Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tom Sito
|Produced by||Dennis Edwards
|Written by||Marc Hyman|
David Hyde Pierce
|Music by||Randy Edelman|
|Editing by||Lois Freeman-Fox
|Studio||Warner Bros. Animation
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Running time||95 minutes|
Osmosis Jones is a 2001 live-action/animated comedy film directed by Tom Sito and Piet Kroon for the animated segments and the Farrelly brothers for the live-action ones. Unusual in this genre, the animated characters are inside the live-action ones.
It is set in a fictionalized version of the human body which resembles a large city, where micro-organisms or any being based in organisms are anthropomorphic and centers on Frank Detorre, a slovenly zookeeper. Osmosis Jones, a white blood cell teams up with Drix, a cold pill, against Thrax, a deadly virus, who plans to kill Frank within a matter of hours and other characters living within him.
It met with mixed reviews, and was a failure at the box office, earning under $14 million against a budget of $70 million. Despite the lack of accolades, the film sold well in home media. It spawned a Saturday morning cartoon television show, Ozzy & Drix, which aired on Kids WB from 2002 to 2004, albeit being completely animated and more emphasis on Osmosis and Drix's partnership in a different body. Limited merchandise was created due to the film's financial failure.
Frank Detorre is a widowed, slovenly zookeeper in Rhode Island's Sucat Memorial Zoo, which upsets his young daughter, Shane. He eats compulsively unhealthily and has no regard for germs or disease. While trying to eat a hard-boiled egg with mayonnaise and salt a chimpanzee drops it in its filth, Frank picks it up and eats it, using the "ten second rule" as a justification for the unsanitary act.
Inside Frank's body, Osmosis "Ozzy" Jones, an agent of the FPD, is a funny, adventure-seeking white blood cell and a rebel cop, frequently disobeying authority to do what he thinks is right. He grew up poor on the "South Side" of Frank and is often mocked by his fellow cops due to his rebellious nature. He has been relocated to the mouth to fight against germs entering the body via ingestion after he induced Frank to vomit all over Shane's teacher, Mrs. Boyd, which was considered a false alarm because he had been the only one to suspect an incoming pathological threat. After several newcomer germs, believed to be gingivitis, hijack a "squad car" there, Ozzy and his senior partner, who is piloting their helicopter, are pulled into the lungs by a massive yawn while in pursuit. After the germs evade capture and pass into "Immunity's" jurisdiction, Ozzy disobeys direct orders while pursuing the germ on foot and accidentally triggers a major cramp in Frank's leg.
Meanwhile, as Frank's saliva cells work in the mouth to clear out the egg, a virus named Thrax emerges and goes to the left armpit to recruit some sweat germs for his big plan to launch a deadly infection with posing as a common cold while plotting something bigger. Meanwhile, Mayor Phlegmming is preparing for re-election, campaigning with the promise of more junk food and a trip to Buffalo, New York. His reckless policies are largely responsible for Frank's deteriorating health. In an attempt to cover up the severity of situation, Phlegmming "tells" to take a cold-suppressant pill which nicknamed Drix (short for Drixobenzometapetramine and his brand name Drixenol), arrives in the body and covers Frank's infected throat with a disinfectant to soothe the irritation. Ozzy is assigned as Drix's partner, much to his chagrin.
In the nose, Thrax starts his plan by flooding the nose with snot after Jones accidentally let a pollen ball get away. Back at Cerebellum Hall, the mayor threatens to send Jones down the next nosebleed if he can't keep quiet about a virus in the body. While Drix is offered a different partner, he decides to stay with Ozzy who has bad times and discovers why. Years ago, Frank ate some oysters off a kid's project at his daughter's science fair. Jones saw some remaining bacteria emerge, but feeling there wasn't time to call for back up, he instead hit the "puke" button. The results were bad: Frank lost his job and became the town's laughing stock, the teacher he puked on issued a 200-yard restraining order, and Osmosis got suspended and has been placed on out-of-the-way patrols ever since. Drix says that Jones was justified in his decision as oysters are a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria of any type.
