check for the region listing and ripped open the package to watch it. It looks like we might be stuck with it. 5 stars for the movie itself - and because I love the Ben Folds soundtrack, 3 stars for the purchasing experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2013
Fairly simple, funny movie but definitely on the clever side with some of the creative ideas. While the disc turned up damaged, freezing somewhere in the middle every time I watched it when it was promised to be Like New, I can hardly blame the product for it. I am glad I saw this movie, and it'll be nice to have in my library if I slip back into that silly, relaxed mood.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2007
***1/2

"Over the Hedge" is a high-spirited, fast-paced addition to all those talking-animal animation movies that have flooded the multiplexes over the past several years.

In terms of its setup, "Over the Hedge" provides the flipside to the earlier "Madgascar," in which a bevy of zoo animals traveled out of the city and back to the wilds from which they - or at least their ancestors - had originally come. In "Over the Hedge," the animals are already living in the country, only this time civilization has come to them in the form of a brand new suburban housing tract that has sprung up in their vicinity while the denizens snoozed away through winter hibernation (that`s one fast-growing housing development, I must say). Despite the dangers inherent in crossing over into human territory, the animals decide that the abundance of conveniently pre-packaged snack food to be gotten there is just too good to resist and that the benefit to be derived from such foraging expeditions is well worth the risk posed by any irascible, irate humans.

"Over the Hedge" benefits from clever, well-delineated characters, cute facial expressions on the part of the animals, fine voice work from the likes of Bruce Willis, Gary Shandling, Wanda Sykes, William Shatner, Nick Nolte and Allison Janney, and a storyline that moves along at a brisk, action-packed pace, well-suited to the often wavering attention spans of children and adult viewers alike. The jokes are marginal but occasionally witty, and the suburban setting has been lovingly captured in all its spanking-new colorfulness and sparkle.

As animated-animal movies go, "Over the Hedge" is better than most.
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on March 30, 2013
I was looking for something that younger children could watch. Because of the reviews, I chose this movie. The disk are cheep. I had to restart this thing five times to get to the movie. It kept locking up during the advertisements, or it would lock up just before the movie started. The movie itself has a good plot and it was enjoyable to watch. I would show it to any age level; if I can get it to run again.
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on March 26, 2013
I have purchased several DVD's on Amazon.com and have never come across one distributed in the USA that said, WRONG REGION. I had no idea I had to look for what REGION the DVD was able to be played, especially when purchased from North Carolina.

Lesson learned.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2006
What an astonishing amount of animated fodder we have been subjected to this past year. The computer animated fare just keeps on coming, whether we want it to or not. This is not surprising. Ten years ago or so when the the computer animation geniuses at Pixar gave us movies like A Bugs Life and Toy Story, they were multi layered stories with terrific development in the way of characterization and plot with little or no sappy songs of traditional animated family barf fests. In no time, people stopped going to see the latest traditional animation choices in favor of these wonders of the technological age. Well, with the lack of competition in that arena, and the lack of revenue from old style animation, studios got busy, no make that SUPER busy with pumping out creation after creation of shoddily produced empty stories aimed at keeping the almighty dollar flowing in on the fanfare promise of great computer whizbang choices from recent years past. We go to the theater again and again hoping to see the next Monsters Inc. or Shrek only to find another Shark Tale. While Over the Hedge is not necessarily on a par with the worst of the bunch in this arena, it is all too clear they have fallen considerably short of the brilliance mark as well. I will give credit where it is due, the casting department for the voices found all the right stars, and Over The Hedge certainly has enough star power for the voices. The look of the movie is brilliant to say the least. The animals look so terrific, you wish you could reach out and stroke their lifelike fur. There are some clever moments and well written comments as well, but all in all, other than these fleeting moments of beauty and brilliance, Hedge doesn't truly deliver on it's promise of a movie for everyone to love. The movie could have been done as a short film of no more than a half hour and probably would have been more or at least as interesting. There just isn't enough to sustain the storyline for the long seeming hour and a half running time. Much like Twitchy the squirrel from the fantastic best computer animated movie this year, Hoodwinked, Hammy The squirrel clearly has many of the best moments in Hedge with his abundant energy and lack of IQ to propel him along a slapsticky, silly road to make us laugh. Note to the animation stations: Give us more of the greatness of Hedge with more character development and storyline before computer animation goes the way of traditional animation: right down the proverbial drain.
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