Over the Hedge
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Screenplay by
Based on
Produced byBonnie Arnold
Edited byJohn K. Carr
Music byRupert Gregson-Williams
Distributed byParamount Pictures[1]
Release date
  • April 30, 2006 (2006-04-30) (Los Angeles premiere)[2]
  • May 19, 2006 (2006-05-19) (United States)
Running time
83 minutes [3]
CountryUnited States
Budget$80 million[4]
Box office$340 million[3]

Over the Hedge is a 2006 American computer-animated comedy film based on the United Media comic strip of the same name by Michael Fry and T. Lewis. It was produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures, which acquired the DreamWorks Pictures studio the same year.[5]

The film was directed by Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick (with Kirkpatrick in his feature directorial debut) from a screenplay by Len Blum, Lorne Cameron, David Hoselton, and Kirkpatrick and features the voices of Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, William Shatner, Wanda Sykes, and Nick Nolte. The film was released on May 19, 2006, in the United States. It received generally positive reviews from critics, and grossed $336 million on an $80 million budget.


RJ the raccoon tries to steal snack food that Vincent, a bear, stockpiled for his hibernation. Vincent wakes up and catches RJ, and the food is destroyed in the ensuing confrontation. Vincent says he will hunt down and eat RJ if the food is not replaced by the time his hibernation ends a week later.

A family of woodland animals consisting of ornate box turtle and leader Verne, hyperactive American red squirrel Hammy, striped skunk Stella, North American porcupine parents Lou and Penny and children Spike, Bucky and Quillo, and Virginia opossum father and daughter Ozzie and Heather, awaken from their hibernation. They find that much of the forest they lived in has been turned into a housing development, which is separated from the little forest remaining by a giant hedge. The animals wonder how they will forage enough food for the next winter. RJ meets them and encourages them to traverse the hedge and steal food from the humans. Despite Verne's concerns, the animals join RJ in stealing and stockpiling human food, not knowing he intends to give it to Vincent. Gladys Sharp, the neighborhood Home Owners Association president, takes notice of the animal problem and hires exterminator Dwayne LaFontant to get rid of them.

Spurred on by the exterminator's arrival, Verne tries to return the food to the humans. RJ tries to stop him, but they come across the excitable dog Nugent who, wanting to play, ends up pulling the wagon of food through the neighborhood until it lands on Gladys' SUV, causing an explosion. RJ blames Verne for the loss of the food, and the family abandons the latter in favor of the former after he inadvertently insults them during a heated argument. Gladys has Dwayne cover her yard in animal traps including an illegal contraband device called the De-Pelter Turbo that turns the entire yard into a death trap when activated.

Verne apologizes to RJ for his actions and reconciles with the other animals. On the night before Vincent's hibernation ends, RJ sees that Gladys has bought a massive stockpile of food for an upcoming party and enlists the help of the animals to invade her home and steal it. Hammy successfully disables the De-Pelter Turbo while Stella poses as a cat to seduce Gladys' Persian cat Tiger in order to steal his collar, which enables entry into the house's pet door. The animals stockpile another wagon full of food, but right as they are about to leave at sunrise, RJ sees a can of chips called Spuddies and becomes determined to get them as Vincent specifically requested them. While trying to justify his effort to get the chips, RJ lets slip his true intention for the food. Gladys comes downstairs and finds the animals, and RJ manages to escape with the food. The others are caught by Dwayne, who takes them away in his truck to euthanize them.

RJ presents the food to Vincent, but as he sees the exterminator truck driving off, he realizes that the family he found in the woodland animals is the most valuable thing in his life. RJ sends the food wagon careening into the truck, knocking out Dwayne and freeing the animals. Spike, Bucky and Quillo take control of the truck and drive it back home, and RJ rejoins the family as they try to shake off the pursuing Vincent. They crash the truck into Gladys' home and return to the hedge, but are attacked from both sides of it by Vincent, Gladys and Dwayne. RJ gives Hammy an energy drink, making the squirrel hyperactive enough to move at warp speed which he uses to go and reactivate the De-Pelter Turbo. RJ lures Vincent into leaping over the hedge to get him, but puts on Verne's shell which protects him from Vincent's jaws and allows Verne to pull him out with a fishing line. Vincent, Gladys and Dwayne are caught in the De-Pelter Turbo, resulting in them being blasted with radiation and trapped in a cage left in the ensuing crater.

Vincent is captured by animal control and shipped off to the Rocky Mountains, while Gladys is arrested for possessing the De-Pelter Turbo and Dwayne is chased by Nugent. RJ joins the woodland creatures' family permanently as well as Tiger, who remains in love with Stella even after learning she is a skunk, as he cannot smell. The animals' food storage is quickly replenished by Hammy, who finally found the nuts he stored before the previous winter.

Voice cast

Bruce Willis and Avril Lavigne at the film's premiere at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival


The film was originally set up at 20th Century Fox through its 20th Century Fox Animation division; The idea of the film was conceived when Don Bluth and Gary Goldman showed the comic strip to its head Chris Meledandri, who was impressed by its humor and acquired rights to the strip. He asked the screenwriting duo of Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman to write the screenplay for the project for Bluth and Goldman's Fox Animation Studios; however, in February 2001, due to the disappointing performance of its recent film Titan A.E., it was later picked up by DreamWorks Animation under the leadership of its CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg when Fox put the film in turnaround.[14]


Co-director Karey Kirkpatrick and producer Bonnie Arnold in 2006 promoting the film