They later learn from a reformed Influenza germ that Thrax is more dangerous than the average germ. His current whereabouts are a zit on the forehead. Posing as germs, Ozzy and Drix enter and discover Thrax's plot to overheat Frank's body, killing him from the inside. He wants to become the nastiest new virus, attempting to kill each new victim faster than the previous. His plan for Frank's death within 48 hours, breaking all of his previous records. Ozzy and Drix confront him in The Zit, where Ozzy launches a grenade of medication at him and his cronies, popping the skin blemish, killing nearly all of his men, and seemingly ending his siege. Frank, meanwhile, tries to persuade Mrs. Boyd to lift the restraining order so he can go on a school camping trip with Shane, but the zit pops onto her lip, making her refusal official. Back at the precinct, Phlegmming (over the objections of the police chief) argues with Ozzy and Drix who are fired from the force, and ordered to leave Frank's body, respectively.
Thrax survives the explosion and, after killing off his remaining henchman for suggesting they lay low until they recruit help in larger numbers, decides to launch a lone assault on Frank's hypothalamus gland (the portion of the brain that controls temperature) by disabling its self-regulative capabilities. Arriving there, he uses his virus infecting finger to destroy the protoplasmic barrier around it, and retrieve a DNA bead. Soon after, Leah Estrogen, the mayor's less-oblivious secretary and Ozzy's love interest, discovers his work and alerts security. He manages to evade them; taking Leah hostage and escaping from the brain to the mouth. At the same time, Ozzy, in a movie theater showing dreams from the brain, discovers that Thrax is alive and in the brain when the screen colors turn a feverish red, and the dream he's watching becomes a nightmare with everyone laughing at Frank. He rushes to stop Drix from leaving the body and manages to convince him to help stop Thrax once and for all. Meanwhile, the temperature continues to rise, causing destruction all over the City of Frank.
Frank is taken to the hospital under the influence of Thrax's attack. Ozzy and Drix rescue Leah and confront him, who leaves Frank's mouth after causing confusion using pollen bombs. Ozzy is launched out after him by Drix. They fight for the DNA chain on one of Shane's eyes and end up in her false eyelashes, which she was wearing atop her natural ones. During the fight, Thrax threatens to break his own record by killing off Shane, but Osmosis causes him to get stuck on the false eyelash and escapes onto Shane's eye while Thrax falls into a vessel of alcohol below, where he dissolves.
During this time, the situation becomes even more dangerous when the temperature hits 108 degrees, causing Frank to go into cardiac arrest. Just as doctors give up, he is revived when Ozzy returns to him via one of Shane's tears with the chain that holds Frank's missing hypothalamus chromosome. Ozzy is reinstated into the "Immunity Force" with full privileges, he and Drix are declared heroes with the Chief of Police (Joel Silver) rehiring him, and Leah tells Ozzy that she loves him. Drix is allowed to stay in Frank's body with him. (Ozzy plans to get Drix a lawyer at the hemorrhoid in order to extend Drix's time in the body).
Sometime later, Frank and Shane spend some long needed father-daughter time together on a hike. Frank has also since begun to improve his diet and personal hygiene. Meanwhile, Phlegmming has lost his position as mayor and now has a new job, cleaning the bowels as a janitor, giving his campaign rival, Tom Colconic, the role as mayor to make a new clean Frank. He accidentally ejects himself from the body via the rectum by touching a button that is marked "DO NOT TOUCH!" which triggers flatulence. To this, Frank makes a joke on his health by saying, "Out with the old, in with the new."
- Osmosis "Ozzy" Jones (Chris Rock):
A funky, urban, over-zealous white blood cell (specifically a natural killer cell) with little respect for authority. Since he was discredited, he was suspended for unnecessary force and placed in out-of-the-way patrols. Therefore he seizes any opportunity to be able to make a difference. He is able to combine his eyes into one, to ooze under doors, and to contort his body. He is blue.
