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"OVER THE HEDGE"
(2006) (voices of Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
*None Minor Heavy *Mild Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Heavy None None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild None Mild Moderate *Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Animated Comedy: A rascally raccoon cons a group of animals to help him collect human snack food that he needs to repay to a bear from which he earlier stole the same.
PLOT:
It's springtime and an eclectic animal family of foragers has awoken from their winter hibernation. Led by Verne (voice of GARRY SHANDLING), a cautious and low-key turtle, the group consists of a hyperactive squirrel, Hammy (voice of STEVE CARELL), sassy skunk Stella (voice of WANDA SYKES), possum Ozzie (voice of WILLIAM SHATNER) and his daughter Heather (voice of AVRIL LAVIGNE), as well as porcupines Lou (voice of EUGENE LEVY), Penny (voice of CATHERINE O'HARA) and their kids. With Verne worried that winter is just around the corner, the group sets out to forage for food, but are horrified by an enormous wall that's cut them off -- as far as the eye can see -- from the rest of their forest.

Fortunately for them, rascally raccoon RJ (voice of BRUCE WILLIS) has happened upon the scene and informs the befuddled group that the wall is actually a hedge, and that on the other side is nirvana in the form of bountiful human food. Verne is skeptical, but once RJ introduces the others to both fresh and thrown out junk food, they're hooked and agree to help him collect as much as possible.

Of course, little do they realize he has ulterior motives. Having been caught stealing a cartful of the same from gruff bear Vincent (voice of NICK NOLTE) and then losing it to a run-in with a passing truck, RJ has just a week to replace the goodies lest the bear end his life. Realizing he has the others hooked, RJ thinks his task will be a piece of cake.

Yet, when human HOA president Gladys (voice of ALLISON JANNEY) spots the animals, she calls in professional pest exterminator Dwayne "The Verminator" (voice of THOMAS HADEN CHURCH) to get rid of them. With time running out, RJ and the others try to collect as much food as possible, all while contending not only with him and Gladys' pompous Persian cat, Tiger (voice of OMID DJALILI), but also all of the unusual hazards of suburbia.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Yes, especially if they like computer-animated films.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For some rude humor and mild comic action.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
It's debatable whether kids view animal characters as role models, but here's a quick look at their defining characteristics:
  • RJ is a snack-food obsessed raccoon who tries to steal food from Vincent and then cons the other animals into helping him collect food, fully aware that they don't realize his true intentions with their booty. However, he eventually changes his mindset as he starts to see the others as his family.
  • VERNE is the unofficial leader of the animal group who's cautious and eventually jealous about RJ's influence over the others.
  • HAMMY is the playful and hyperactive squirrel.
  • STELLA is the sassy skunk with low self-image issues who gets a makeover and enjoys the attention paid to her by Tiger even if she's just trying to distract him.
  • OZZIE is the overly melodramatic possum who plays dead as a distraction or for self-preservation.
  • VINCENT is the gruff, loner bear who threatens to kill RJ if the raccoon doesn't replace the snacks he was trying to steal from him.
  • DWAYNE is the ruthless human exterminator who's determined to get rid of the animals.
  • GLADYS is the human president of the local HOA who wants Dwayne to kill the pests at any cost and/or by any means.
  • LOU and PENNY are the easygoing porcupine parents.
  • HEATHER is Ozzie's daughter who somewhat takes after him.
  • TIGER is Gladys' pompous pet cat who's somewhat prejudiced but then finds himself falling for Stella (in both fake cat and skunk mode).
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this animated comedy that's rated PG. While no profanity is present, a number of colorful phrases are, as is some brief and minor, comedic innuendo as well as several instances of crude humor. A turtle's non-explicit, cartoon bare butt is seen several times (when his shell is off), and some characters have bad attitudes, including some (animal and human) who want other animals killed (in an animated, comedy fashion).

