"Over the Hedge" is an animated feature film from DreamWorks that chronicles the adventures a group of animals have after they awaken from hibernation to find that their quiet woods has become surrounded by a hedge in the middle of the suburbs. The creatures have a family bond and use mutual respect and shared work to accomplish the daily tasks associated with life, but that simple way of life gets complicated when a cagey raccoon named RJ shows up.
RJ demonstrates how easy life can be by taking advantage of the many wasteful ways of the humans in the neighborhood. The family, led by turtle Verne, are at first cautious of RJ's fast-paced way of living, but soon only Verne is left suspicious of what RJ has to offer. Of course, RJ is also using his newfound friends to aid his debt to an unfriendly bear. RJ has a deadline to meet or his days are numbered.
Of course, Verne manages to convince his family of what RJ is actually up, after quite a few zany mishaps. RJ is faced with a decision to continue running on his own or face up to his problems in order to stay with his friends that start to grow on him. In addition, the critters have also managed to attract the attention of the head of the local homeowners group, and she is determined to get the furry friends out of her neighborhood for good by enlisting the services of an exterminator.
The film offers several looks into a number of problems including: greed, waste, and laziness. The characters in "Over the Hedge" must learn to adapt to the change in their surroundings, but must also learn to live in peace with their new noisy human neighbors. In the end, RJ is faced with helping his new pals or saving his own hide. Verne and his family must decide whether to give RJ a second chance by trusting him or turning their backs on their former pal.
In the end, the movie uses slick characters and the voices of familiar actors to draw the audience into a colorful world. First and foremost a comedy, RJ and his pals have several adventures and hatch plenty of schemes in order to get their hands on something to eat. Of all the lessons the characters learn during the movie, the importance of teamwork turns out to be as important as finding a trash can full of food.