- Thrax (Laurence Fishburne):
A tall, extremely virulent, and unusually powerful pathogenic agent. He claims loudly, “Ebola is a case of dandruff compared to me!”, and has killed numerous people before arriving in Frank. He carries a chain consisting of numerous chromosomes removed from other victims' hypothalamus as a trophy. His left index finger is a long claw, which can melt the cellular equivalent of steel, consume cells and other viruses in flames, and alter the properties of other cells. Thrax is referred to as "The Red Death" but does not cause an existing disease. His name is a play on the bacteria anthrax.
- Drix (David Hyde Pierce):
A cold pill and a red and yellow, boxy, and robotic. His right arm is a cannon used to shoot an assorted variety of medication, including one that freezes any target. He is a follower of written rules and compensates for his doubts of himself by acting haughtily. He is intelligent and clever, but has no sense of humor. Straight-laced and by-the-book, he disagrees with Osmosis’ methods, but respects him for continuing to fight illness. He is his best friend.
Mayor Phlegmming’s secretary, greatly relied upon by him for her skills. She is one of few inhabitants of Frank who realize the flaws of the current administration, and one of the few willing to believe Osmosis’ claims of a large-scale infection. She is his love interest.
The short, overweight, and self-centered mayor of the "City of Frank". He is constantly preoccupied with everything but his job, except when it concerns planning his re-election. His name is a pun on the word phlegm.
Live action 
- Mrs. Boyd (Molly Shannon):
Shane’s science and P.E. teacher. Having had her reputation and those of her three children ruined after her embarrassment by a vomiting accident Frank caused due to a misunderstanding about oyster consumption, she has a 200-yard restraining order against him to prevent any further embarrassment.
- Shane Detorre (Elena Franklin):
Frank’s 10-year-old daughter. Due to her father’s shortcomings, his health is very important to her. She has become somewhat depressed after her mother’s death, and as a result her relationships with other people are suffering.
- Frank Detorre (Bill Murray):
Osmosis Jones went through development hell during production. The animated sequences, directed by Tom Sito and Piet Kroon, went into production as planned, but acquiring both a director and a star actor for the live-action sequences took a considerable amount of time, until Bill Murray was cast as the main character of Frank, and Peter and Bobby Farrelly stepped in to direct the live-action sequences. As part of their contract, the Farrelly brothers are credited as the primary directors of the film, although they did no supervision of the animated portions of the film. Will Smith was interested in the part, but in the end his schedule didn't permit it.
Box office 
Osmosis Jones opened on August 10, 2001 in 2,305 theaters worldwide. Upon its original release, the film lost a considerable amount of money, and was the second-to-last production for Warner Bros.' feature traditional animation department (following The Iron Giant, and followed by Looney Tunes: Back in Action, which both also lost money upon their original releases). The movie opened at #7 in its first opening weekend at the U.S. box office, accumulating $5,271,248 on its opening week while earning $2,286. The film soon grossed $13,596,911.
Osmosis Jones received mixed reviews from film critics. Based on 108 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, 55% of critics gave the film positive reviews, with an average rating of 5.5/10. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 57 based on 28 reviews. The animated parts of Osmosis Jones are praised for its plot and fast pace, in contrast with the criticized live action segments, with Rotten Tomatoes consensus of the film being, "The animated portion of Osmosis is zippy and fun, but the live-action portion is lethargic.". Robert Koehler of Variety praised the film for its animated and live-action segments intervening, claiming it to be "the most extensive interplay of live action and animation since Who Framed Roger Rabbit?".
The use of toilet humor in Osmosis Jones, as done in most films directed by the Farrelly brothers, was widely criticized. As such, Lisa Alspector of Chicago Reader described the film as a "cathartically disgusting adventure movie." Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide praised the film's animation and its glimpse of intelligence although did criticize the humor as being "so distasteful". Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly felt that the film had a diverse premise as it "oscillates between streaky black comedy and sanitary instruction.", where the scatological themes are again pointed out. Jonathan Foreman of New York Post claimed Osmosis Jones to have generic plotting, saying that "It's no funnier than your average grade-school biology lesson and less pedagogically useful than your typical Farrelly brothers comedy."
