Over the Hedge

Over the Hedge Information

Over the Hedge is a 2006 American computer animated family action comedy film based on the characters from United Media comic strip of the same name. Directed by Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick, and produced by Bonnie Arnold, it was released in the United States on May 19, 2006.

The film was produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed through Paramount Pictures. The film features the voices of Bruce Willis, Avril Lavigne, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, William Shatner, Wanda Sykes, and Nick Nolte. Over the Hedge is the first DreamWorks Animation movie to be distributed by Paramount Pictures, who acquired the live-action DreamWorks Studio in 2005.


After RJ (Bruce Willis), a starving raccoon, fails to get snacks from a vending machine, he becomes so desperate that he tries to raid a large food cache belonging to Vincent (Nick Nolte), a hibernating black bear. However, while trying to finish by stealing a can of "Spuddies" potato chips, he wakes Vincent and loses both the food and the red wagon that it's on when a truck runs it over. Hastily, he promises to replace everything by the time Vincent reawakens in a week and Vincent tells RJ that if he tries to run away Vincent will hunt him down and kill him.

Meanwhile, a group of forest animals, led by Verne (Gary Shandling) the box turtle, emerge from hibernation to find their food cache nearly empty. They begin foraging but find a large hedge blocking their way. Verne investigates, discovering a human residential community which confuses and frightens him. RJ, who sees the entire commotion, convinces the other animals it's easier to raid the humans' garbage for food rather than forage for it, and they manage to get enough food to keep them from starving. Verne, however, remains wary, especially after homeowner Gladys Sharp (Allison Janney) discovers the animals in her yard, chases them out through the hedge. The next day, RJ makes Hammy (Steve Carell) look like he has rabies to steal cookies and a red wagon. However, Verne jumps in and scares the girls away with his butt. over the next few days, Gladys Sharp gets mad at the animals and hires VermTech exterminator Dwayne LaFontant (Thomas Haden Church) to keep them out.

Worried for his family's safety, Verne decides to return the food to the humans. RJ tries to stop him, resulting in an argument between the two. This attracts the attention of a playful Rottweiler named Nugent (Brian Stepanek), who chases them across several lawns before all of the food the animals gathered is destroyed. RJ then blames Verne who, while trying to defend himself, makes a comment that hurts the others' feelings.

RJ helps Verne reconcile with the others. He also discovers that Gladys has just restocked her pantry with a large food supply for an upcoming party and concocts a plan to get past the exterminator-planted boobytraps in her yard. Working together under cover of darkness, the animals get the food. RJ and Verne get into another argument, again over a can of "Spuddies", during which Verne (and the others) learn of RJ's true motives. Gladys wakes up, discovers the animals in her house, and calls VermTech. Dwayne arrives and traps the animals except for RJ, who escapes with the food.

RJ takes the food to a now-awake Vincent, but when the latter points out and praises RJ's treachery, the raccoon decides to sacrifice the food to save his friends. This angers Vincent, who chases RJ as he pursues Dwayne's truck. Verne is happy to see RJ again but the others no longer trust him since he abandoned them. They nearly thwart RJ's efforts to help before Verne finally convinces them otherwise. The animals then subdue Dwayne and turn his truck toward home, but the truck goes out of control and demolishes Gladys' house.

The animals hide in the hedge, trapped by Vincent on one side and Dwayne and Gladys on the other. RJ and Verne get an idea to give Hammy his first ever can of energy drink, which puts him into overdrive. Exceeding the speed of light, Hammy activates an illegal trap that Dwayne had installed (at Gladys' insistence, while warning her that it was illegal in every state except for Texas), capturing Vincent, Dwayne and Gladys. Gladys and Vincent are taken into custody by the police and a wilderness preservation group, respectively, while Dwayne escapes after taking advantage of Gladys' attempt at fighting a police officer and resisting arrest, only to encounter the same Rottweiler that chased RJ and Verne earlier.

Back in the forest, Verne tells RJ that if he'd explained what he was trying to do in the first place, the others would have helped because "that's what families do," and welcomes him back to the family. The animals also find that while Hammy was in his caffeine-charged state, he had refilled their food cache with nuts to satisfy them for the year.

In a post-credits scene, the animals go to the vending machine seen in the beginning of the film and cause every product to fall into the access bin. However, the amount of snacks prevents the access door from opening, prompting Hammy to remark that this is "kind of anti-climatic."


