Just whose backyard is it, anyway? Spring has sprung, and Verne and his woodland friends awaken from their long winter’s nap to discover that a tall, green “thing” has mysteriously cropped up right through the middle of their home. Enter RJ, an opportunistic raccoon, who explains that the world beyond the hedge is the “gateway to the good life” where peculiar creatures called humans live to eat, rather than eat to live. Suspicious and even a little jealous of RJ, the ever-cautious Verne wants to keep his blended family safely on their side of the hedge. But, proving the adage that one man’s garbage is another man’s—or rather animal’s—treasure, the manipulative RJ tries to convince the woodland band that there is little to fear and everything to gain from their over-indulgent new neighbors. Eventually, RJ and Verne form an unlikely friendship as they learn to co-exist with—and even exploit—this strange new world called suburbia. Heading up an all-star voice cast, Bruce Willis (the Die Hard franchise, Sixth Sense) is the voice of the mischievous con-artist raccoon named RJ, and Emmy winner Garry Shandling (TV’s The Larry Sanders Show, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show) voices the overprotective turtle named Verne in the computer-animated comedy Over the Hedge. Rounding out the voice cast of Over the Hedge are: Steve Carell (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, TV’s The Office) as a hyperactive squirrel named Hammy; two-time Emmy winner William Shatner (TV’s Boston Legal) as Ozzie, a possum who excels at playing dead with a melodramatic flair; chart-topping recording artist Avril Lavigne as Ozzie’s daughter, Heather; Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy (both A Mighty Wind, Best in Show), who are paired as the porcupine couple Penny and Lou, with a brood of little porcupine mouths to feed; comedienne Wanda Sykes as a sassy skunk named Stella; two-time Oscar® nominee Nick Nolte (Affliction, The Prince of Tides) as a bear named Vincent; and Omid Djalili (Casanova) as a spoiled housecat named Tiger. On the human side, four-time Emmy winner Allison Janney (TV’s The West Wing) plays Gladys, the president of the local homeowners’ association, who isn’t about to see her neighborhood overrun by wildlife; and Oscar® nominee Thomas Haden Church (Sideways) as the Verminator, whom Gladys hires to rid the area of our woodland heroes. STARRING The Voices of: Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Wanda Sykes, Nick Nolte, Catherine O’Hara, William Shatner, Steve Carell, Eugene Levy, Allison Janney
DIRECTORS: Tim Johnson, Karey Kirkpatrick
STUDIO: DreamWorks Pictures
RATING: PG Wild About Movies Grade: BWild About Movies was a proud co-host of the March 27th world premiere of “Over The Hedge,” in Boston. “Over The Hedge” is Dreamworks’ upcoming animated film, following in the footsteps of its animated kin, “Antz,” “A Shark’s Tale,” “Madagascar,” “Shrek,” and “Shrek 2″ – all bonafide box office smashes. Wild About Movies publicist – and founder and owner of CBH Communications – Chris Haynes, held court with “Over The Hedge” voice talent, the inestimable Wanda Sykes, at the premiere. Sykes is the queen of voicing animated characters. In addition to “Over The Hedge,” Sykes is one of the premiere voices on Comedy Central’s “Crank Yankers,” and lends her vocal talents to these upcoming animated features: “Brother Bear 2,” “Barnyard” and “The Adventures of Brer Rabbit” – all while making room for in-person guest spots on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and a featured role on the current CBS sitcom, “The New Adventures of Old Christine.” Wild About Movies will bring you interviews with many voice talents from “Over The Hedge” closer to its Memorial Day weekend release.