    That results in some action-style mayhem (and some scenes that might be unsettling or scary to some younger kids -- but probably few others), while all sorts of slapstick style material (including property damage and characters getting knocked around, etc.) also occurs. Finally, some of the behavior may be enticing for some kids to imitate.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None, but RJ climbs up a wine rack to try to get to another snack.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Crude humor includes the following:
  • Hammy announces that he has to "go wee-wee" and races off to do so.
  • RJ tells the other animals that if they encounter a human, they should lie down, roll over and give their privates a good licking.
  • Moments after RJ comments about there being "food out the wazoo" in the suburbs, Verne finds a diaper and is about to eat it. RJ stops him, saying what it is and adds that it does come out of a wazoo.
  • About the exterminator traps he's seeing, Verne says he might have to change his shell.
  • RJ and the others give Stella a makeover, and there's a comment about a cork used for her skunk spray orifice.
  • Stella yells "fire in the hole" and then lets out her spray, fuming everyone and nearly causing Gladys to vomit.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • RJ tries to steal Vincent's snacks from his cave. For the rest of the film (until the end), he leads on the other animals in terms of why he's helping them forage for food (so that he can use it as repayment to Vincent).
  • Vincent threatens to kill RJ if he doesn't replace his stolen snacks.
  • Gladys is uptight and has a bad attitude toward the animals.
  • Verne says that the others (all within earshot) are too stupid and naive to know any better and realize that RJ is a charlatan (he then apologizes for saying that).
  • Somewhat lampooning a Nazi, Tiger the Persian cat has an elitist attitude toward others.
  • Dwayne offers Gladys an outlawed pest control system for her problem and she accepts it.
  • After being arrested, Gladys uses her head to butt a cop's chest. More hitting ensues, with a cop then tackling her, followed by more struggling.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed here and under "Violence" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers, but probably to few others.
  • When Vincent wakes up and sees that RJ is trying to steal all of his snacks, he gets mad and says that he's going to have to kill him.
  • Vincent chases after RJ and then picks him up in his paw to eat him, but RJ promises he'll replace all of his snacks and the bear relents (played for action-comedy, but younger kids might find it as intense). Vincent then says that RJ has 1 week to do so, and warns him not to try to run away as he'll have to hunt him down and kill him.
  • A large truck passes over RJ on the road, barely missing him.
  • While RJ sleeps up in a tree, we see a huge bear paw (with sharp claws) come up and then grab him. Vincent then holds RJ above his open mouth and is ready to eat him, but we then see that it's just been a nightmare.
  • We see Ozzie who looks dead on the street, but he's just playing possum.
  • As Verne pulls a cart of food back toward a suburban house (to give it all back), RJ tries to stop him, but then worries about Verne making noise and thus attracting the attention of a large dog (that's missing from its doghouse). The dog then appears and thinks that Verne is a play toy and thus grabs and shakes him around. The dog then spots RJ and gives chase, with the broken chain on his collar grabbing a cart and then pulling it behind him. All of that ends up blasting through several neighborhood fences (and causes other such property damage) and then attaches to the propane tank from a gas grill. That tank then causes RJ and Verne to go airborne like a rocket, way up into the sky where they nearly hit a passing jet. They then end up falling and grabbing an umbrella that they use as a parachute until it catches on fire and sends them falling toward the ground. The tank, meanwhile, has crashed into a car and caused a huge explosion, and the cart and a cooler then crash down onto RJ and Verne on the ground (all played for action-comedy).
  • We see that Dwayne has set out all sorts of high-tech traps for the animals, including some that cut stuffed animal demos in half, etc.
  • On RJ's fishing line, Hammy ends up precariously close to a laser beam field across the yard (that will activate an extermination device).
  • While raiding Gladys' house, the animals then realize she's now awake in the morning and must hide.
  • Spotting Heather on the steps, Gladys shrieks and kicks the young possum into a wall. She then looks dead and her father thinks she is, but she's just playing possum.
  • Some kids may worry when Dwayne captures all of the animals (except for RJ) and Gladys tells him to dispose of them in an inhumane way. We then see all of them in cages that Dwayne loads up into his truck.
  • Dwayne's truck hits a cart, causing Dwayne to bump his head and be knocked out. The animals then take control of the truck and drive it, all as Vincent comes after RJ on the outside of the truck. They then cause the large pest hammer on top of the truck to bash Vincent who then grabs the hammer and smashes a window, allowing RJ inside. A porcupine then zaps Vincent in the nose with some quills. As they continue to careen down the road, the truck becomes airborne and crashes through the top floor of Gladys' house, causing a lot of property damage.
  • The animals run and hide in the hedge, with Dwayne (with an electronic zapper) and Gladys (with a weed whacker) on one side, and Vincent on the other, all trying to get the animals. Dwayne ends up zapping Vincent who then punches Dwayne in the face. Vincent then has RJ, but Hammy moves so fast (on caffeine) that he essentially stops the world (making everyone else seem frozen). That allows RJ to escape, with Vincent landing on Dwayne and Gladys. The laser beam activated pest trap system is then activated, with all three of them being zapped, leaving just tufts of hair on all of them. That beam also travels into outer space and hits a satellite, destroying it.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Electronic zapper/Some sort of pest-killing laser beam: Used by Dwayne to try to kill the animals. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "I'm going to have to kill you," "I will hunt you down and kill you," "I gotta go wee-wee," "He's kinda pokey," "Ah/Sweet/Big jeepers," "Let's call it Steve," "Jeez," "Aye, yi-yi," "Freaky," "Food out the wazoo," "My tail is tingling," "Hey Verno," "No biggie," "Shoot," "Oh brother," "Come here you big lug," "You wanna help me find my nuts?" "Anything that tastes this good has to be good for you," "Stand down, sister," "The vermineister is on the job," "Pops for the Oz man," "Dirt-bag," "You're the devil," "We worked our tails off," "You're all whatever because your butt's tingling?" "Lame," "Meow" (said in an exaggerated fashion)," "Dangit," "Curse you plastic (something)," "Go get it you little nut," "Overfed pompous fur ball," "Puffball," "Animals are in the house," "Let's boogie," "Fire in the hole," "You've been verminated," "Hey Nancy, stop your honking," "You stink," "What the..?" "I'll gas you so hard your grandchildren will stink" and "Ring-tailed charlatan."
