Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • U
  • Adventure, Animation
  • 2006
  • 83 mins

Over The Hedge

Over The Hedge

Synopsis

Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling and William Shatner take on the human race and their garbage cans when a suburban sprawl is dropped on the doorstep of a family of flaked-out furballs

About

The story is a simple tale of animal folk: Raccoon steals bear's food, bear promises disembowelment unless the food is returned, raccoon cons hibernators into stealing food from a sudden sprawl of suburbia, animals steal food, raccoon steals it back, loses it and along the way learns some valuable lessons. Moral aside, Over The Hedge is a very intelligent film. Well, an intelligent film with some excellent jokes about wee. Casting a critter's critical eye over our culture of plenty it shows the audience a world where food and shelter aren't luxury, they're survival.

Over The Hedge is immediately engaging; you soon forget they're fuzzy balls of computer generated cuteness and genuinely start to care for the characters. The voice casting is inspired, and even Avril Lavigne manages to convince as a moody teenager without sounding like a pastiche of her skater girl self. But the real genius lies in the casting of Bruce Willis and William Shatner.

Separated from his body, Willis' voice seems 20 years younger. It charms and caresses like gravelly honey, completely convincing as small time shaggy scavenger RJ. It's like watching 'Moonlighting' replayed by the Wombles. Never has Shatner taken himself less seriously than as Ozzie the overacting possum, and his casting may be obvious, but it's also inspired. The animators said they kept the actors in mind as they created the characters, and it shows in every hammy tic and dramatic twitch of the tail. The only thing that could have made it better would be if he'd raised his fuzzy little paws to the heavens and screamed "KHAAAAAAAN!"

The ending is sublime - a slow-mo trip through a save-the-day last ditch dash by a squirrel with ADHD and a head full of Red Bull. The Matrix may have invented bullet time, but only Over The Hedge brings you squirrel time.

Caffeine freak critters, duplicitous raccoons, a highly talented cast and Bill Shatner in overacting overdrive - it's like coming out of hibernation and waking in an animator's playground.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: William Shatner, Thomas Haden Church, Allison Janney, Bruce Willis, Nick Nolte, Steve Carell, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Avril Lavigne, Wanda Sykes, Garry Shandling
  • Director: Karey Kirkpatrick, Tim Johnson
  • Screen Writer: T Lewis, Michael Fry, Lorne Cameron, David Hoselton, Karey Kirkpatrick, Len Blum
  • Producer: Bonnie Arnold
  • Composer: Ben Folds

In a nutshell

Over The Hedge manages that delicate plate-spinning act of clever social commentary preachy and entertaining kids.

by Paul Aston

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    Baggage Claim

    Paula Patton stars in writer-director David E Talbert's romcom about a woman's desperate hunt to find herself a husband.

  • Film4

    Metallica: Through The Never

    Director Nimród Antal and cinematographer Gyula Pados blend fact and fiction as they capture an obscure live Metallica concert in North America.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Cannes 2016: 10 Picks

    Film4.com site editor and festival newbie Michael Leader selects ten films from the Official Selection at this year's Cannes Film Festival that he can't wait to see... Go easy on me, I'm new around t

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Cannes 2016: 10 picks

    Catherine Bray runs her eye over this year¿s line-up and selects ten films she can¿t wait to watch at the 69th Cannes Film Festival The official line-up is now locked and loaded, so time to have a ru

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share