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OVER THE HEDGE
Inoffensive, tuneful music for Dreamworks animation
A review by JAMES SOUTHALL
Score composed by
Songs composed by
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Album running time
Album cover copyright (c) 2006 Dreamworks; review copyright (c) 2006 James Southall
I have to say that I don't think I've ever seen a trailer for a film which convinced me not to see that film quite so resoundingly as that of Over the Hedge. I'm not a fan of Dreamworks animations at the best of times (they're so much more insipid than their counterparts from other studios) but this one looked even worse than usual. Against the odds, the reviews were very good, and it was well-received by audiences too. The usual all-star voice cast is here, this time featuring Bruce Willis, Nick Nolte, Allison Janney and William Shatner.
There are some good, lively songs here from the excellent Ben Folds, who seems a slightly odd choice to provide songs for an animation, but he turned out to be a good one. The lively "Family of Me" is all-too-brief, but the amusing "Lost in the Supermarket" and the lovely ballad "Still" are excellent. You can file under "quirky" the new version of Folds's song "Rockin' the Suburbs", here featuring the great Shatner performing as only he can.
It goes without saying that it's a Media Ventures alumnus who provides the score, and this time it's the less famous (for now) of the Gregson-Williams brothers, Rupert, who obliges. It's all very charming and pleasant, if entirely predictable, with sweet tunes and playful orchestration perfectly suggesting the story of the small animals in the film. There's nothing offensive about any of it, indeed most of it is entirely pleasing, but there's nothing particularly memorable either. It's music which might bring a smile to your face while you're listening, but which you won't think about after it's finished.
The highlight is maybe the gorgeous little bucolic piece "The Family Awakes", music full of the joys of spring or the rising sun; later, there's a playful light jazz vibe in "Hammy Time" which is great fun. The action-packed finale "RJ Rescues his Family" is also a crowd-pleaser. All in all, it's the typical Media Ventures sound for a Dreamworks animation and could have been (and, perhaps unfairly, I can't help but think that it was) written by any or indeed all of Hans Zimmer's entourage. Still, it fulfils its purpose and provides a pleasant diversion for half an hour.