Over the Hedge (animation)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Over the Hedge is a 2006 film released by Dreamworks Animation and is based on the comic of the same name.

It follows the adventure of a handful of woodland animals: a turtle named Verne; a raccoon, RJ; and Hammy, a squirrel are a few of them. The animals have to deal with their home being turned into suburbs. In 2006 an animated film based on the comic was released by Dreamworks Animation. It starred Bruce Willis as RJ, Steve Carell as Hammy, and Garry Shandling as Verne. The plot of the movie involves Verne and the others as RJ gives them their first introduction to the neighborhood that has been constructed around their home, accidentally taking over Verne's role as leader. In truth, he's just using them to gather food for a bear whose winter reserves he accidentally destroyed.

Tropes used in Over the Hedge (animation) include:
  • Absurdly Bright Light: The Depelter Turbo's activation causes tans, pops popcorn, and can be seen from space.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • When things go bad for RJ, he goes into a planning monologue, just like John McClane does all the time.
    • Ozzy is an overacting Large Ham when it comes to playing dead. Did we mention he's voiced by William Shatner?
    • Hammy suggests that they name the hedge Steve, which was a rather cute nod to his voice actor Steve Carell.

Hammy: Let's call it Steve!
Verne: Steve?
Hammy: It's a pretty name.

  • Advertised Extra: Vincent, Nick Nolte's bear character, appears in the movie. But despite being in the poster billing, his character has fifteen minutes of screen time.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The movie has "Key of Heart" as its Japanese theme and "People Say" as its Korean theme. Both were sung by Boa, who was the voice of Heather the opossum in both versions, making this a Do-It-Yourself Theme Tune.
  • Animal Stereotypes: Squirrel, raccoon, turtles, and others are played straight. Subverted with the playful, (overly) friendly rottweiler.
  • Ax Crazy: Gladys. Is willing to risk arrest to kill a small group of animals, demands that they be killed as inhumanely as possible, and starts resisting arrest when she's arrested for something that the exterminator warned her was illegal and seems to be extremely surprised that she's being arrested at all.
  • Banned in China: Banned due to its "deception of free world."
  • Beautiful All Along: Subverted when Stella actually needs a make-over to become very beautiful and seduce a pedigree cat. Becomes a a Double Subversion; Tiger doesn't care that she's a skunk or what she really looks like, he loves her anyway.
  • Big Bad: Gladys Sharp, who plots to kill all the animals.
  • Brand X: All the junk foods seen in the film are fictional brands, a surprising aversion of the expected Product Placement.
  • Breakout Character: Dwayne LaFontant, who is the secondary antagonist of the movie.
  • Brick Joke: At the start of the film, Hammy says he buried some nuts in the woods and runs off to find them. At the end of the film, he finds them... and there were apparently enough to fill the whole log.
    • Also, the cookie that RJ says is junk, but Hammy wants. Hammy is able to pick it up during his FTL jaunt.
  • Broken Aesop: Stealing is all right, as long as you don't take more than you need.
    • Well, hardly...RJ's stealing got him into trouble in the first place, and ended up nearly taking his new friends down with him. It's more "don't get in over your head", though the 'official' lesson would be "family is the 'Gateway to the Good Life'".
  • Buffy-Speak: Heather

"We, like, worked our tails off, y'know? Like a lot! And the food we gathered was totally... you know! And you're, you're all whatever!"

Hammy: Just like Khan in Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan! The Genesis project was in the hands of the Enterprise, but Khan had his perfect plan to steal the invention of renewable life!
Verne: Well, that was incredibly specific.

