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Animals turn into fast food junkies

Over the hedge is the new animated film of DreamWorks' in which forest animals hog on pizza and become fast food junkies.

india Updated: May 22, 2006 12:07 IST
Reuters
Reuters
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The porcupines want pizza, the squirrel is hooked on chocolate biscuits and the raccoon addicted to potato crisps - In DreamWorks' new animated film Over the hedge, forest animals become fast food junkies.

Based on a comic strip by Michael Fry and T Lewis, the new film by the creators of Madagascar and Shrek tells the tale of wild animals adapting to their suburban human neighbours as those are moving closer in.

"The message of this movie is: What do we look like from these animals' perspective?," said Karey Kirkpatrick, who directed the film with Tim Johnson.

"What must it be like? These guys have to go out and scrounge around for nuts and berries and we can open our cupboards and have food," he told reporters in Cannes, where the film is shown outside the official competition.

Cheeky raccoon RJ, speaking through the voice of Bruce Willis, gets himself into trouble when he steals bear Vincent's (Nick Nolte) entire food supply -- dozens of colourful boxes of cereals, crisps, sweets and chocolates.

To avoid the bear's revenge and hand him back his meals, RJ seeks to convince a family of quiet woodland animals to venture "over the hedge" into a newly built suburban neighbourhood -- full of easily available delicacies.

Realising that opening biscuit packages is so much easier than collecting nuts, the animals are quickly hooked.

"Bark for breakfast," the porcupine mother tell her kids. "I want pizza," the instant reply comes.

But stressed housewife Gladys and an animal-eradicating "Verminator" stand in the way of eternal fast food happiness.

SAVING THE WORLD

Bruce Willis, known for his action hero role in the "Die Hard" films, said he had found it difficult to play the cunning racoon without any interaction with the other actors.

"Comedy is always the hardest thing for any actor do. I had no idea how difficult this film was going to be," he told Reuters in an interview. "None of the actors were ever in the same room with each other."

Willis said playing a racoon did not mean he had given up on saving the world, as he had done in many of his other films.

"I think saving the world is a necessary job. I think I'm the guy for it. It's a job someone has to do," he said. "(And in this film) I save the world in the animal kingdom."

Canadian singer Avril Lavigne, who plays a teenage possum, said she could see herself doing more acting in the future.

"I would love to go further. I think it's important for me to do it in the right way. I have to be careful and be smart about it and take my time," said the 21-year old, who shot onto the international music scene 4 years ago.

The animals' carefree spirit in the film seemed to have rubbed off on the actors in their press conference on Sunday.

Bruce Willis jokily introduced himself as George Clooney. And Nick Nolte, who had stayed quiet during the conference, at one point pulled out a harmonica and started to play.

First Published: May 22, 2006 12:07 IST