Over the Hedge is a movie (and video game) in which a gang of sentient wild animals breaks into a suburban woman’s house at night to steal her food. The woman (pictured above in her pajamas) is punished by the film for defending her property. This sucks.
The animals were not only stealing what they needed to survive, but were also stealing conveniences, like video games, TVs, and junk food which would be poisonous for them anyway. So don’t say “it was just to survive.”
The animals are not in the least bit careful or considerate over how they went about stealing. They smashed fences, dumped garbage cans everywhere, nearly caused a car accident, attacked Girl Scouts selling cookies, almost KILLED Gladys when they accidentally blew up her car, and almost ran over two women while driving a truck at 99 miles per hour down the road. Someone needed to stop them.
Gladys Sharp DOES buy an illegal trap, yes, but I don’t feel that this is worse than all the things the animals do in this movie. If anything, the illegal trap seemed like a justifiable weapon of self-defense – even if it was illegal.
Gladys didn’t hire the exterminator to kill the animals right away. At first, she just chases them away with her broom. It’s not until several more times that the animals cause chaos (including attacking CHILDREN while pretending to be rabid) that she calls him.
All the fights between Gladys and the animals happen either in her home or in her yard. They are coming to her, not the other way around. There’s a reason she spends the entire battle in her pajamas – they’re intruding on her privacy in her home. She’s fighting in self-defense. Even after they destroy her home with a truck and she’s trying to kill them with a weed wacker, she is remaining in her yard, and shouting at them to “Stay in the woods where you belong!”
And yet, just because the animals are cute, we are expected to cheer for them as they get their happy ending while celebrating that the woman who was defending her own property was arrested for setting one illegal trap.
But in the opinion of the anti-human human directors of this movie, the lady has to be punished for defending her own property.
The most offensive part of this plotline is when you contrast the animal’s first encounter with Gladys with their last encounter. In the first encounter, Gladys finds the animals digging through her trash in the patio she just mopped. She angrily chases them away, but RJ insists on returning to her house to steal. When Verne objects that it’s too dangerous, RJ says “Relax! We just spooked her and she overreacted!” This implies that Gladys had no reason to be spooked.
But over the course of the film, the animals bomb her truck (which could have killed her), put cameras in her bedroom to spy on her while she sleeps to make she doesn’t wake and catch them stealing her food, skunk spray her (when she was running away!) in her own house, crash a truck into her house (which again, could have killed her), and then zap her with her trap. They’re all watching with big smiles and 3D glasses as she gets zapped by her trap. For some reason, we are supposed to cheer for these nasty creatures.
Let’s hope that if there ever is an Over the Hedge 2, that Gladys is released from prison and RJ faces justice.