Wednesday, August 02, 2006
A group of woodland creatures wake up from their hibernation and realize that an ugly suburban subdivision has intruded on their territory. A large hedge now surrounds their little patch of remaining forest.
A nervous and slow talking turtle, Verne (voiced by Garry Shandling) warns the group not to go through the hedge and feels that they could simply adapt. Verne who is the leader of the group feels that it would be safer if they stay on their side of the hedge.
But to the dismay of Verne, a new creature, RJ (voiced by Bruce Willis) enters their world and tells them to make use of their new neighborhood. He guides them to take food from the garbage cans, stealing objects from the garages and collecting what they want from the humans. Ignorant of RJ's selfish motive, the group of woodland creatures follows his instructions. Hammy the squirrel (voiced by Steve Carell) discovers nacho chips to be more delicious than the leaves he used to eat earlier. Verne is disappointed by their acts and thinks that there's something suspicious about RJ.
RJ had stolen all the provisions of a hungry bear (voiced by Nick Nolte). However the bear finds the culprit and threatens to kill him unless he returns all the items he stole from him. RJ is supposed to return the items within six days. So he plans to make use of the woodland creatures and collect all the items from the humans.
The humans are annoyed by the activities of the creatures. The head of the homeowners' association, calls Dwayne (voiced by Thomas Haden Church), ominously known as The Verminator who is a pest control expert to get rid of them as soon as possible.
The characters are well drawn and voiced and the action scenes are fun. The scenes where RJ spots 2 girl scouts selling their famous wares, and the possums playing dead are some of the funny scenes of the movie. There are many other jokes which children will definitely enjoy.
Other characters in the movie include Ozzie, a possum who frequently plays dead and is voiced by the two-time Emmy winner William Shatner. Ozzie's daughter, Heather voiced by Top artist Avril Lavigne, the porcupine couple Penny and Lou as voiced by Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy, a skunk named Stella as voiced by comedienne Wanda Sykes, and a spoiled housecat named Tiger as voiced by Omid Djalili.
With the detailed forests and the hair on all characters, the animation by DreamWorks is enjoyably vivid. The movie has been excellently voiced. The character Hammy has been a scene stealer in the movie due to the excellent work of Steve Carell.
Cast: Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, William Shatner, Avril Lavigne, Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Wanda Sykes, Nick Nolte, Omid Djalili, Allison Janney, Thomas Haden Church
Genre: Animation, Comedy and Fantasy
Directors: Tim Johnson, Karey Kirkpatrick
Producer: Bonnie Arnold
Writers: Len Blum and Lorne Cameron & David Hoselton and Karey Kirkpatrick