  • Cat Stereotype: Tiger the Persian/Himalayan cat is snooty and standoffish.
  • Chekhov's Gun
    • A throwaway line from Tiger about his breed having such a flat muzzle that it can lead to trouble breathing. In his case, it's left him without a sense of smell.
    • RJ warning Hammy that the last thing he needed was caffeine.
  • Chosen Family: Revolves around a group of different woodland animals that act like a family and even consist of two biological families that are a part of the group (the opossum and porcupine families).
  • Co-Dragons: Vincent and Dwayne LaFontant become this to Gladys.
  • Covers Always Lie: The posters and the DVD cover think Dwayne is the Big Bad of the movie. In real life, he works for Gladys Sharp and is The Dragon.
  • Companion Cube: Subverted. "Steve" the hedge is really scary to Verne and company.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Gladys Sharp is a Corrupt Homeowners' Association President (we never do learn what her day job is). She crosses the line after buying an exterminator system that (according to Dwayne) "is illegal in every state, except Texas." And then when she's arrested, she starts fighting the police officers, getting herself in even more trouble.
  • Death From Above: Inverted. After the De-Pelter Turbo was activated with Gladys, Dwane, and Vincent the Bear inside it, its activation results in a large beam heading into space, also destroying a satellite, and the heat being hot enough to instantly create popcorn as well as burn the fur off Vincent.
  • Diabolus Ex Machina: Hilariously done. At one point, RJ, Verne and the snack wagon are high in the air (It Makes Sense in Context) and falling. Fortunately, there was an umbrella on the top, so they rode it down. While they do so, some chips fly out of their can. However, the snack wagon crashed onto Gladys's car so hard, it created an explosion, which launched the chips back in the air. Not only did the chips impale the umbrella, the fire they picked up from the explosion burned the umbrella all together, leaving them no choice but to fall all the way back to earth.
  • Did Not Do the Research: In-universe example: Verne keeps reminding everyone that he's a reptile, not an amphibian. (Dwayne gets it right, though, just by the smell.)
  • Dinky Drivers: The critters have to drive Dwayne's van after he gets knocked unconscious; the porcupine kids steer using skills acquired from playing Auto Homicide 3.
  • Distant Reaction Shot: To the point of Running Gag. Several of them involving space.
  • Everythings Nuttier With Squirrels: Hammy.
  • Dueling Movies: Open Season.
  • Evil All Along: Vincent is working for Gladys as her secret weapon to kill the animals.
  • Everything Makes a Mushroom: Including opening a bag of cheesy puffs.
  • Fake Rabies: R.J. used whipped cream on Hammy to scare off some Girl Scouts and get their cookies.
  • Five-Bad Band:
    • The Big Bad/The Dark Chick: Gladys Sharp; the main threat to the animals, who is the leader and only female member of her team.
    • The Dragon: Dwayne LaFanrant; who is the sergeant and deputy to Gladys.
    • The Evil Genius/Team Pet/Sixth Ranger Traitor: Tiger (aka Prince Tigerius Mahmoud Shaboz); who is the most intelligent member in Gladys' team and her pet cat, until his rehabilitation.
    • The Brute: Vincent; who is the biggest member of Gladys' team.
  • GASP: The gang, a few times, during Stella's encounter with Tiger.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • In one quick shot during the major heist, from outside (where she's distracting the house owner's cat) Stella stands up from off-camera when she's startled by a crash, with some of her 'make-up' messed up while Tiger sits up after her with a dazed, goofy expression.
    • The cork. Dear God, the cork.
    • "You wanna help me find my nuts?"
      • Which, incredibly, is tamer than what they were originally going to go with:

Hammy: You wanna see what I do with my nuts?

