Friday, January 17, 2014


The Nut Job

Genre: Animated, Comedy, Adventure
Rated: PG
Duration: 86 minutes

Even though The Nut Job reminded me (a little) of Over the Hedge (2006), it was still entertaining with an enjoyable story line that the whole family can watch and enjoy. This was a movie that my two nieces had been anticipating. Luckily for them, today was an early dismissal from their school and so we made our way to the movie theater for it's opening day. I didn't go in expecting anything fabulous and was pleasantly surprised. If your kids are wanting to see this movie, if you have the means to take your family, then I would definitely recommend going.

Meet the Characters

Surly's Plan - to get his share
and get out...
Will Arnett
Surly voiced by Will Arnett, who seems to be everywhere these days. He gives his voice to this independent vermin. Surly is the 'black sheep of the family' in sorts. Within their little animal community within their section of a part (Oakton) Surly is the outcast. Apparently there is some bad blood there from the past as they seem to have their strong opinions of him. Surly would probably tell you himself that he only cares about himself. The story starts off when Surly sees a city Nut Cart and hones in on it for himself, and his sidekick Buddy.

Lovable and quirky - Surly's best friend
Buddy is the heart of the operation. Even though his friend Surly repeatedly hurts his feelings by saying harsh things, he always is there for his best friend, Surly. Even when plans go bad, very bad, and Surly is exiled from home, he is there for his friend. Buddy might not talk (very much) but he can communicate his feelings. But, don't think that Buddy is Surly's doormat - no way - this is a true friendship, that even the selfish Surly comes to understand and cherish.

Andie - the lady of Oakton
Katherine Heigle
Andie is the conscious of the group. She fights for what is fair and just, she has a moral compass and this helps her toward believing in Surly. You can tell from the beginning of the movie the she wants to give Surly the benefit of the doubt. But when Surly is exiled from the park by their 'Governor' Raccoon, Andie knows that he wasn't given a fair shot and deep down she knows that he has a good heart - she believes in him. Katherine Heigle brings the hard nosed Andie to life giving the squirrel her voice of reason.

Brendan Fraser
"Just don't touch the tail"
Grayson is voiced by Brendan Fraser, who gives this boisterous hero his insane psychosis. Grayson seems to be Oakton's selected hero, this gives the creatures someone to look up to and always elect to go forth and save the day. However, we learn that the one everyone believes to be the hero might be more of an side-sick then the actual hero. But, since Surly does not want anything to do with that title, he lets Grayson take the glory. After a particular run-in with the city rats, Grayson seems to be unhinged even more than before, but still pulls through for the good of the group.

Raccon as Governor of Oakton
Liam Neeson
Raccoon is the leader of the Oakton community. We are introduced to Raccoon while they are taking inventory or stock of their winter supply of food within their huge storing tree. Raccoon informs the community that there isn't enough food. But then again, Raccoon's logic is that in order to control the community (so they'll continue to scavenge and find food) he must keep them on a short leash. After the destruction of their community tree, he exiles Surly. He keeps a close watch over him and once he learns that Surly found the mother load, his plan is to double cross Surly. Liam Neeson gives his unmistakable voice to the villainous Raccoon.

There's More to the Story...

Maya Rudolph
When Surly is exiled, he comes across The Nut Shop and him and his best friend Buddy think they have hit the big load! When they finally make it inside they learn that the shop is just a disguise, that it is more than meets the eye and adds more complexities for them scoring their nuts. The shop houses a couple crooks, the leader King (voiced by Stephen Lang) and his two dimwitted henchmen. Their plan involves tunnels and the bank that is across the street. I don't want to give everything away... but needless to say, craziness ensues. But, one of the henchmen adopted a dog named Precious (voiced by Maya Rudolph) - who is without doubt, hilarious. When Surly acquires Precious' dog whistle, he has a secret weapon in the works. However, Precious doesn't need the whistle to listen to her new friends. In true dog style, Precious is a loyal friend. 

What I really loved about this movie was at the end Surly, in his closing lines, delivered a message that more kids do need to hear. That life isn't about getting everything you want (mine, mine, mine) it's like our society is programmed to think only of ourselves. And this is how Surly starts off, by the end of the movie Surly now wants to help and be involved within the community. The line went something like - being the hero involves caring and sharing for others. It's a wonderful moral to the story that can be shared as a family experience.