The film was originally going to be released in November 2005;[15] however, in December 2004, the date was changed to May 2006. The film was screened as a "work-in-progress" on April 29, 2006, at the Indianapolis International Film Festival (according to the scene in which the Depelter Turbo destroys a satellite, this film took place in suburban Indianapolis)[16] and it premiered on April 30, 2006, in Los Angeles.[2] Nick Nolte, Bruce Willis, Avril Lavigne, Garry Shandling, Wanda Sykes, Catherine O'Hara and Steve Carell attended the premiere.[2] The film was theatrically released in the United States on May 19, 2006.[17] In select New York and Los Angeles theatres, it was accompanied by a DreamWorks Animation's animated short film First Flight.[17] The film was also screened out of competition on May 21, 2006, at the Cannes Film Festival.[18][19]

Home media

Over the Hedge was released on DVD by DreamWorks Animation's newly formed home entertainment division and Paramount Home Entertainment on October 17, 2006.[20] A short film based on Over the Hedge, titled Hammy's Boomerang Adventure, was released with the DVD. The film was released on Blu-ray on February 5, 2019, by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment as a Walmart exclusive,[21] and was subsequently given a wider release on June 4.[22]


Box office

On opening weekend, the film was in second place to The Da Vinci Code,[23] but its gross of $38,457,003 did not quite live up to DreamWorks Animation's other titles released over the past few years.[24] The film had a per-theater average of $9,474 from 4,059 theaters.[24] 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,[24] behind X-Men: The Last Stand and The Da Vinci Code.[25] 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.[26] 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.[27] The film closed on September 4, 2006, after 112 days of release, grossing $155,019,340 in the United States and Canada, along with $180,983,656 internationally for a worldwide total of $336,002,996,[3] against a production budget of $80 million.[4]

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 75% based on 172 reviews, with an average of 6.81/10. The site's consensus states: "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."[28] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 67 out of 100 based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[29] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[30]

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".[31] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called it "Not at the level of Finding Nemo or Shrek, but is a lot of fun, awfully nice to look at, and filled with energy and smiles."[32]


Award Category Recipients Result
Annie Awards Best Animated Feature[33] Nominated
Character Animation in a Feature Production Kristof Serrand Nominated
Character Design in a Feature Production Nico Marlet Won
Directing in a Feature Production Tim Johnson & Karey Kirkpatrick Won
Production Design in a Feature Production Paul Shardlow Nominated
Storyboarding in a Feature Production Thom Enriquez Nominated
Gary Graham Won
Voice Acting in a Feature Production Wanda Sykes Nominated
Critics' Choice Awards Best Animated Feature[34] Nominated
Kids' Choice Awards Animated Movie Nominated
Voice From an Animated Movie[35] Bruce Willis Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Animated FIlm[36] Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Family Movie[37] Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Animated Film[38] Nominated
Toronto Film Critics Association Awards Best Animated Film[39] Nominated
Cannes Film Festival Golden Camera Karey Kirkpatrick Nominated
Capri, Hollywood Capri Arts Award Enzo Ghinazzi Won
Genesis Awards Outstanding Family Feature - Animated DreamWorks Nominated
Gold Derby Awards Best Animated Feature Best Animated Feature Nominated
Golden Schmoes Awards Best Animated Movie of the Year Best Animated Movie of the Year Nominated


Over the Hedge: Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedMay 16, 2006
Genrepop, rock, soundtrack
ProducerHans Zimmer[40]
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[41]

The soundtrack for the film was released on May 16, 2006, by Epic Records. Rupert Gregson-Williams composed the original score, while Ben Folds contributed three original songs, along with a rewrite of his song "Rockin' the Suburbs" and a cover of The Clash's "Lost in the Supermarket."[40]

1."Family of Me"Ben Folds1:28
2."RJ Enters the Cave"Rupert Gregson-Williams4:37
3."The Family Awakes"Rupert Gregson-Williams2:33
4."Heist"Ben Folds3:02
5."Lost in the Supermarket"Ben Folds (Originally by The Clash)3:30
6."Let's Call It Steve"Rupert Gregson-Williams3:40
7."Hammy Time"Michael Whitlock2:28
8."Still"Ben Folds2:38
9."Play?"Rupert Gregson-Williams1:49
10."Rockin' the Suburbs"Ben Folds (Featuring a speaking part by William Shatner)4:57
11."The Inside Heist"Rupert Gregson-Williams7:38
12."RJ Rescues His Family"Rupert Gregson-Williams4:18
13."Still (Reprise)"Ben Folds6:07
Total length:48:45

Video games

Main articles: Over the Hedge (video game) and Over the Hedge (DS game)

See also: Over the Hedge: Hammy Goes Nuts!

A video game based on the film was released on May 9, 2006. Developed by Edge of Reality, Beenox and Vicarious Visions, it was published by Activision for PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, Xbox, GameCube, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance.[42] Shane Baumel, Sami Kirkpatrick, and Madison Davenport were the only ones to reprise their roles for the video game while everyone else was voiced by different voice actors.

Three different versions of Over the Hedge: Hammy Goes Nuts! were released by Activision in the fall of 2006: a miniature golf game for Game Boy Advance, an action adventure game for Nintendo DS, and a platform game for PlayStation Portable.[43]

Picture books

Scholastic published a series of picture books to tie-in with the film. Over the Hedge: Meet the Neighbors and Over the Hedge: Movie Storybook were both authored by Sarah Durkee and illustrated by Michael Koelsch.[44][45]

Possible sequel

In May 2007, DreamWorks Animation CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg, said that despite the company exceeding Wall Street's expectations during the second consecutive quarter of 2007, the film would not get a sequel due to the box office performance of the film, saying "It was close. An almost."[46]

In October 2010, an article was posted on the official Over the Hedge blog, explaining what would happen if a sequel was made, saying that if the sequel did not perform as well as the first one, then DreamWorks could lose money, and that a sequel probably would not happen until DreamWorks Animation was bought by a large studio, which eventually happened in 2016 when NBCUniversal bought DreamWorks Animation.[47]


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