|“||So, you think they have enough? Well, they don't. For humans, enough is never enough! And what do they do with the stuff they don't eat? They put it in gleaming silver cans, just for us!||„|
|“||No, we don’t! (Verne: What are you talking about? We have MORE THAN ENOUGH!!) Hey, listen! I've got about this long to hand over that wagon load of food to a homicidal bear! And if these Spuddies aren't on the menu, then I WILL BE! NOW LET GO OF MY TAIL!||„|
|~ RJ’s breakdown as he snaps at Verne and he reveals his true ruse.|
RJ is the main protagonist of DreamWorks' 12th full-length animated feature film Over the Hedge. He is the current leader of the animals, Verne and Hammy's best friend and Vincent's former best friend.
He is voiced by Bruce Willis, who also played John McClane in the Die Hard franchise, David Dunn in Unbreakable and A.K. Waters in Tears of the Sun, and by Stephen Stanton in the video game. In the Japanese dub from the movie, he is voiced by Koji Yakusho.
Originally, RJ had an entire family of raccoons until they were killed by a weed hacker (known as The Weed Hacker Incident), possibly used by Gladys Sharp.
After the death of his parents, RJ had to live on his own and he soon became a conman in order to obtain food for himself to survive for the rest of his life, alone and family-less.
Over the Hedge
In the film, when he fails to get snacks from a vending machine, RJ becomes so desperate that he tries to raid a large food cache belonging to Vincent.
But while trying to leave, he wakes Vincent and loses both the food and the red wagon that it is on when a truck runs it over. Furious at RJ for letting this happen, Vincent turns on his friend, stops him from escaping and prepares to eat him whole. RJ begs for mercy and Vincent decides to give RJ a whole week to recollect his food and give it back to him. Otherwise, he will hunt down RJ and kill him. Vincent sets RJ free and goes back to his cave to hibernate.
Soon, RJ stumbles upon the forest community struggling to find food. RJ, who sees the entire commotion, convinces the other animals it's easier to raid the humans' garbage for food rather than forage for it, and they manage to get enough food to keep them from starving. He helps them scale the hedge, even though Verne recalls the Verminator.
Worried for his family's safety, Verne decides to return the food to the humans. RJ tries to stop him, resulting in an argument between the two. This attracts the attention of a playful Rottweiler, who chases them across several lawns before all of the food the animals gathered is destroyed. RJ blames Verne who, while trying to defend himself, makes a comment that hurts the others' feelings.
RJ helps Verne reconcile with the others. He also discovers that Gladys has recently restocked her pantry with a large food supply for an upcoming party and concocts a plan to get past the exterminator-planted booby traps in her backyard. Working together under cover of darkness, the animals get the food. RJ and Verne get into another argument, this time over a can of "Spuddies" potato chips, resulting in RJ snapping and accidentally confessing his true motives towards Verne and the others, making them feel betrayed and used. Gladys wakes up, discovers the animals in her house, and calls VermTech. The Verminator, whose real name is Dwayne LaFontant, arrives and traps the animals except for RJ, who escapes with the food.
RJ takes the food to a now-awake Vincent. But when the latter points out RJ's treachery, the raccoon decides to betray Vincent and sacrifice the food to save his friends. This angers Vincent, who chases RJ as he pursues Dwayne's truck. Verne is happy to see RJ again, but the others no longer trust him since he abandoned them.
They nearly thwart RJ's efforts to help before Verne finally convinces them otherwise. The animals then subdue Dwayne and turn his truck toward home, but the truck goes out of control and demolishes Gladys' house.
The animals hide in the hedge, trapped by Vincent on one side and Gladys and Dwayne on the other.
RJ and Verne get an idea to give Hammy an energy drink, which puts him into overdrive. The plan works, and ultimately, Vincent, Gladys and Dwayne all get caught in one of the latter two's traps, and are subsequently stung by the Depelter Turbo. Afterwards, Vincent is taken to the Rockys, while Gladys and Dwayne are arrested for using illegal traps. Dwayne almost escapes over a fence, but he accidentally steps on a squeaky toy, thus alerting Nugent (the same dog that chased RJ and Verne earlier) and making him bite Dwayne in the leg, making him scream in pain.
Back in the forest, Verne tells RJ that if he had explained what he was trying to do in the first place, the others would have helped because "that's what families do," and welcomes him back to the family. Meanwhile, their food supply is refilled.
In a post-credits scene, the animals go to the vending machine seen at the beginning of the film and cause every product to fall into the access bin. However, the amount of snacks prevents the access door from opening.
RJ, as said by Vincent, is shown to be greedy, selfish, arrogant and a liar, using the other animals as pawns to get the food to pay back Vincent without telling them and attempting to avoid getting too attached to them. Over the film, however, it is shown that he is actually very caring and nice as he went back to rescue Verne and the others from being killed by Vincent, Gladys and Dwayne and gave them the food he was originally going to give to Vincent in a week. It is implied that his initial personality stemmed from the fact that he and Vincent were once friends.
- Verne - Best Friend
- Hammy - Close Friend
- Stella - Friend
- Ozzie - Friend
- Heather - Friend
- Lou - Friend
- Penny - Friend
- Bucky, Spike and Quillo - Friends
- Tiger - Enemy Turned Friend
- Originally, RJ was going to be voiced by Bill Murray in the film and later, Jim Carrey, but then Bruce Willis got the role. In addition to Murray and Carrey, Adam Sandler, Owen Wilson, Matthew Broderick, Billy Crystal, Michael J. Fox, Ethan Hawke and John Cusack were all considered to voice RJ.
- RJ often calls Hammy by different variations of his name, such as Hamilton and Hamsquad.
- He also calls Ozzie different variations from his name, such as Oz or Ozzman.
- He did not have a family before meeting the animals.
- He, along with Verne and Hammy, are the only prominent characters in the film to be from the original comic.