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Over the Hedge (PG)

Release Date: May 19th, 2006 by Dreamworks.
The Voices: Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes, William Shatner, Nick Nolte, Thomas Haden Church, Allison Janney, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Avril Lavigne, Omid Djalili.
Directed by Tim Johnson, Karey Kirkpatrick.

BASIC PREMISE: A group of forest creatures go over the hedge and into suburbia on an expedition to hunt for food.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: With its cute, funny and lively characters and splendid CGI effects, Over the Hedge never ceases to be entertaining. The fun starts when RJ the raccoon (Willis) convinces other forest animals to go with him on a mission to find human food over the hedge. So far this year, squirrels have had a good year as comic relief in animated movies, such as Scrat in Ice Age: The Meltdown and Twitchy in Hoodwinked!. Not surprisingly, out of all the animals in Over the Hedge, the funniest, by far, is Hammy the squirrel (Carell). Stella the skunk (Sykes) also has a humorous scene when she finds a way to woo a cat that guards a home. When the homeowner calls a pest-control specialist called The Verminator (Church), the humor gets very slapsticks and silly. Fortunately, directors Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick keep the film moving at a fast, energetic pace without any unnecessary or redundant scenes. The script blends some biting satire regarding humans’ relationship to junk food in a particularly hilarious, very memorable scene. Although not as consistently witty as Hoodwinked! or Shrek, Over the Hedge at least has enough surprises, satire and action to sustain your attention for 84 minutes. Be sure to stay through the end credits for an additional scene.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Besides the overall, clichéd message regarding the importance of friendship in the satisfying ending, none is required or desired.



IN A NUTSHELL: Funny, lively and refreshing! A must-see for the whole family!

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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