Below is an exerpt from my other blog, The Magic Lantern Show. The film Over The Hedge is a well-made fil that serves as a parable about community. Read on . . .
Sometimes inspiration comes from the strangest of places. Just a few weeks ago I made the decision to join meet my family at the movies. It was a decision, not a whim, because I was in the thick of a seriously overactive schedule and I had to decide that spending 90 minutes of my time at a "kids movie" like Over The Hedge was not unimportant. The 90 minutes would have been important simply because I shared it with my wife and children, but I was additionally blessed by a good movie with an inspiring message.
Over the Hedge is a parable of community. R. J. [the racoon] meets up with a group of friendly forest dwellers made up of a turtle, a skunk, a squirrel, two opossums, and a porcupine family. The odd assortment of beasts live together in utopian harmony as a commune community. They gather just what is needed until R. J. changes that by introducing the forest family to the possibilities of treasures over the hedge. Of course we know that R. J. is exploiting the others to gather what he needs to pay off Vincent. As would be expected, R. J. falls in love with the funny animals and finds community. Which peels off yet another layer of this film: R. J. is revealed as a fraud but he repents by rescuing the others from the evil Verminator. In turn, the forest community rescues R. J. from the clutches of Vincent. How does a community reconcile with a betrayer? How do they restore R. J. to their community when they know he has lied to them?
Am I out of line for saying that this movie was actually better than The DaVinci Code? Sue me for honesty, but I thought that talking animals of Over The Hedge had more depth and sympathy than the bland bunch from DaCode.