  • Bruce Willis as RJ, a raccoon who is very devious and deceptive. Despite his hard outer shell, he is revealed to have a softer personality, developing feelings of guilt over using his new-found companions to his own ends.
  • Garry Shandling as Verne, a naturally tentative ornate box turtle who is the leader of the foragers. He has his own ways of doing the daily tasks, but his world is turned upside-down when RJ introduces his chaotic lifestyle into the mix. Verne genuinely cares for his "family" and will do anything to protect them. A couple of running gags throughout the movie are everyone calling him an amphibian and him correcting them with reptile (though Dwayne already knew he was a reptile, but first mistook him as an amphibian), as well as his shell constantly falling off.
  • Wanda Sykes as Stella, a short-tempered, sassy striped skunk who is constantly being told by the other foragers that she needs a man in her life.
  • Steve Carell as Hammy, a hyperactive American red squirrel, whose mouth moves as fast as his feet and loves cookies. He is naive and very childish in nature, with an extremely short attention span. The double entendre of Hammy's constantly trying to find his nuts is a third running gag in the film.
  • William Shatner and Avril Lavigne as Ozzie and Heather, a Virginia opossum father and daughter who see the world from different points of view; Ozzie often embarrasses Heather when he feigns death to get away from danger. This is Avril Lavigne's first movie voice role.
  • Eugene Levy as Lou, a North American porcupine father and family patriarch with an overly talkative and optimistic attitude.
  • Catherine O'Hara as Penny, the porcupine family matriarch and optimistic mother; she serves as a ground between their family and the other animals.
  • Shane Baumel, Sami Kirkpatrick, and Madison Davenport as Spike, Bucky and Quillo, Lou and Penny's three identical sons. They're big on video games and are the most enthusiastic about exploring the world beyond the hedge.
  • Omid Djalili as Tiger, a Persian cat whose sense of smell has faded to nothing after years of his "beautiful" evolution; his Persian name is "Prince Tigerius Mahmoud Shaboz." He falls in love with Stella and comes to live with her at the end of the movie.
  • Allison Janney as Gladys Sharp, a human and president of the Camelot Estates Home Owners Association. She is disgusted by animals and is very strict on H.O.A. rules; in the end, she's arrested for using illegal animal traps.
  • Nick Nolte as Vincent, a massive American black bear whose ruthless behavior intimidates RJ and later, the other animals.
  • Thomas Haden Church as Dwayne LaFontant, an obese, over-zealous human pest exterminator hired by Gladys Sharp. He's often fooled by plastic garden flamingos, but has an innate sense of the animals surrounding him by sniffing. Through this, he can detect the species and even the sex of any animal that has recently been in the area.
  • Brian Stepanek as Nugent, a playful Rottweiler whose only intelligible word is "Play!", other than something that sounds like barking.
Two minor human characters, appearing during the dog chase scene, were voiced by Lee Bienstock and Sean Yazbeck, two participants on The Apprentice 5 as part of a reward for winning a task.


Box office

The film was screened out of competition at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. On opening weekend, the film was in second place to The DaVinci Code, but its gross of $38,457,003 did not quite live up to DreamWorks Animation's other titles released over the past few years. The film had a per-theater average of $9,474 from 4,059 theaters. In its second weekend, the film dropped 30% to $27,063,774 for a $6,612 average from an expanded 4,093 theaters and finishing third, behind X-Men: The Last Stand and The DaVinci Code. Since it was Memorial Day Weekend, the film grossed a total of $35,322,115 over the four-day weekend, resulting in only an 8% slide. In its third weekend, the film held well with a 24% drop to $20,647,284 and once again placing in third behind The Break-Up and X-Men: The Last Stand, for a $5,170 average from 3,993 theaters. The film closed on September 4, 2006 after 112 days of release, grossing $155,019,340 domestically along with $180,983,656 overseas for a worldwide total of $336,002,996. Produced on an $80 million budget, the film was a commercial success.

Critical response

Critical reaction was mostly positive with the film being rated 75% "Certified Fresh" on the Rotten Tomatoes movie review aggregate site; the site's consensus states [that] "Even if it's not an animation classic, Over the Hedge is clever and fun, and the jokes cater to family members of all ages." On another aggregator, Metacritic, the film has a rating of 67/100, indicating "generally favorable." Critic Frank Lovece of Film Journal International found that, "DreamWorks' slapstick animated adaptation of the philosophically satiric comic strip ... is a lot of laughs and boasts a much tighter story than most animated features" Ken Fox of TVGuide.com called it "a sly satire of American 'enough is never enough' consumerism and blind progress at the expense of the environment. It's also very funny, and the little woodland critters that make up the cast are a kiddie-pleasing bunch".

Home media

A short film titled "Hammy's Boomerang Adventure" was released with the DVD. Over the Hedge was released on DVD by DreamWorks Animation's newly formed Home Entertainment division on October 17, 2006.

This was the first DreamWorks Animation movie not to be released on VHS.


Track list:

| title6 = Let's Call It Steve | length6 = 3:39 | extra6 = Rupert Gregson-Williams | title7 = Hammy Time | length7 = 2:28 | extra7 = Michael Whitlock | title8 = Still | length8 = 2:38 | extra8 = Ben Folds | title9 = Play? | length9 = 1:49 | extra9 = Rupert Gregson-Williams | title10 = Rockin' the Suburbs | length10 = 4:57 | extra10 = Ben Folds | title11 = The Inside Heist | length11 = 7:38 | extra11 = Rupert Gregson-Williams | title12 = RJ Rescues His Family | length12 = 4:18 | extra12 = Rupert Gregson-Williams }}

Video games

Main article: Over the Hedge (video game)

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