CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

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

    Johnny English Reborn

    Rowan Atkinson returns as the inept secret agent, this time taking on international assassins

  • Film4 Maps To The Stars

    Maps To The Stars

    Julianne Moore, John Cusack and Mia Wasikowska star in David Cronenberg's Hollywood caricature.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 11 recommendations for LFF 14

    Unfortunately I haven¿t been jet setting around the world this year to the various exciting international film festivals, but that¿s what makes the London Film Festival¿s compilation approach to progr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Michael Leader's 11 recommendations for LFF 2014

    One of the best things about the London Film Festival¿s smorgasbord approach to programming is that, amongst the world premieres and gala screenings, there¿s an eclectic collection of exciting films o

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Share