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OVER THE HEDGE (2006) DreamWorks Animation

Based on a long-running comic strip that tells the antics of RJ the raccoon, Verne the turtle and their furry friends in the suburbia, "Over the Hedge" features Bruce 'Die Hard' Willis in his second animation outing in a role which was originally meant for Jim Carrey. The various characters with their madcap antics and dry wit are why this animation is a must-watch. The gorgeous look of the movie is one unforgettable factor too.


Nearly sixty percent of this Disney animation underwent reshoot under the watchful eye of John Lasseter, chief creative officer of animation at Disney. However, credit also has to go to director Steve Anderson who based the protagonist on his own childhood as a foster child. Touching, wacky and some relevant lessons you can take home with. Oh who can forget Frankie the frog in that turn-off-your-cell-phone commercial.

MONSTER HOUSE (2006) Sony Pictures Animation

Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis, this is an unexpected gem released in 2006. Using a technology called motion capturing which Zemeckis employed earlier for "The Polar Express", "Monster House" is a whole bag of fun and surprise, surprise served up some pretty tense, scary moments as well. Not for the little kiddos though.

PAPRIKA (2006) Madhouse

This is a strange, disturbing story of reality and nightmares. Our reviewer calls it 'a whimsical sci-fi film noir that shuttles between a psychiatric institute’s sanitized halls and the dream life of its patients'. Whatever that means, it’s something deep. You want something to kill a boring Sunday afternoon? This is definitely not the recommended fare.


A girl that could 'leap' backwards through time? Sounds fun. But this animation feature which didn’t actually boast fancy anime-effects did has a much meaningful hidden message. Using traditional hand-drawn cel for most of the scenes, this piece of work deserved a much wider audience and makes you put on your thinking cap after all the befuddled time-travelling acts.

RATATOUILLE (2007) Disney/Pixar

The Pixar gang can do no wrong even if they thrown in a story about a rat that can whip fine French cuisine. Winner of Best Animated Feature Film of the Year in the Oscar, this picture had Pixar fans worried for a while for its slow crawl at the box-office gross but as positive words spread like wildfire, "Ratatouille" manages to amass US$206 million at the end of its domestic run. Not bad for a four-legged rodent and a novice chef.

ROBOTS (2005) 20th Century Fox/Blue Sky Studio

Blue Sky studio is the mastermind behind the successful "Ice Age" franchise. Remember the nut obsessed Scrat? But in 2005, Blue Sky ventures into something entirely different. From the stone age to the futuristic world where Robots live. Every screw, nuts, bolts and metallic pieces are rendered ingeniously on the screen with voiceovers from Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry and Robin Williams. The CG are top notch and that 'follow-your-dream' message remain rooted in my head. Definitely one of my favourite animations which didn’t came from Pixar and DreamWorks.

TALES FROM EARTHSEA (2006) Studio Ghibli

Directed by Goro Miyazaki, son of highly respected Japanese animation auteur Hayao Miyazaki, "Tales from Earthsea" is surprisingly dropped from a theatrical run here. Although not as widely raved as his father’s past works and considering its Goro’s first animation feature, "Earthsea" is a leisurely paced, old-fashioned way of storytelling that will surely find its audience given the proper exposure.

BEOWULF (2007) Warner Bros/Paramount/Sony Pictures Imageworks

Robert Zemeckis must be getting tired working with real actors so here he is, doing the motion-capturing thingy with a material based on an old English heroic poem. The screenplay is co-written by renowned comic-book writer Neil Gaiman and featured the likes of Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins and John Malkovich in CG forms. "Beowulf" is filled with loud, brutal content with the occasional Jolie’s curvaceous figure to make your admission ticket worthwhile.

THE IRON GIANT (1999) Warner Bros

Theoretically, the under-appreciated "The Iron Giant" was released way back in 1999. But the special edition DVD was released later in the year 2004, so here it is. The incredible Brad Bird directed this hand-drawn feature which was based on a children’s book. Sad thing is nobody bothers to give it a look when it was released back then. It’s a simple story about friendship with lots of heart. Track down the DVD if you can.

If you missed the previous page...


Over the Hedge (2006)
Movie Review
DVD Review

Meet the Robinsons (2007)
Movie Review
DVD Review

Monster House (2006)
Movie Review

Paprika (2006)
Movie Review
DVD Review

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)
Movie Review
DVD Review

Ratatouille (2006)
Movie Review
DVD Review

Robots (2005)
Movie Review

Tales From Earthsea (2006)
DVD Review

Beowulf (2007)
Movie Review

The Iron Giant (1999)
DVD Review

Complied by Linus Tee with thanks to John, Stefan, Richard, Gabriel, Daniel and Lokman.
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