RJ is the main protagonist of the Over the Hedge franchise. He is the main protagonist of Over the Hedge, and a major character of Hammy's Boomerang Adventure. He is the loyal leadership of the animals and Verne's best friend as the sidekick.
RJ is shown to be 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.
RJ is a sad, misunderstood character in the film. He had lived under the shadow of Vincent getting food for him. At the end, he forgave his best friends for what he has done to them and is then welcomed into his new family in the outdoor woods.
Originally, RJ had an entire family of raccoons in his own place until they were killed by a weed hacker, 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.
In unknown circumstances, presumably in the adult years, RJ met the evil and sociopathic grizzly Vincent and they despite was sort of rivals they were "friends", however Vincent never cared about RJ and would killed him without hesitation and would maybe be a cause to the initial RJ's trickster personality.
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. However, while trying to leave, he accidentally wakes Vincent and loses both the food and the red wagon that it is on when a truck runs it over. Angry at RJ for letting this happen, Vincent turns on him and 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 then 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 is 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. After discovering the food missing, RJ tries to stop him, resulting in an argument between the two. This attracts the attention of a playful rottweiler named Nugent, who chases them across several lawns before all of the food the animals gathered is destroyed. RJ then blames Verne for losing all the food. Verne defends his actions by saying RJ is just using them (RJ knows that Verne is right and that's why he couldn't say anything), but the others refuse to believe and Verne ends up insulting the others by saying RJ is interested in taking advantage of the others because they are too "stupid and naive" to know any better.
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, during which Verne (and the others) learn of RJ's true motives. Gladys wakes up, discovers the animals in her house, and immediately 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 used them the whole time. 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 a can of cola, which puts him into overdrive. The plan works, and 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.
- Originally, RJ was going to be voiced by Bill Murray in the film and later, Jim Carrey. However, Bruce Willis ended up getting the role.
- RJ sometimes calls Hammy by different variations of his name, such as his full name Hamilton and Hamsquad.
- He appeared to not have had a family before meeting the animals.
- RJ's former cunning behavior had made him be a false antagonist of the film, but he was never a true villain as Vincent was.
|Over the Hedge|
|Over the Hedge • Hammy's Boomerang Adventure|
|RJ • Verne • Hammy • Stella • Ozzie • Heather • Vincent • Lou • Penny • Bucky, Spike and Quillo • Tiger • Nugent • Gladys Sharp • The Verminator • Bear|
|Over the Hedge • Hammy Goes Nuts|