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The Nut Job (2014)
Marking Toronto-based Toonbox Entertainment's second full-length CG animated feature, The Nut Job is based on Toonbox director Peter Lepeniotis' 2005 short film, Surly Squirrel, which won the audience-voted National Film Board of Canada Public Prize at the Ottawa International Animation Festival that same year. Lepeniotis' movie credits also include animation work on Toy Story 2 (1999), and Dinosaur (2000). His writing collaborator on The Nut Job, Lorne Cameron, previously co-scripted Brother Bear (2003), and Over the Hedge (2006). According to Toonbox's corporate website, The Nut Job is being developed into a 52-episode series of 11 minute shorts for television.
Watching the trailer, this looked like a chip off the DreamWorks blockbuster, Over the Hedge, but with squirrels entering the turf of humans to forage for winter food. However, that's pretty much where the similarities end. In a good way.
Without a doubt, The Nut job
is a great-looking, undemanding animated movie for small kids
and kids at heart. It's packed with loads of slap stick physical
comedy as Surly's misadventures in greedily only foraging for
himself carry a paying audience through this conscience-driven
main storyline. He's a good-hearted squirrel, but ends up an
outcast for putting his needs before those of the park community
and not abiding by Raccoon's rules. Andie unintentionally finds
Surly and the nut shop he's trying to raid while he and Buddy
have been avoiding the rodent-hating bank robbers and their pet
pug Precious (Maya Rudolph) inside, and the squirrels strike
an uneasy alliance that splits their own planned heist fifty-fifty
- until Raccoon hears about it. (Read
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