Directed by: Tim Johnson, Karey Kirkpatrick
Written by:Len Blum, Lorne Cameron, David Hoselton, Karey Kirkpatrick
Starring: Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes, William Shatner, Nick Nolte, Thomas Haden Church, Allison Janney
Released: June 22, 2006
Grade: C+

This school holidays, there are two animated films to choose from.  In my opinion, you should be seeing CarsOver The Hedge isn’t as creative in terms of its storyline, its characters and its animation.  Most kids won’t be evaluating these films on the same level as I have and will enjoy themselves regardless.  I have no problem with this but I’m fairly confident that full-fee paying adults will find much more to like in Cars than Over The Hedge.

The flimsy plot centres on a hungry raccoon named RJ (Willis).  He finds himself in a tricky predicament when caught trying to steal a hoard of food from the cave of a nasty looking bear named Vincent (Nolte).  Vincent catches RJ in the act but in the process, the food falls from cave’s ledge and onto the street below.  It is crushed by a passing motor vehicle and Vincent is not happy.  He’s given RJ one week to replace the food or else.

Knowing he can’t do it alone, RJ makes some new friends.  They are a group of small animals who live in a patch of wildlife surrounded by a housing development.  There’s a tortoise named Verne (Shandling), a skunk named Stella (Sykes), a squirrel named Hammy (Carell) and a family of possums.

These animals are accustomed to finding their food in their natural surroundings but RJ’s arrival changes that.  He shows them the world “over the hedge”.  A world where humans consume massive amounts of food and leave their mountainous amounts of waste in rubbish cans.  It’s there for the taking and RJ teaches them the art of stealing it.  What the animals don’t know is that RJ has an ulterior motive…

The good news is that Over The Hedge is just 83 minutes long.  The bad news is that there isn’t much to laugh about in this time.  Quite frankly, these characters are boring and you’ll struggle to maintain interest in the silly storyline.  This isn’t an animated classic which I could watch over and over again.  In fact, I wish I’d never seen it the first time.