Just another short review of Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick's adaptation of Over The Hedge
, based on the comic strips of Michael Fry and T Lewis.
In short, this is one of the better effort from Dreamworks Animation. Much better than last year's Madagascar
and the ill-fated Shark Tale
. It didn't have the rapid fire visual jokes that the Shrek
franchise has. It could also be that the jokes are so American-centric that people half-way across the world didn't get the reference. I did get the Dr. Phil joke.
But what it does have is some great voice acting by the cast and amazing character animation by the animators. Make no mistake - the script is much more polished, creating a familiar family story with a lot of potshots taken at the expense of the craziest animals of all - humans! I've never read the comic strip but the movie seems to jive with what the strip is about, which is the study of the idiosyncracies of human in suburbia.
It has an all-star cast: Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes, William Shatner, Nick Nolte, Thomas Haden Church, Allison Janney, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Avril Lavigne, and Omid Djalili.
, Dreamworks Animation and PDI have refined their pull-and-stretch animation techniques. All of the furry creatures, including the sole amphibian, are rendered beautifully. Johnson and Kirkpatrick should take full credit for that. But they also have to take full credit for not fully utilizing the mix! It wasn't an enveloping mix, like most of Pixar's sound mixes are.
I feel that while kids may dig some part of this movie and the toys, it is the adults who would truly get what it is like to live on their side of the street. Over The Hedge
will struggle to get an Oscar nod next year, but at the very least, it was very entertaining. A smart, smart movie.