If you’ve read my reviews before, you are aware that I have a very dear love for animated films. However, when I saw Over The Hedge I was surprised to find that this film was incredibly stupid. Sure, it was certainly funny, but Dreamworks once again puts a movie from the animal’s perspective and shows that humans are the true evil ones. Essentially this is about a group of animals trying to get enough food for the winter until they realize they are in the middle of a giant house complex. Luckily, human civilization is centered on food and, well, they end up getting enough food. The fact that this was a comic strip makes this even more laughable, but despite Dreamworks’ efforts, this film is probably my least favorite of any Dreamworks production so far.
The composer behind this animated film was Rupert Gregson-Williams, the brother of the famed Harry Gregson-Williams for those who didn’t know. Rupert has been associated with Remote Control Productions for years and he is currently working alongside Hans Zimmer, although Rupert has gone down his own path recently. Gregson-Williams has certainly composed a very diverse group of scores for a very diverse group of films, and children’s productions are something that he has been specializing in.
Over The Hedge needed a ton of energy, especially for Hammy, a hyper squirrel with an ADHD problem. Gregson-Williams definitely delivers, and you can hear this in the first score track, “RJ Enters The Cave”. The pizzicato for the strings is effective, especially with the fast and quirky piano. The woodwinds provide a cool light atmosphere. The choir then comes in as a heaven effect, which then turns sour shortly after as RJ is discovered. The music becomes tense and scary, but still light for the children. It is a wonderful atmosphere.
“Let’s Call It Steve” is a pretty funny cue, with wailing women once again being applied to something completely irrelevant to wailing women. Why the hedge is associated with this is a bit concerning, but still the mystery is present as the animals try to figure out what the hedge is, exactly. When Verne goes out into the hedge the sequence here is absolutely hysterical and this has to be my favorite part of the movie. The music is so context heavy that is becomes a great listen by itself as well, being one of the best on album.
“The Inside Heist” is a long action sequence that really portrays the heist well. The tense moments are tense when they need to be, the comedy is still there, and the overall listening experience is great in general. The ending is the best part, for it is similar to the end of “Let’s Call It Steve”, but with a more light feeling to it.
Over The Hedge is a very strange film with a basic concept, but Ruper Gregson-Williams’ score for this film is truly awesome with the film. Unfortunately it is very neglected on album because a bunch of useless songs are on the soundtrack, even though half of them weren’t in the film. The best way to hear this score in particular is to watch the film.
Music As Written For The Film: 4/5
Music As Heard On Album: 2.5/5