Over the Hedge (PG)

Comedy 87 May 19, 2006
Based on a daily newspaper comic strip, this computer-animated petting zoo arrives in theaters slathered in more endorsements than a NASCAR driver, its warm and cuddly creatures appearing in TV ads for everything from Hanes underwear and baked Cheetos to Hewlett-Packard and Oscar Mayer. (The film is also being used to launch Wal-Mart's "Summer Starts Here" campaign.) Perhaps it makes perfect sense: Over the Hedge is built around a scenario that involves the stealing and hoarding of junk food, with the artificial cheese that covers corn chips acting as the most powerful of all ingestible narcotics. A swindling raccoon named RJ (voice of Bruce Willis) must fill the cave of a grizzly (Nick Nolte) with grocery-store goodies before he devours RJ instead. So he enlists the aid of some naive turtles and squirrels and possums and porcupines and skunks--voiced by the likes of Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, William Shatner, Wanda Sykes, Avril Lavigne, Eugene Levy, and Catherine O'Hara, because these movies are nothing without their famous faces providing familiar voices--to sack the suburbs for some treats. It has been said that Over the Hedge is intended as a satiric jab at our unhealthy lifestyles of junk food- and TV-gorging. But you can't sincerely say something about the crassness of consumerism at the same time that you're trying to unload the store. (Robert Wilonsky)
Tim Johnson, Karey Kirkpatrick Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, William Shatner, Wanda Sykes, Nick Nolte, Avril Lavigne, Catherine O'Hara, Allison Janney, Eugene Levy, Steve Carell Len Blum, Michael Fry, T Lewis Bonnie Arnold Dreamworks