Over the Hedge

Release Date: May 19, 2006

Movie of the Day for Thursday, September 16, 2004
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All they need is a transmogrifier.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
8/65 Kim Hollis The most pleasant surprise of the year. Worth re-watching and highly recommended for all ages.
15/159 David Mumpower Charming comedy proves to be the best DreamWorks Animation production thus far. Sadly, that still places it on the bottom of the Pixar rung.

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Based on a barely known (but wonderful) little comic strip by writer Michael Fry and illustrator T. Lewis, Over the Hedge is a CGI animation production about a group of forest animals who live just on the edge of civilization. Although movies with comic strips as their source material are really few and far between, DreamWorks will hope to capitalize on this ingenious little concept, which from all reports is coming along extremely nicely.

The movie will tell the tale of a traveling raccoon con artist named RJ who is best described as being inspired by The Music Man's Harold Hill. Voiced by Bruce Willis, our intrepid protagonist arrives in a forest just outside of a Midwestern human city. Full of excitement and wonder at the possibilities of being a hungry animal near a human neighborhood, he wants to share his emotions with the other denizens of the woods, but finds that they are an almost Amish-style community under the influence of their leader, Vern the Tortoise (voiced by Garry Shandling). It seems that in the past, Vern had a terrifying encounter with some human boys, and as such, the entire group is afraid of the humans next door.

Under the tutelage of RJ, the animals find the courage to venture "over the hedge" that is their only barrier from the new suburban development that appeared while they were in hibernation. The charismatic raccoon teaches them about a world where humans leave all kinds of food in big canisters -- and it's free! Still, as the group gets closer to the humans, they find their idyllic existence to be threatened and the question becomes whether the humans and the animals can really coexist as neighbors.

Along with Willis and Shandling, the voice cast includes plenty of recognizable names such as Nick Nolte, William Shatner, Steve Carell, Avril Lavigne, Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Wanda Sykes and Allison Janney. Currently running in around 150 newspapers nationwide, the comic strip can be viewed at its official site. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Over the Hedge
Main Cast Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling
Supporting Cast Nick Nolte, William Shatner, Steve Carell, Avril Lavigne, Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Wanda Sykes, Allison Janney
Director Tim Johnson, Karey Kirkpatrick
Screenwriter Len Blum
Distributor DreamWorks
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.overthehedgemovie.com/
Rating PG
Running Time 83 minutes
Screen Count 4,059
Awards Awards page for Over the Hedge
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Over the Hedge
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Finding Nemo 5/30/0370.25 70.25 3374 20821.00 20821.0 339.71 339.71 4.84
Monsters, Inc. 11/2/0163.48 67.75 3237 19611.00 20131.6 255.87 273.09 4.03
Toy Story 2 11/24/9957.39 68.39 3236 17735.00 20248.6 245.82 292.94 3.05
Ice Age 3/15/0246.30 48.13 3316 13966.00 13966.0 176.39 183.39 3.81
Shrek 5/18/0142.35 45.20 3587 11805.00 12118.4 267.65 285.66 6.32
Bug's Life, A 11/25/9832.83 42.20 2686 12223.00 15115.9 162.79 209.29 3.56
Toy Story 11/24/9529.14 40.39 2457 11860.00 15813.3 191.78 265.84 4.90



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