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Over the Hedge

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Over the Hedge Movie Poster Image
Cute animated tale with some mild scares, cartoon violence.
  • PG
  • 2006
  • 96 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 42 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 62 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Characters lie and steal, but learn to appreciate self-declared/non-blood families.

Violence & Scariness

Cartoon violence (characters smashed, flattened, blown up, and crushed); bear threatens to "hunt down and kill" raccoon; human exterminator arrives on scene with traps, poison, explosives; from raccoon's POV, suburban backyard is filled with dangerous items (bug zapper, falling birdbath, sprinklers, knives); woman chases animals with broom; squirrel pretends to be rabid to scare Girl Scout; dog chases raccoon through several yards and over decks, crashing through fences; little girl possum kicked down stairs, appears to be dead.

Sexy Stuff

Mild references to female skunk's "appeal," as she's sent to distract a guardian cat.


Very mild, occasional language ("shoot!", "butt," "dang"); the turtle calls others "stupid," "naive," and "ignorant."


Dr. Phil on TV; various commercial food products renamed (potato chips in a can, corn chips and cheese curls in bags, candies, etc.).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Sugar acts like a drug for Hammy.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this animated movie includes a fair amount of cartoon violence. Characters are crushed, blown up, flattened, banged, burned, and bounced -- all in good, Chuck-Jones-influenced fun. Animal protagonists steal food from each other and from unsympathetic humans. When a raccoon steals a bear's winter stash of food, the bear threatens retaliation and the raccoon fools other "foragers" into stealing food from humans to repay the bear and save himself. A human exterminator brings traps and brutal gizmos (his truck is adorned by a man slamming a bunny with a hammer). This exterminator suffers physical abuses (zapped by his own traps). Younger kids will laugh at the obvious stuff and won't get the edgier humor aimed at older audiences, so this is one that several age groups can enjoy together.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 3 year old Written bytiaceleste March 6, 2011

Not Good for Short Attention Spans

This movie was super boring for my 3.5 year old. It did not hold his attention at all and he loves animal movies. He kept asking me why the animals were steal... Continue reading
Adult Written bykaetra December 28, 2009
This is a DVD we own and watch over and over. It's very entertaining for the grown-ups as well as the kids. Some scary parts, lots of cartoon violence. Lot... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byJoseph Brian January 23, 2013

Watch this before you let your kids see it

Of all the family-oriented films I've ever seen, this one is only LOOSELY family-oriented. Why? Because the film has an abundance of rude humor and bad be... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old February 11, 2016

Good toddler and baby show ages 2-4

Great for little kids, cute animal story. They might be scared of the bear but everything else is just cute and cuddly.

What's the story?

This animated animal adventure gets rolling when RJ the raccoon (voiced by Bruce Willis) steals a little red wagon full of treats from a hibernating bear, Vincent (Nick Nolte). Awakened and annoyed, the bear threatens to kill RJ unless he replaces all the missing items (they're smooshed in a traffic accident). RJ hatches a plan to steal convenience foods from recently installed suburban dwellers. While Hammy the squirrel (Steve Carell), shy skunk Stella (Wanda Sykes), and Ozzie, a possum (William Shatner), are easily won over by RJ's scheme, timid tortoise Verne (Garry Shandling) frets that RJ is not to be trusted. But the raccoon is shrewd, and the scenario he lays out -- all food, all the time -- is mighty tempting. So it's not long before everyone scampering into the well-appointed abode of Homeowners' Association President Gladys (Allison Janney). In this new world, "the grass is greener," and the acorn-munching kids discover the great tastes they've been missing: cheese dust, pizza, donuts, and Girl Scout cookies. The animals are not prepared for the humans' ferocious desire to protect their stuff, however, and soon the dastardly exterminator (Thomas Haden Church) arrives, armed with traps and weapons.

Is it any good?

Cute and zippy, OVER THE HEDGE offers animal shenanigans, an amusing social critique, songs by Ben Folds, and cartoony explosions galore. It's good fun for everyone!



Plainly inspired by the brilliant Chuck Jones, the movie gets in easy digs at the burbs, a nifty homage to Pepe Le Pew (via Stella's faux-seduction of a Persian "guard cat" [Omid Djalili]), and yet another chance for Willis to make good fun of himself.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the film's satire of life in the suburbs. They could also talk about the lesson RJ and his friends learn: that supporting each other as a family is more important than their individual desires. They could also use the film and its soundtrack to talk to kids about the greater impact of our actions.

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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