Carrey toons into ‘Hedge’

'Grinch' thesp, Shandling to voice animal friends

DreamWorks has signed Jim Carrey and Garry Shandling to key voice talent roles in the 2005-skedded feature toon “Over the Hedge,” based on a popular comicstrip of the same name by Michael Fry and T Lewis.

Carrey, in his animation debut, will voice the mischievous raccoon and con artist R.J. Pic will be a feature animation debut for Shandling, who will provide the voice for Verne, a sensitive turtle and another of strip’s main characters.

The pair deal with encroaching suburban development and become friends as they figure out how to co-exist with their human neighbors and exploit their proximity.

“Over the Hedge” will be the second to be created at DreamWorks’ Glendale facility, following completion of 2004 comedy “Sharkslayer.” Pic will be produced by Bonnie Arnold (“Toy Story,” “Tarzan”) and directed by Tim Johnson, co-director of DreamWorks/PDI hit “Antz” and director of 2003 toon “Sinbad.” Screenplay is being adapted for the bigscreen by veteran scripter Len Blum (“Stripes,” “Meatballs”) in his first animation effort.

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