Open Season (2006 film)

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Open Season
Open Season.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jill Culton
Roger Allers
Anthony Stacchi (co-director)
Produced by Michelle Murdocca
Amy Jupiter
Steve Moore
John B. Carls
Written by Steve Bencich
Ron J. Friedman
Story by Steve Moore
Starring Martin Lawrence
Ashton Kutcher
Gary Sinise
Debra Messing
Billy Connolly
Jon Favreau
Georgia Engel
Jane Krakowski
Gordon Tootoosis
Patrick Warburton
Music by Ramin Djawadi
Edited by Ken Solomon
Pam Ziegenhagen
Production
company
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • September 29, 2006 (2006-09-29)
Running time 86 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $85 million[2]
Box office $197,309,027[2]

Open Season is a 2006 American computer-animated comedy film, written by Steve Bencich and Ron J. Friedman and directed by Jill Culton and Roger Allers,[3] and co-directed by Anthony Stacchi.[3] The film follows a domestic bear who teams up with a one-antlered deer and woodland animals to defeat human hunters and stars the voices of Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Gary Sinise, Debra Messing, Billy Connolly, Jon Favreau, Georgia Engel, Jane Krakowski, Gordon Tootoosis and Patrick Warburton. It was produced by Sony Pictures Animation in its first theatrical film and released by Columbia Pictures on September 29, 2006. It has also been released in the IMAX 3D format.[4] A video game for the film was released on multiple platforms.

Plot[edit]

In the tranquil town of Timberline, 900-pound (407 kg) grizzly bear Boog enjoys a captive, but happy existence and spends his day as the star attraction of the town's nature show with nights living the life of luxury in the garage of park ranger Beth, who raised him since he was a cub. One day, the hunting fanatic Shaw drives into town with the one-antlered deer Elliot strapped to the hood of his truck. Boog frees Elliot at the last minute and against his better judgment, before Shaw can go after him. Boog never expects to see his "buddy" again. Elliot follows Boog home and finds him sleeping in the garage and starts to throw rabbits at the window. He tells him to be "free" from his garage captivity and introduces Boog to a world of sweet temptations outside of the garage that he has unknown. When Boog becomes intoxicated with sugar sweets, events quickly spiral out of control as the two ransack the town's grocery store. Elliot escapes before Boog is caught by a friend of Beth, police officer Gordy. At the nature show, Elliot who is being chased by Shaw, sees Boog who attacks him, causing the whole audience in the show to panic before Boog threatens to hurt Elliot. Shaw attempts to shoot Boog, but Beth sedates them with a tranquilizer gun before he could, thanks to Gordy. Shaw flees before he can arrest him for shooting a gun in the town. The two trouble-makers are released into the Timberline National Forest, only three days before open season starts, but they are set over the falls, where they will be safe.

Since he lacks any outdoor skills, Boog takes Elliot as his hapless guide to get him back home to Timberline to reunite with Beth. But in the woods, they quickly learn that it is every animal for itself. The two run into their share of the forest animals including skunks Maria and Rosie, ducks Serge and Deni, panic-stricken rabbits, the Scottish-accented squirrel, McSquizzy and his rogue gang, Reilly and his beaver construction worker team, a porcupine named Buddy who is in search of a friend and the herd of deer led by Ian and Giselle (who Elliot is in love with) With each adverse encounter, Boog learns a little about self-reliance and Elliot gains self-respect and they start to become friends. Day by day, Elliot attempts to lead Boog out of the forest, but it becomes evident that he has no clue where they are going. After winding up at Reilly's dam, Boog and Elliot are confronted by Shaw, Boog then loses Dinklmen as the current makes the doll flout out of Boog's paw. They ended up in a waterfall with the flood washes everyone in the forest before the water recedes. Boog then sees a teady bear shape in the mud and thinks it is Dinklemen, but it turns out it is just a rabbit covered in mud.

At first everyone blames Boog who accuses Elliot of lying to him about leading him home. Elliot admits he thought that if Boog spent time with him, he would befriend him. Boog leaves to unwittingly find Shaw's log cabin. Shaw returns and talks to his gun "Loraine" and says he would take back what is his, discovers him (like Goldilocks and the Three Bears), and pursues him to the city road where Boog happens upon the glowing lights of Timberline. Instead of deserting his companions, Boog helps the other animals defend themselves using supplies taken from Bob and Bobbie's (two "scientists" looking for Bigfoot) RV while their pet dachshund Mr. Weenie joins the wilds. The next day, Boog leads a rampage against the hunters, sending them running after McSquizzy blows up their trucks with a propane tank named "Mr. Happy". Shaw returns for a final battle and shoots Elliot in the process, which enrages Boog to tie up Shaw with his own gun. Boog rushes over to Elliot's body but soon finds that Elliot survived the shot, only losing his second antler in the fight. Beth returns to take Boog back home where he will be safe, but instead he stays with his friends and all animals live in the forest.

During the credits, Shaw is seen tarred, feathered and tied on the top of Bobbie and Bob's RV, who believe him to be Bigfoot.

