I Watched: Over The Hedge

The Dreamworks animation about animals who come out of hibernation and start stealing from the local humans.

Picture it, a raccoon called RJ has been stealing from a bear. RJ gets caught, he now needs to refill the bear’s stash in a week. It’s a job for more than one person so when he finds a group of foragers getting ready for their next hibernation, RJ jumps at the chance of recruiting them. Only these forager animals have lost the land they’re used to to human property development and together they raid the houses with RJ as their new leader.

The forager animals are all quite unique with a friendly family of porcupines, a skunk with attitude, a squirrel with super speed, two possums and Vern the cautious turtle who does his best to lead them as they struggle to survive the winter. Each character is well done, especially the two major characters who’re more intelligent than the rest, and the voice acting is pretty good.

Alongside the bear we get a horrible, animal hating property owner and an exterminator for RJ and Vern’s group to deal with. The plot evolves around this, allowing the characters to grow as they realise they can learn a lot from one another about food gathering, and more importantly family.

This movie is presented as Dreamworks’ hilarious film but apart from a few clever moments the humour was lost on me. It’s a good little dramatic tale about survival and there’s some good foreshadowing when a porcupine inspects the grass and sees that it’s greener on the other side of the hedge, but I think it should really be called a heartwarming family film. It’s really about belonging and acceptance.

A plot with such deception as RJ commits combined with the suspicions of Vern makes for a good family film about friendship, forgiveness and survival. With the twists in the story it works well to make the viewer sympathise with all the ‘good’ characters. It’s nice with believable relationships and personalities. I like it but it’s not funny to me.

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