  • Hand or Object Underwear: Verne with a Cookie.
  • Heel Face Turn:
    • Dwayne has one while escaping from jail to apologize to RJ and his friends, but gets bitten by the dog who chased RJ and Verne.
    • Upon falling in love with Stella, Tiger chooses to live with her at the end of the film.
  • Hoist By Their Own Petard: Gladys Sharp and Dwayne LaFontant set up an illegal trap in her house to get rid of unwanted animals. Hammy later activates the trap and trapping Gladys, Dwayne, and Vincent the Black Bear in the trap.
  • Hope Spot: A particularly funny one, when the Spuddies survive a tremendous fall (even landing in a perfect column), causing RJ to gasp in joy. It's short lived when the decimated shopping cart and umbrella fall and crush it.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The only two major human characters in the movie are really nasty.
  • Hyperventilation Bag: RJ does this once.
  • Interspecies Romance: Stella and Tiger, who conveniently has no sense of smell.
  • Jerkass: RJ again. The filmmakers actually had a difficult time making RJ deserving of sympathy, even revising or adding scenes just to make him less of a jerk. Even Vincent called RJ's major jerk move "the most vicious, deceitful, self-serving thing [he'd] ever seen". However, at the end of the movie, he turns out to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Karma Houdini: Subverted with Dwayne LaFontant: While Gladys Sharp and Dwayne LaFontant are being arrested by the police for their illegal trap that they got themselves caught inside with some help from Hammy, and in the case of Vincent, sent to a wildlife shelter, Dwayne LaFontant tried to escape while exploiting Glady's attempt at fighting a Police Officer, and succeeded in going over the fence... only for him to step on a squeaker and presumably end up tackled by Nugant the Playful Rottweiler.
  • Kick the Dog: Verne has one of these moments later into the movie, calling his friends "too stupid and naive", and while floundering around for a more tactful way of calling them too innocent to know better than to listen to RJ, "ignorant".
  • Large Ham: Ozzie, played by William Shatner. His character is a possum. They play dead. Think about that.
  • LOLcats: RJ breathes into a bag of OH-NO's when hyperventilating.
  • Manipulative Bastard: RJ has most of the characteristics of one.
  • Monster Clown: "Scary clown!" (Okay, it's a monstrous bear descending with a clown balloon.)
  • Mood Swinger: RJ. In one scene he goes from relaxed, to panic, to shame then to extremely panicked in the span of ten seconds.
  • Motor Mouth: Hammy, combined with being a Cloudcuckoolander.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: RJ, after he sees the traps Gladys and Dwayne have set for the gang.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Verne's tail.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted hard several times—Vincent outright says he's going to kill RJ, or RJ and his friends, or that he was on his way to kill RJ. Gladys insists that the animals get "disposed of as inhumanely as possible", and Heather says, "I don't wanna die, Dad, not for real."
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: The De-Pelter Turbo produces quite the fireball for a machine that just leaves its victims hairless. There's even a beam of light from the device that takes out a passing satellite, and is visible on the galactic level! Yet it's still non-lethal somehow.
    • Well, you do have to prepare for a lot of stinging.
  • Noodle Incident: The Weedhacker Incident. RJ made it up, but still.
  • Not So Different: Vincent tells this to RJ (see Jerkass) which completes his Heel Face Turn.
  • Oh Crap:
    • "What is this place?!"
    • Don't forget Dwayne's reaction when he realizes that the 'Depelter Turbo' is about to go off with him, Gladys and Vincent all on the receiving end.
  • Overly Long Gag: "Now, the traps are set here...here...here...here...here....here...here...here...here...here...and here...here...here...here...here...big one here...here...and maybe a few over here."
According to the director commentary, they just decided to "keep going until it's funny, and then keep going some more."
  • Pass the Popcorn: RJ and Verne share some popcorn watching the Depelter Turbo, which they popped using the heat coming off it.
  • Pokémon-Speak: Nugent.
  • Product Placement: Averted with the Pringles but played DEADLY STRAIGHT with the THX. And they're not even trying to be subtle.
    • Subverted with the fact that the producers wanted them to be Pringles, but the Pringles company declined to allow their snack to be in the film. Hence, "Spuddies" were born.
    • The chip that RJ shows to the group is unmistakably Dorito-shaped.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Stella the skunk has a lot of sass and also her voice actor Wanda Sykes who often plays this role help her sound more like a sassy black women.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Anyone ever noticed how girly RJ's screams can be? For instance, the scene where Verne and RJ plummet to the ground after their umbrella was burned up.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Stella, who's amazement is a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, since she spends all of the film up til then resigned to her unattractiveness.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Show Some Leg: Stella is given a make-over by RJ so that they can implement her "feminine charms" (cue makeover montage) to distract Tiger the Persian cat by passing her off as a beautiful stray cat.
  • So Proud of You: Ozzie to his daughter when she fools even him into thinking she's dead.

Ozzie: (warmly) That's my girl.