  • Some kids could be inspired to try to raid snacks from their own or others' kitchens (to imitate what the characters do here).
  • RJ tells the other animals that if they encounter a human, they should lie down, roll over and give their privates a good licking.
  • RJ smacks a vending machine with a golf club trying to dislodge a stuck snack.
  • Hammy belches out the beginning of the alphabet (to try to act rabid).
  • Hammy belches in another scene.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of dramatic and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • RJ tells the other animals that if they encounter a human, they should lie down, roll over and give their privates a good licking.
  • A double-entendre joke (on the part of the film) is having Hammy (the squirrel) ask RJ, "Wanna help me find my nuts?"
  • On several occasions, we see Verne's bare turtle butt, but it's nothing explicit (and is played for laughs when his shell is off).
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Spotting Heather on the steps, Gladys shrieks and kicks the young possum into a wall. She then looks dead and her father thinks she is, but she's just playing possum.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Consumerism.
  • Deceiving others.
  • Human encroachment on wildlife areas, and how both sides react to that.
  • Verne worries about the forest being gone.
  • We see a nuclear type explosion when RJ opens some nacho cheese chips (seen from outer space and played for laughs, but no one is harmed and no damage is done).
  • The observation that SUVs mean humans are losing their ability to walk.
  • The observation about how much of human life is related to eating.
  • The comment that enough is never enough for humans.
  • The comment that anything that tastes so good has to be good for you.
  • Verne says that the others (all within earshot) are too stupid and naive to know any better and realize that RJ is a charlatan (he then apologizes for saying that).
  • RJ changing his mind about being a family of one.
  • The comment that what families do is look out for each other.
  • VIOLENCE
  • All of the following is played for comedy (sometimes action-based).
  • RJ smacks a vending machine with a golf club trying to dislodge a stuck snack.
  • A track smacks into a cart of snacks that's rolled out onto a highway.
  • One of Lou's kids accidentally knocks him down.
  • As Verne cautiously explores a suburban backyard, he sees an insect get zapped in a bug zapper, the sprinkler jet hits him, and sharp utensils hanging from the grill fall all around him (seen from his POV and a regular shot). A large ball nearly falls on him, he's knocked into a toy car where a real vehicle goes over him (barely missing him) and he then rolls across the street in his shell, with some kids playing street hockey whacking him like a puck (all played for action-comedy).
  • A boomerang hits Hammy on the head.
  • Hammy hopes to scare some girls selling girl scout type cookies, but one reacts to the "rabid" sight of him by hitting him with her book and then spraying some sort of spray into his face.
  • Verne is shot out by a street washer and lands on a girl, prompting that girl's friend to whack her with a book (while trying to hit Verne).
  • A cooler falls off a vehicle and lands on Verne hard enough to leave a dent - from him -- in the road.
  • As Verne pulls a cart of food back toward a suburban house (to give it all back), RJ tries to stop him, but then worries about Verne making noise and thus attracting the attention of a large dog (that's missing from its doghouse). The dog then appears and thinks that Verne is a play toy and thus grabs and shakes him around. The dog then spots RJ and gives chase, with the broken chain on his collar grabbing a cart and then pulling it behind him. All of that ends up blasting through several neighborhood fences (and causes other such property damage) and then attaches to the propane tank from a gas grill. That tank then causes RJ and Verne to go airborne like a rocket, way up into the sky where they nearly hit a passing jet. They then end up falling and grabbing an umbrella that they use as a parachute until it catches on fire and sends them falling toward the ground. The tank, meanwhile, has crashed into a car and caused a huge explosion, and the cart and a cooler then crash down onto RJ and Verne on the ground (all played for action-comedy).
  • Hammy ends up slamming into a wall inside a house but is okay.
  • A theater sound system is so loud that it blasts quills off a porcupine. They fly off and nearly hit two other characters.
  • Spotting Heather on the steps, Gladys shrieks and kicks the young possum into a wall. She then looks dead and her father thinks she is, but she's just playing possum.
  • Dwayne fires capture nets at the animals, with one wrapping around Gladys feet, and the other wrapping up Tiger who jumps in the way to save Stella.
  • Some of the animals try to run outside and smack into a sliding glass door.
  • Dwayne's truck hits a cart, causing Dwayne to bump his head and be knocked out. The animals then take control of the truck and drive it, all as Vincent comes after RJ on the outside of the truck. They then cause the large pest hammer on top of the truck to bash Vincent who then grabs the hammer and smashes a window, allowing RJ inside. A porcupine then zaps Vincent in the nose with some quills. As they continue to careen down the road, the truck becomes airborne and crashes through the top floor of Gladys' house, causing a lot of property damage.
  • After being arrested, Gladys uses her head to butt a cop's chest. More hitting ensues, with a cop then tackling her, followed by more struggling.



  • Reviewed May 10, 2006 / Posted May 19, 2006

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