Open Season (2006 film)

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Open Season
Open Season.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jill Culton
Roger Allers
Produced by Michelle Murdocca
Screenplay by Steve Bencich
Ron J. Friedman
Nat Mauldin
Story by Jill Culton
Anthony Stacchi
Based on An original story by
Steve Moore
John B. Carls
Starring Martin Lawrence
Ashton Kutcher
Gary Sinise
Debra Messing
Music by Ramin Djawadi
Paul Westerberg
Edited by Pamela Ziegenhagen-Shefland
Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing[1]
Release date
  • September 29, 2006 (2006-09-29)
Running time
86 minutes[3]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $85 million[4]
Box office $197.3 million[4]

Open Season is a 2006 American computer-animated buddy comedy film directed by Jill Culton, Roger Allers and Anthony Stacchi, and written by Steve Bencich and Ron J. Friedman. It follows Boog, a domestic bear who teams up with a one-antlered deer named Elliot and other woodland animals to defeat human hunters. The film 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 as its first theatrical film, and was released by Columbia Pictures on September 29, 2006. It has also been released in the IMAX 3D format.[5] A video game for the film was released on multiple platforms. Open Season earned $197.3 million on an $85 million budget, and was followed by three direct-to-video sequels: Open Season 2 (2008), Open Season 3 (2010), and Open Season: Scared Silly (2015).


In the peaceful town of Timberline, a 900-pound (408 kg) grizzly bear named Boog enjoys a captive, but pampered existence and spends his day as the star attraction of the town's nature show while at night living in the garage of park ranger Beth, who has raised him since he was a cub. One day, the sadistic hunting fanatic Shaw drives into town with a one-antlered deer strapped to the hood of his truck. After Boog frees him, the deer follows Boog home to find him sleeping in the garage. To wake Boog up, the deer throws rabbits at the window and introduces himself as Elliot. He tells him to be "free" from his garage captivity and introduces Boog to a world of sweet temptations he has never known.

When Boog becomes sick from eating too many candy bars, events quickly spiral out of control as the two raid the town's grocery store. Elliot escapes before Boog is caught by a friend of Beth, police officer Gordy. At the nature show, Elliot being chased by Shaw, sees Boog, who "attacks" him. This causes the whole audience to panic. Shaw attempts to shoot Boog and Elliot, but Beth sedates them both with a tranquilizer gun just before Shaw fires his gun. Shaw flees before Gordy can arrest him for shooting a gun in the town. The two trouble makers are banned from the town and into the Timberline National Forest, only three days before open season starts, but they are relocated above the waterfalls, where they will be safe from the hunters.

Since he lacks any outdoor survival skills, Boog reluctantly takes Elliot as his accident-prone 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 forest animals, which they think they are pests. The only forest animals they befriend are skunks, Maria and Rosie, ducks, Serge and Deni, various unnamed panic-stricken rabbits, the Scottish-accented squirrel, McSquizzy, along with his roguish gang, Reilly, a beaver and his construction worker team, a porcupine named Buddy who is in search of a friend and the herd of deer led by Ian and his assistant, 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. The next day, Elliot attempts to lead Boog out of the forest, but it becomes evident that he has no clue where they are going. After causing a flood at Reilly's dam, Boog and Elliot are confronted by Shaw; Boog then loses his toy bear, Dinkleman, as the current makes the doll float out of Boog's paw. They end up in a waterfall, which floods and sends the forest animals falling down it.

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 an RV owned by two people looking for Bigfoot named Bob and Bobbie's RV while their pet dachshund Mr. Weenie joins "the wilds".

The next day, Boog leads a revolution against the hunters, sending them running after McSquizzy blows up their trucks with a propane tank named "Mr. Happy" ignited by using an emergency flare. Shaw returns for a final confrontation and shoots Elliot in the process, which enrages Boog and leads him 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 fracas. The other animals thank Boog for his help and then proceed to take out their vengeance on Shaw by smothering him with honey and pillow feathers. Shaw flees from Beth who returns to take Boog back home where he will be safe, but he decides to stay with his friends, all of the animals in the forest. During an epilogue, Elliot and Boog became best friends, Giselle becomes Elliot's girlfriend, Mr. Weenie is McSquizzy's mode of transportation, Buddy uses lots of his friends as the friend he used to find, and Beth returns and says goodbye to Boog, ending the movie

Voice cast[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.[7] Moore and producer John Carls submitted the story to Sony in June 2002, and the film immediately went into development.[8] On February 29, 2004, Leap Year Day, Sony Pictures Animation announced the beginning of the production on its first CGI animated film Open Season.[9]

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.

