Due to a steady stream of computer animated kid's movies I have been
gradually lowering my expectations for the entire genre. It was the
same feeling I used to have when traditional animation saw the rise of
non-Disney competition such as Don Bluth and Hanna Barbara. The more
animation, the more opportunities to suck. Only Pixar has remained
ahead of the curve and I keep expecting them to fail (apparently they
really suck at failing). But with Over the Hedge, we get another
DreamWorks animation. They have a few hits (Shrek and Wallace and
Gromit) and a few misses (Shark Tale and Madagascar). So is Over the
Hedge in the plus or minus column?
Plus baby! It's fricken awesome! This one has it all. Great voice work (Bruce Willis, Gary Shandling, Eugene Levy, and Shatner, yes William Shatner), terrific animation (complete with dynamic chases scenes, cool explosions and cute cuddly animals) and great humor (mixing high-brow cultural criticism with low-brow burping jokes). But it all works. The pieces fit together, the funny works, as does the character drama. It was one of the most pleasant movie experiences of recent memory.
Go. Watch. Enjoy.
11 types of awesome (out of a possible 11)