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Over the Hedge

Over the Hedge is a 2006 American computer-animated comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and based on the comic strip of the same name by Michael Fry and T. Lewis. Directed by Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick (the latter in his feature directorial debut) from a screenplay by Len Blum, Lorne Cameron, David Hoselton, and Kirkpatrick, the film features the voices of Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, William Shatner, Wanda Sykes, Avril Lavigne and Nick Nolte. The film's plot follows a raccoon named RJ who must reclaim food for a bear, ultimately manipulating a group of animals that had recently awakened from hibernation in order to speed up the process.


One night, in Indiana, RJ the raccoon tries to steal snack food that Vincent, a bear, stockpiled for his hibernation. Vincent wakes up and catches RJ, and the food is destroyed in the ensuing confrontation. Vincent says he will hunt down and eat RJ if the food is not replaced by the time his hibernation ends a week later.

A family of woodland animals consisting of ornate box turtle and leader Verne, hyperactive American red squirrel Hammy, striped skunk Stella, North American porcupine parents Lou and Penny and children Spike, Bucky and Quillo, and Virginia opossum father and daughter Ozzie and Heather, awaken from their hibernation on the first day of spring. They find that much of the forest they lived in has been turned into a housing development, which is separated from the little forest remaining by a giant hedge. The animals wonder how they will forage enough food for the next winter. RJ meets them and encourages them to traverse the hedge and steal food from the humans. Despite Verne's concerns, the animals join RJ in stealing and stockpiling human food, not knowing he intends to give it to Vincent. Gladys Sharp, the neighborhood Home Owners Association president, takes notice of the animal problem and hires exterminator Dwayne LaFontant to get rid of them.

Spurred on by the exterminator's arrival, Verne tries to return the food to the humans. RJ tries to stop him; but they come across the excitable dog Nugent who, with a single-minded fixation on playing, ends up pulling the wagon of food through the neighborhood until it lands on Gladys' SUV, causing an explosion. RJ blames Verne for the loss of the food while Verne criticizes the others for trusting RJ and putting themselves in danger with the humans, inadvertently insulting them in the process and causing them to go with RJ over him. That night, RJ begins to feel conflicted about his deception towards the family, especially when he sees Gladys having Dwayne cover her yard in animal traps—including an illegal contraband device called the De-Pelter Turbo which turns the entire yard into a death trap when activated.

Verne apologizes to RJ for his actions and reconciles with the other animals. On the night before Vincent's hibernation ends, RJ sees that Gladys has bought a massive stockpile of food for an upcoming party and enlists the help of the animals to invade her home and steal it. Hammy successfully disables the De-Pelter Turbo while Stella poses as a cat to seduce Gladys' Persian cat Tiger in order to steal his collar, which enables entry into the house's pet door. The animals stockpile another wagon full of food, but right as they are about to leave at sunrise, RJ sees a can of chips called Spuddies and becomes determined to get them as Vincent specifically requested them. While trying to justify his effort to get the chips, RJ lets slip his true intention for the food. Gladys comes downstairs and finds the animals, and RJ manages to escape with the food. The others are caught by Dwayne, who takes them away in his truck to euthanize them.

RJ gives the food to Vincent as promised, but as he sees the exterminator truck driving off, he realizes that the family he found in the woodland animals is the most valuable thing in his life. RJ sends the food wagon careening into the truck, knocking out Dwayne and freeing the animals, but enraging Vincent. Spike, Bucky and Quillo take control of the truck and drive it back home, and RJ rejoins the family as they try to shake off the pursuing Vincent after Verne convinces the others to forgive him for his trickery. They crash the truck into Gladys' home and return to the hedge, but are attacked from both sides of it by Vincent, Gladys and Dwayne. RJ gives Hammy an energy drink, making the squirrel hyperactive enough to move at warp speed which he uses to go and reactivate the De-Pelter Turbo. RJ lures Vincent into leaping over the hedge to get him, but puts on Verne's shell which protects him from Vincent's jaws and allows Verne to pull him out with a fishing line. Vincent, Gladys and Dwayne are caught in the De-Pelter Turbo, resulting in them being blasted with radiation and trapped in a cage left in the ensuing crater.

Vincent is captured by animal control and shipped off to the Rocky Mountains, while Gladys is arrested for possessing the Turbo and Dwayne is chased by Nugent. RJ joins the woodland creatures' family permanently as well as Tiger, who remains in love with Stella even after learning she is a skunk, as he cannot smell. The animals' food storage is quickly replenished by Hammy, who finally found the nuts he stored before the previous winter.