When RJ, a raccoon voiced by Bruce Willis, accidentally destroys the food stockpiled by a hungry bear, he needs to find help fast. He hooks up with a group of foragers who are unknowingly living in a tiny patch of forest surrounded by suburban sprawl and a great big hedge. The head forager is a turtle named Verne (Gary Shandling); his family includes a pair of possums, a skunk, five hedgehogs, and a manic squirrel named Hammy (Steve Carrell). Hammy steals almost every scene, though some of the other characters get to deliver the best one-liners.
Typical of other Dreamworks Animation productions (Shrek, Madagascar), Over the Hedge is a family film, short and engaging enough for toddlers to sit through and funny enough for adults to weather. The plot is paper thin, of course, and several of the funniest moments were included in ads and trailers, but there is still plenty of fun to be had between the time Verne first ventures into suburbia and the time the credits roll. The animation is solid but the voice actors do the heavy lifting for this movie.
The film is based on characters from Michael Fry and T. Lewis' cartoon strip which has been running since 1995 and has produced four book collections. Much of the fun comes from seeing suburbia through the animals' eyes which is the centre of the comic.
Bottom line, Over The Hedge is a fun family film, suitable for almost any age.
Buy Over The Hedge: Stuffed Animals
Buy Over The Hedge 3: Knights of the Picnic Table
Buy Over The Hedge 2
Buy Over The Hedge
Watch an interview with Over the Hedge creators at Comics.com