Over the Hedge
RJ the Raccoon (Bruce Willis) has a problem. Having been caught rummaging through Vincent the Bear (Nick Nolte)’s huge stockpile of junk food, RJ has been able to bargain for his life only by promising to replenish Vincent’s stash in a week. It seems like a near-impossible task until the arrival of a terrifyingly alien new presence: the suburbs. Verne the Turtle (Garry Shandling), the cautious and overprotective leader of the forest dwellers, nervously ventures into suburbs and comes back to report that none of them should ever go “over the hedge” again. The greedy and desperate RJ, however, has different ideas, and he “recruits” (that is, tricks) the other animals of the forest into accompanying him back to the ‘burbs to take advantage of this junk food paradise.
Despite Verne’s opposition, RJ even convinces the other animals to break into a house and raid the pantry there. But when Gladys (Allison Janney), the president of the homeowners’ association, gets wind of the incursion, she puts Dwayne (Thomas Haden Church) — a.k.a. “The Verminator” — on the case, making the animals’ mission, and the question of their leadership, even shakier than ever. This animated film also stars Steve Carell as the voice of Sammy the Squirrel, Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara as Lew the Porcupine and Penny the Porcupine, William Shatner as Ozzie the Possum and Avril Lavigne as Ozzie’s daughter Heather.
There is really not too much to be concerned about in this family-friendly film. It contains a “dang” and “geez,” and that’s about it as far as the language. It does have a scene in which one of the creatures tells another one that humans expect them to roll over and to lick their privates, but that is about as risque as it gets. One character named Hammy, a squirrel, does burp the first few letters of his ABC’s, and one of his main purposes is to “get his nuts,” which is done in an innocent fashion. The character of RJ does attempt to steal the bear’s winter food in the beginning of the story, but it backfires and he learns his friends would have helped him if he only would have asked.
The credits began to roll after 75 minutes and the film only seemed to drag briefly once or twice. The characters, more than the story, are the fun part of this film. There were many children present in the screening I attended and they seemed to genuinely enjoy it. I recommend it for all kids as there are cute moments in it especially for the children.