Open Season (2006 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jill Culton
|Produced by||Michelle Murdocca
John B. Carls
|Screenplay by||Steve Bencich
Ron J. Friedman
|Story by||Steve Moore|
|Music by||Ramin Djawadi|
|Edited by||Ken Solomon
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$197.3 million|
Open Season is a 2006 American computer-animated buddy comedy film, written by Steve Bencich and Ron J. Friedman and directed by Jill Culton and Roger Allers, and co-directed by Anthony Stacchi. It follows Boog, a domestic bear who teams up with a one antlered deer named Elliot and 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 released by Columbia Pictures on September 29, 2006. It has also been released in the IMAX 3D format. A video game for the film was released on multiple platforms. Open Season earned $197.3 million on a $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, 900-pound (408 kg) grizzly bear 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 raised him since he was a cub. One day, the sadistic 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, against his better judgment, before Shaw catches him. Boog never expects to see his "buddy" again, but Elliot follows Boog home to find him sleeping in the garage. To wake Boog up, Elliot throws rabbits at the window. 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, 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 released 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 the forest animals including 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 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 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. Beth 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 the credits, Shaw is seen tarred, feathered and tied on the top of Bobbie and Bob's RV, mistaken for Bigfoot.
- Martin Lawrence as Boog, a 900-pound, suave grizzly bear.
- Ashton Kutcher as Elliot, a hyperactive and clumsy, but quick witted mule deer.
- Gary Sinise as Shaw, the nastiest hunter in Timberline and Beth's arch-rival.
- Debra Messing as Beth, a park ranger who raised Boog as a cub.
- Billy Connolly as McSquizzy, a grumpy old Scottish-accented Eastern gray squirrel.
- Jon Favreau as Reilly, a hard working North American beaver.
- Georgia Engel as Bobbie, an obese woman who is Bob's wife and Mr. Weenie's owner.
- Jane Krakowski as Giselle, a beautiful mule deer doe and Elliot's love interest.
- Gordon Tootoosis as Gordy, Timberline's sheriff and Beth's friend.
- Patrick Warburton as Ian, a mean spirited mule deer stag and the alpha leader of his herd.
- Cody Cameron as Mr. Weenie, Bob and Bobbie's domesticated, German-accented dachshund.
- Danny Mann as Serge, a French-accented mallard duck.
- Matthew W. Taylor as Deni, a mute, somewhat insane and courageous mallard duck and Serge's brother, and Buddy, a blue North American porcupine who searches for friends.
- Nika Futterman as Rosie, a Mexican accented striped skunk.
- Michelle Murdocca as Maria, a striped skunk who is Rosie's identical twin sister.
- Fergal Reilly as O'Toole, a North American beaver and one of Reilly's men.
The ideas for Open Season came from cartoonist Steve Moore, who is known for his comic strip In the Bleachers. Moore and producer John Carls submitted the story to Sony in June 2002, and the film immediately went into development. On February 29, 2004, Leap Year Day, Sony Pictures Animation announced the beginning of the production on its first CGI animated film Open Season.
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.
To choose the voice cast, Culton blindly listened to audition tapes, unknowingly picking Lawrence and Kutcher for the lead roles. Their ability to improvise significantly contributed to the creative process. "They really became meshed with the characters," said Culton. Until the film's premiere, Lawrence and Kutcher never met during production.
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." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 49 out of 100 based on 18 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.
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."
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. The film was released in the United Kingdom on October 13, 2006, and opened on #3, behind The Departed and The Devil Wears Prada.
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.
Open Season was released on DVD, Blu-ray, VHS, and UMD Video on January 30, 2007. 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.
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. For Wii, it was released on November 19, 2006, together with the console's launch.
|Soundtrack album by Paul Westerberg|
|Released||September 26, 2006|
|Paul Westerberg chronology|
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, as did Allmusic.
- 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|
|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|
|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|
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."
|U.S. Billboard Top Soundtracks||15|
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- Pamer, Melissa (September 10, 2006). "First-time animation director has a wild time". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
- Murray, Rebecca. "Martin Lawrence Grins and 'Bears' It in "Open Season"". About.com. Retrieved August 29, 2011.
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- "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com.
- "At the Movies Archive".
- "Weekend box office 13th October 2006 - 15th October 2006". www.25thframe.co.uk. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
- "37th Annual Annie Nominations and Awards Recipients". The Annie Awards. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
- McCutcheon, David (January 4, 2007). "Open Season's DVD Hunt". IGN. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
- "'Open Season - 3D' Announced for Blu-ray 3D". High-Def Digest. September 20, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
- Black, Jared (September 18, 2006). "Ubisoft Declares Open Season on All Platforms". Video Game Generation. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
- Seff, Micah (November 17, 2006). "Four Ubisoft Titles Ready for Wii Launch". IGN. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
- "Open Season featuring the songs of Paul Westerberg". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
- Thomas Erlewine, Stephen. "Open Season (Original Soundtrack) > Review". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
- "OPEN SEASON - ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK (10'' LP)". MusicDirect. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- "Open Season (Original Soundtrack) > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
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