The Michigan Daily - Monday, May 22, 2006 - 13
ycomedian takes wholesome role
By Christina Choi
Daily Arts Writer
(Bruce Willis, "Die Hard"), the animals soon find
that those strange, food-worshipping creatures (oth-
erwise known as humans) are a completely different
nacho chips and caf
that are nearly toxic
Sometimes a film can remind you of the breed of animal. cent squirrel. Thou1
strangest things. Characterizing humans by their lust for food character, she identi
Wanda Sykes, the standup comedian behind the warranted the film plenty of comedic opportuni- and explained how
sassy voice of Stella the skunk in "Over the Hedge,' ties, including a series of scenes in which RJ defines Stella justice.
readily recalled why the blustery and pot-bellied having jobs as a way for humans to buy food before "I went off and I
exterminator antagonist in the animated film remind- showing his friends a treadmill where humans exer- she joked. "No, it wa
ed her of her father. cise "to eat more food." something stinks an
"We grew up in this really rural area in Virginia. These actions comprise the film's sharp sense filed, and also ... fe
One time I saw he shot a snake. We were all in the of socially aware humor, but director Tim Johnson There's self-esteem
living room watching television, (and) he just walked ("Antz") explained how the comedy won't be lost on nerability in there"
in and 'pow pow!' We were all just like 'What are the film's young audience. Compared to SykI
you doing?' "Sykes said."And he was so proud (Ijust "I think kids, especially kids that are eight or nine was a refreshing cha
thought), you almost took my brother out, man!"' years old, they'll understand when we make fun of "It was nice to b
Clearly,then,there's an element of universal acces- SUVs. Say, an animal says 'how many humans does whole family, you
sibility to the film, which details the adventures of a that SUV hold?' and RJ goes 'Eh, one,' " Johnson people don't bring
gang of backyard critters as they discover the tempta- said. "They know what that's about." Sykes said. "It was
tion laden suburbs. Led by a hip raccoon named RJ Kids will also relate to the intoxicating draw of (everyone) will enjo
.. . . ............... .. . .. . . .. . .. . ..ed.. . . .. . .. . . .. . .. . . .. . ...i.. . .. . . .. . ...accoon. . .. . .. . . .. . .. . .
New film is finger-licking good
By Ted Chen
For the Daily
The transcendent value of family and
friends is the cornerstone of most fam -
ily-orientated animated movies. "Over
the Hedge" doesn't stray too far from that
well-trodden path, but it adds the f-word
into the equation - food, that is.
From the description of a Nacho chip
to the reverence of
Spuddies, the movie
displays how much Over the
we love food. RJ Hedge couresy ofDresamrk
(Bruce Willis, "Die At Showcase "Wanda, watch out, she's raising her tail!"
Hard"), a street- and Quality 16
smart raccoon who Dreamworks
tries to take advan-
tage of an unsus-
pecting group,is the leader of this team of secon annual
r local animals. sose
RI clashes with the conservative turtle d
Verne (Garry Shandling,"Doctor Dolittle")
when he tries to get everyone to raid the
humans' home for food. The show starts off
slowly and predictably but once their mis-
sion is accomplished, the real stakes are put e
on the dining table: RJ's emotional dilemma
between betrayal and survival.
Other characters get less emphasis than
the leaders RJ and Verne, but are devel-
oped to add more depth to the movie.
Hammy (Steve Carell, "The 40 Year-Old-
Virgin) is the hyperactive squirrel that gets
to save the day. Ozzie (William Shatner, Try to find the "Fake ad" in today's paper
TVs "Boston Legal") is father to Heather
(pop star Avril Lavigne) and, has to show and throughout the month.
his daughter that there's no shame in a
possum playing dead. The forlorn skunk
Stella (Wanda Sykes "Monster-In-Law") If you think you have found the ad, e-mail your guess
even gets to find love. (with your name and page number of the ad) to:
The laughs come in the form of physi- display&michigandaily.com (subject: fake ad contest)
cal goofiness. On occasion, the action is too
exaggerated, even for an animated movie.
Animals rocketing with a propane gas tank Contest sponsored by Papa John's Pizza.
and later commandeering a truck may
appear cutesy for children but will heap a Winner will receive 1 Free Large Pizza
collective sigh of disbelief for adults. Winner will be chosen at the end of each month
"Over the Hedge" is not a complex and will be contacted by e-mail.
movie, but children will love the physical
comedy and relatable characters.
Although accompanying parents may
doze off halfway through, everyone can
go home reminded of how grateful we
should be for friends and family, and
maybe a sudden craving for food.
fleinated beverages, two edibles
for Hammy (Steve Carell, "The
i"), a phenomenally efferves-
gh Sykes played a more demure
fied with the comedy of the film
hard she worked to do the part of
lived with a family of skunks,"
as easy to identify with Stella ...
d they'll blame her, she gets pro-
males get judged by their parents.
issues going on and really a vul-
es's usual line of work, the movie
be a part of something for the
know? I work nightclubs and
their kids. I don't know why,"
nice to be a part of something
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