Just forget the words and sing along

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Animated Movie Catch-Up: Over the Hedge

Just two more films to go in my weekend! Well, one more, after this review....

Over the Hedge

Animation studio: Dreamworks Animation

Directed by Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick

Starring the voices of Bruce Wills, Gary Shandling, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes, William Shatner, Nick Nolte, Thomas Hayden Church, Allison Janey, Eugene Levy, Cathriine O'Hara, and Avril Lavigne.

Backstory: It may have been Pixar who invented the computer animated film, but I think we can blame DreamWorks for developing and refining the formula. We've got our heroes, some new guy comes along with outlandish promises for his own self-serving needs, they all fall for it, and everyone gets in trouble. New guy realizes that if he was just honest with his new friends, whom his come to love, naturally, things would have solved themselves. He reforms, they get out of the jam and everyone lives happily ever after. Oh, and all the characters are talking animals voiced by celebrities doing little more than playing themselves, and the jokes are little more than fart gags and pop culture references. That about sum it up? Good. Then why was I drawn to Over the Hedge? Well, it got some good reviews last year and some said it turned that formula on its head, so I thought it was worth checking out.

Plot: So, RJ the raccoon swipes some food from Vincent the Bear. Vincent is all pissed off about this, and gives RJ one week to recover all the food. RJ does this by conning a bunch of animals led by Vern the Turtle into invading a new suburban housing development. And what follows is some biting social commentary on urbanization and shrinking woodland habitat. Nah, I'm just messing with you. What happense are some fart gags and pop culture references and RJ learns that if he was just honest with his new friends he wouldn't have gotten in a bigger mess than when he started.

What I Liked: It's actually really funny in some parts. A lot of really good gags.

What I Didn't Like: It follows the animated film formula pretty closely.

Final Verdict: One of DreamWorks's better efforts.

3 Nibs

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