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.[10]

To choose the voice cast, Culton blindly listened to audition tapes, unknowingly picking Lawrence and Kutcher for the lead roles.[11] Their ability to improvise significantly contributed to the creative process. "They really became meshed with the characters", said Culton.[11] Until the film's premiere, Lawrence and Kutcher never met during production.[12]


Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 48% based on 100 reviews with an average rating of 5.4/10. The site's consensus reads: "Open Season is a clichéd palette of tired jokes and CG animal shenanigans that have been seen multiple times this cinematic year".[13] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 49 out of 100 based on 18 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[14] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.[15]

Kevin Smith gave the film a thumbs up during an appearance as a guest critic on 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 thumbs down, saying, "It's just okay, the animation is uninspired".[16]

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.[4] The film was released in the United Kingdom on October 13, 2006, and opened on #3, behind The Departed and The Devil Wears Prada.[17]


The film was nominated for six 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.[18]

Home media[edit]

Open Season was released on DVD, Blu-ray and UMD Video on January 30, 2007.[19] 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.[20]

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.[21] For Wii, it was released on November 19, 2006, together with the console's launch.[22]


Open Season
Soundtrack album by Paul Westerberg
Released September 26, 2006
Length 41:29
Label Lost Highway
Producer Lou Giordano
Dana Gumbiner
Paul Westerberg chronology
The Resterberg
(2005)The Resterberg2005
Open Season
49:00... Of Your Time/Life
(2008)49:00... Of Your Time/Life2008

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,[23] as did Allmusic.[24]

Track list:

All music composed by Paul Westerberg, except as noted.

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)"Deathray2:01
5."Better Than This" 2:55
6."Wild Wild Life"Talking Heads3:40
7."Right to Arm Bears" 2:05
8."Good Day" 4:18
9."All About Me" 4:32
10."Wild As I Wanna Be"Deathray2:54
11."Whisper Me Luck" 4:16
12."I Belong (Reprise)"Pete Yorn3:16
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."[25]


Chart (2009) Peak<gj


U.S. Billboard Top Soundtracks[26] 15


Open Season was followed by three direct-to-video sequels: Open Season 2 (2008), Open Season 3 (2010), and Open Season: Scared Silly (2015).


  1. ^ a b "Open Season". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  2. ^ Hopewell, John; Lang, Jamie (June 15, 2017). "Why Sony Pictures Animation Still Needs a Big Hit – and Where It Might Come From". Variety. Retrieved February 9, 2018. Producing animated features since 2006’s “Open Season,” Sony Pictures Animation has still to fire up a “Despicable Me” size franchise which can, as Belson out, provide a transformational moment, defining a studio’s style.
  3. ^ "Open Season". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Open Season (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  5. ^ Ball, Ryan (October 4, 2006). "Open Season Bears Fruit in IMAX 3D". Animation Magazine. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  6. ^ Chang, Justin (September 28, 2006). "Review: 'Open Season'". Variety. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  7. ^ "Open Season". Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  8. ^ ""Open Season" in Theatres Tonight; Credit Goes to Universal Press Syndicate Creator". Universal Uclick. 2006-09-29. Retrieved 2011-07-05.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ Sony Pictures Animation (2006-10-06). "Open Season Diary: Animating the Animals". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2011-07-05.
  11. ^ a b Pamer, Melissa (September 10, 2006). "First-time animation director has a wild time". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  12. ^ Murray, Rebecca. "Martin Lawrence Grins and 'Bears' It in "Open Season"". Retrieved August 29, 2011.
  13. ^ "Open Season (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  14. ^ "Open Season Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  15. ^ "CinemaScore".
  16. ^ "At the Movies Archive".
  17. ^ "Weekend box office 13th October 2006 - 15th October 2006". Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  18. ^ "37th Annual Annie Nominations and Awards Recipients". The Annie Awards. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
  19. ^ McCutcheon, David (January 4, 2007). "Open Season's DVD Hunt". IGN. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  20. ^ "'Open Season - 3D' Announced for Blu-ray 3D". High-Def Digest. September 20, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  21. ^ Black, Jared (September 18, 2006). "Ubisoft Declares Open Season on All Platforms". Video Game Generation. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  22. ^ Seff, Micah (November 17, 2006). "Four Ubisoft Titles Ready for Wii Launch". IGN. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  23. ^ "Open Season featuring the songs of Paul Westerberg". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  24. ^ Thomas Erlewine, Stephen. "Open Season (Original Soundtrack) > Review". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
  25. ^ "OPEN SEASON - ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK (10″ LP)". MusicDirect. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  26. ^ "Open Season (Original Soundtrack) > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 2009-08-16.

External links[edit]