Chris Hewitt of Miami Times described Chris Rock's, Brandy Norwood's and Laurence Fishburne's voice work as Osmosis, Leah and Thrax respectively as "classy" although considered the film to be politically correct as all three of these actors are African-American. Michael Sragow of Baltimore Sun praised David Hyde Pierce's performance as Drix, claiming him to be "hilarious" and a "a take-charge dose of medicine."
Footage cut from the final film 
- In the original script and in early cuts of the film, a scene was featured when Osmosis and Drix go to the Gonad's Gym. It involved them talking to the "exercising" sperm cells. The scene was cut in order to stay family friendly. The Gonad's Gym logo does appear on Drix's suitcase during a scene in the police station locker room.
- In an earlier "cut" of the film, Osmosis and Drix visit an amusement park behind Frank's eye, called "Sea World". A sign advertising the latter can still be seen near Frank's stomach, which functions as the "arrivals" terminal of an airport.
- The DVD release contains three extended (and half-animated) scenes, all of which appear in cut-down form in the final edit:
- Osmosis and Drix visit the eyes, while Drix complains that he has to visit the nose and the throat. Osmosis gets doughnuts and calls the information desk on his 'cell' phone while at the eyes.
- Frank picks his nose during the dam-bursting sequence, and Osmosis saves Drix from ending up on Frank's fingertip. In the end, they are inhaled into the sinuses.
- The race to catch Thrax on his way to the uvula is extended; we see him leap from his car and glide away. After Osmosis takes the wrong turn, he takes a "shortcut" to there by way of the esophagus, riding a massive, acidic belch up the throat (a reference to the 1991 classic Thelma & Louise). He says "What the hell is a uvula?" It was later edited from hell to heck.
- A draft of the script reveals that Osmosis, as a young boy, went to a family reunion. At that time Frank went to the doctor to have some blood removed, possibly in a blood drive. The needle drew out all of Osmosis' relatives, apparently leaving him all alone. This would have add to his "loneliness" in the film. The ending has Frank getting a blood transfusion to save his life, with his own prior blood. Thus Osmosis' relatives would have returned, in a parody of the abductees returning in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. This was detailed in the film's commentary.
- Another scene that was deleted so as to cut time was one where it showed how Phlegmming got kicked out of the office. In the final cut it's assumed that he was impeached or that he simply lost his run for re-election but in a deleted scene he realizes all of his mistakes and willingly resigns thus putting Tom Colonic in office. This explains how he lost office at the film's end. This was supposed to connect with a scene when he sees the city going up in flames and sheds a tear upon realizing all that he has done has caused Frank's near-destruction (this scene being left in the final cut).
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There was very little merchandising for the film. Trendmasters planned on releasing a toy line of the characters from it (including but not limited to action figures, "flingable snot," and the like). However, they claimed they would only do so if the film exceeded $65 million at the box office. Unfortunately, it failed to do so and the toys were never released. One of a few products released was a video game based on the series Ozzy & Drix. Hats, posters, soundtracks, and press kits for it can be found on eBay.
A soundtrack containing hip hop and R&B music was released on August 7, 2001 by Atlantic Records. The soundtrack failed to make it to the Billboard charts, but Trick Daddy's single "Take It to da House" managed to make it to 88 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
MPAA issue 
Osmosis Jones was originally rated PG-13 for "crude language" and "bodily humor" in 2000, Warner Bros. edited the film to make it family-friendly, and in 2001 the film was re-rated PG for "bodily humor".
- "Osmosis Jones". The Numbers. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
- "Osmosis Jones". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
- "Osmosis Jones". IGN. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
- Koehler, Robert (2001-08-02). "Osmosis Jones". Variety. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
- Osmosis Jones review Ebert, Roger
- Alspector, Lisa. "Osmosis Jones". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
- McDonagh, Maitland. "Osmosis Jones". TV Guide. Retrieved 2010-12-24.