Voice cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Roger Allers and Jill Culton, the directors of the film, at the 34th Annie Awards

The ideas for Open Season came from cartoonist Steve Moore, who is known for his comic strip In the Bleachers.[5] Moore and producer John Carls submitted the story to Sony in June 2002, and the film immediately went into development.[6] On February 29, 2004, Sony Pictures Animation announced the beginning of the production on its first CGI animated film Open Season.[7]

The film location was inspired by the towns of Sun Valley, Idaho and McCall, Idaho, and the Sawtooth National Forest. References to the Lawn Lake, Colorado, Dam flood, Longs Peak, and other points of interest in the area are depicted in the film.[citation needed]

The Sony animation team developed a digital tool called shapers that allowed the animators to re-shape the character models into stronger poses and silhouettes and subtle distortions such as squash, stretch, and smears, typical of traditional, hand-drawn animation.[8]

Casting[edit]

To choose the voice cast, Culton blindly listened to audition tapes, unknowingly picking Lawrence and Kutcher for the lead roles.[9] Their ability to improvise significantly contributed to the creative process. "They really became meshed with the characters," said Culton.[9] Until the film's premiere, Lawrence and Kutcher never met during production.[10]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Open Season received mixed reviews from critics. Critics of Rotten Tomatoes gave the film 48% (based on 100 reviews) with the consensus "Open Season is a clichéd palette of tired jokes and CG animal shenanigans that have been seen multiple times this cinematic year."[11]

Kevin Smith gave the film a generally positive review during an appearance as a guest critic on At the Movies with Ebert and Roeper, saying: "If your kids like poop jokes as much as I do, Open Season will put a big smile on their faces." However, Richard Roeper gave the film a mixed review, saying, "It's just okay, the animation is uninspired."[12]

Box office[edit]

Open Season opened #1 with $23 million on its opening weekend. It grossed $85.1 million in the United States and $112.2 million in foreign countries, making $197.3 million worldwide.[2]

Accolades[edit]

The film was nominated for 6 Annie Awards, including Best Animated Feature (lost to Cars), Best Animated Effects, Best Character Design in a Feature Production, Best Production Design in a Feature Production, and Best Storyboarding in a Feature Production.[13]

Home media[edit]

Open Season was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and UMD Video on January 30, 2007.[14] It includes a new animated short called Boog and Elliot's Midnight Bun Run. The film was later released to 3D Blu-ray on November 16, 2010.[15]

Video game[edit]

A video game based on the film was released on September 18, 2006, for PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Gamecube, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation Portable, and Microsoft Windows.[16] For Wii, it was released on November 19, 2006, together with the console's launch.[17]

Soundtrack[edit]

Open Season
Soundtrack album by Paul Westerberg
Released September 26, 2006
Length 41:29
Label Lost Highway Records
Producer Lou Giordano
Dana Gumbiner
Paul Westerberg chronology
The Resterberg
(2005)
Open Season
(2006)
49:00... Of Your Time/Life
(2008)

The soundtrack includes an original film score by Ramin Djawadi and several original songs by Paul Westerberg, formerly of The Replacements. Rolling Stone gave the film's soundtrack three stars out of five,[18] as did Allmusic.[19]

Track list:

All music composed by Paul Westerberg, except as noted.

No. Title Artist Length
1. "Meet Me In The Meadow"     4:29
2. "Love You In The Fall"     2:50
3. "I Belong""     4:13
4. "I Wanna Lose Control (Uh-Oh)"   Deathray 2:01
5. "Better Than This"     2:55
6. "Wild Wild Life"   Talking Heads 3:40
7. "Right to Arm Bears"     2:05
8. "Good Day"     4:18
9. "All About Me"     4:32
10. "Wild As I Wanna Be"   Deathray 2:54
11. "Whisper Me Luck"     4:16
12. "I Belong (Reprise)"   Pete Yorn 3:16
Total length:
41:29

Open Season - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (10'' LP) includes two songs that did not appear on the soundtrack CD: an alternative version of "I Belong" and a Paul Westerberg's version of "Wild as I Wanna Be."[20]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2009) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Top Soundtracks[21] 15

Sequels[edit]

Open Season was followed by two direct-to-video sequels: Open Season 2 (2009) and Open Season 3 (2011).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Open Season". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Open Season (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "'Open Season' Diary: 'Open Season' and its Directors". Animation World Network. October 2, 2006. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  4. ^ Ball, Ryan (October 4, 2006). "Open Season Bears Fruit in IMAX 3D". Animation Magazine. Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Open Season". impactservices.net.au. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  6. ^ ""Open Season" in Theatres Tonight; Credit Goes to Universal Press Syndicate Creator". Universal Uclick. 2006-09-29. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  7. ^ "Sony Pictures Animation Begins Production on First Full-Length CGI Film 'Open Season' Starring Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher and Debra Messing" (Press release). PR Newswire. 2004-02-29. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  8. ^ Sony Pictures Animation (2006-10-06). "Open Season Diary: Animating the Animals". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  9. ^ a b Pamer, Melissa (September 10, 2006). "First-time animation director has a wild time". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 28, 2013. 
  10. ^ Murray, Rebecca. "Martin Lawrence Grins and 'Bears' It in "Open Season"". About.com. Retrieved August 29, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Open Season (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  12. ^ "At the Movies Archive". 
  13. ^ "37th Annual Annie Nominations and Awards Recipients". The Annie Awards. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  14. ^ McCutcheon, David (January 4, 2007). "Open Season's DVD Hunt". IGN. Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  15. ^ "'Open Season - 3D' Announced for Blu-ray 3D". High-Def Digest. September 20, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  16. ^ Black, Jared (September 18, 2006). "Ubisoft Declares Open Season on All Platforms". Video Game Generation. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  17. ^ Seff, Micah (November 17, 2006). "Four Ubisoft Titles Ready for Wii Launch". IGN. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Open Season featuring the songs of Paul Westerberg". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  19. ^ Thomas Erlewine, Stephen. "Open Season (Original Soundtrack) > Review". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  20. ^ "OPEN SEASON - ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK (10'' LP)". MusicDirect. Retrieved October 30, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Open Season (Original Soundtrack) > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 

External links[edit]