4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5 stars? no, wait, let me explain...,
This review is from: Over The Hedge  [DVD] (DVD)
Ok, I love films, I love cinema, I love a gripping story and I love a good plot. I love new innovations, and I love directors to surprise when I go to see a film with preconceptions. I am also a computer animator. Now forget that last sentence, and bear in mind everything I said before it...
SKG and Dreamworks have produced some truly dreadful CG animations. 'Happy Feet' and 'Flushed Away' pandered solely to the child-begging-parent commercial market; you know the same one that brought us the Happy Meal and their associated plastic kitsch (incidentally much of which has been focused on characters from SKG animations), and 'Madagascar' - my personal nemesis, released far too soon under a thin veil of shoddy design, a suspiciously familiar script (did you see Disney's much better 'The Wild' - tragically designed before but released after Madagascar?) and surprisingly questionable animation for a big-screen release. All of these have felt like computer games ported to movies.
Where did the talent go that brought us 'Shrek'? Well, I suspect some of it lingered in the making of 'Over the Hedge'. The film has an appealing set of characters, likable from the child's perspective. Loosely based on the comic strip of the same name, OTH goes further than the slice-of-life observations of invading suburbia by the local woodland critters. The humour is advanced - much more remeniscent of the Shrek era, and the plot is enough to keep you amused an entertained throughout.
The film stands out for its innovation - some of the technical set pieces in this film are truly impressive; but is that really important to the average cinema goer? Well, yes I believe it is, though maybe for different reasons to the discerning animation critic. They're impressive because they're memorable, and that's what much of this film is, quite simply. Surely that is the mark of a good film. I love this particular film because it represents a return for SKG onto the right track, and having just come out of the cinema having seen 'Monsters versus Aliens' I can thoroughly assure you they have not strayed from that track so far since OTH.
If I do have issue with this film it's this; it's too short. Come on guys, let's make an animated epic. I know their designed for today's tartrazine-fueled toddlers, but seriously adults can enjoy them too. That's what 'Toy Story 2' proved. Finally, to say if you do have children you are probably going to end up loathing this film; the Jurassic Park effect of having seen it far too many times to give a care for it. Sorry!