|Open Season (film)|
|Released||September 29, 2006|
|Written by|| Steve Bencich|
Ron J. Friedman
|Directed by|| Jill Culton|
|Starring|| Martin Lawrence|
Open Season 2
It was followed by Open Season 2 (2008), Open Season 3 (2010), and Open Season: Scared Silly (2015). A video game for the film was released on multiple platforms, unlike the sequels (for an unknown reason).
In the tranquil mountainous town of Timberline, a 900-pound grizzly bear named Boog (Martin Lawrence) enjoys a captive, but happy, existence. He spends his day as the star attraction of the town's nature show under the name "The Mighty Grizzly." Boog spends his nights living the life of luxury in the garage of his owner, a park ranger named Beth (Debra Messing), who raised him since he was a cub.
One day, a hunter named Shaw (Gary Sinise) drives into town with a deer named Elliot (Ashton Kutcher) strapped to the hood of his truck. Boog wakes up Elliot by poking him with a stick as they both scream in terror. With Boog reluctant to intervene, Elliot begs to Boog for help to escape. At the last minute and against his better judgment, Boog frees Elliot before Shaw could go after him; however, Shaw has already noticed him and swears vengeance. Boog never expects to see Elliot again.
That night, Elliot follows Boog home and finds him sleeping in his garage and then starts throwing jackrabbits at his window. Elliot tells him he is intent on returning the favor by "freeing" him from his garage captivity. Elliot introduces Boog to a world of sweet temptations outside of the garage that he has never known. When Boog becomes intoxicated with sugar, events quickly spiral out of control as he and Elliot ransack the store. Elliot escapes before Boog is caught by Gordy (Gordon Tootoosis), the sheriff of Timberline and Beth's best friend.
At the nature show, Boog meets up with Elliot, who is being chased by Shaw. Boog attacks Elliot, making the audience panic and flee before Boog threatens to kill Elliot in anger. Shaw prepares to shoot Boog, but Boog is instead shot by Beth with a tranquilizer gun and proceeds to shoot Elliot's butt 6 times. An upset Gordy is about to arrest Shaw, but he has already slipped away. Gordy convinces Beth to release Boog and Elliot into the Timberline National Forest, only 3 days before the start of open season.
Since he lacks any outdoor skills, Boog takes Elliot as his hapless guide to take him back home. However, they quickly learn that the forest is every animal for itself. The duo run into their share of the forest animals, including short-tempered skunks named Rosie (Michelle Murdocca) and Maria (Nika Futterman), psychotic mallards named Serge (Danny Mann) and Deni (Matthew W. Taylor), and jackrabbits. They also run into critters like McSquizzy (Billy Connolly), a Scottish squirrel, his gang called the Furry Tail Clan, Reilly (Jon Favreau), O'Toole (Fergal Reilly) and Reilly's beaver construction worker team and Buddy (Matthew W. Taylor), a porcupine who is in search of a friend. With each adverse encounter, Boog begins to learn about self-reliance and Elliot gains self-respect. Later, Elliot finds Giselle (Jane Krakowski), his love interest, but is also found by the herd and their leader Ian (Patrick Warburton), Elliot's arch-rival who has told him to infinitely leave the herd for loving Giselle. Ian, his herd and Giselle leave afterwards, soon followed by Boog and Elliot (who have both realized they have obtained true friendship).
Elliot tries to lead Boog out of the forest, but it becomes evident that he has no clue where they're going. After winding up at Reilly's dam, Boog and Elliot are almost shot by Shaw (who thinks he succeeded and left while laughing evilly), but it turns out he missed and just shot the tree they hid behind. Boog, who is desperate to leave, runs over the beaver dam, but it isn't a "load bearing structure". It breaks under his weight and the rush of the water washes everyone in the forest (including Shaw, who was leaving in his truck while still laughing to himself about when he thought he shot Boog and Elliot) to the clearing below. At first, everyone blames Boog, but he accuses Elliot of lying to him about leading him home. Elliot confesses, saying that he wanted Boog as a friend and thought if they just spent time together, it would work out. Despite Elliot apologizing and wanting him and Boog to remain best friends, the grizzly gets upset and says he is better off alone, and then leaves the forest to find his own way back home.
While trying to find a way back to Timberline, Boog stumbles upon Shaw's log cabin. Shaw soon realizes he's there and chases him to the city road, where Boog happens upon the glowing lights of Timberline. Instead of deserting his companions, Boog helps them defend themselves, using supplies taken from Bob and Bobbie (Georgia Engel)'s RV, while their pet dachshund Mr. Weenie (Cody Cameron) joins the fight.
The following day, Boog leads a rampage against the hunters, sending them running after McSquizzy blows up their trucks.
Shaw then returns for a final battle against Boog. Before Shaw can shoot and kill Boog, Elliot sacrifices himself to save Boog. Boog believes Shaw has killed Elliot and becomes enraged, then proceeds to tackle Shaw, roar in his face, and tie him up with his own gun. Boog finds that Elliot survived the blast, only losing his second antler in the fight. Beth returns to take Boog back home, but he decides to stay with his best friends instead. Boog and Beth then realize that Boog is home. Boog, Elliot, and the rest of the animals then have a rabbit fight. A rabbit thrown by Boog hits the screen. The rabbit slides down the screen, and the screen goes black, with a few of the credits appearing.
The scene then cuts to Shaw, who is still tarred and feathered in the leaves. Then, Bob and Bobbie's trailer appears, with the headlights flashing. Bob is reading the map to find Bigfoot. Bobbies sees Shaw in the middle of the road, gasps, and tries to warn Bob. The trailer hits Shaw, with the feathers hitting the screen. Bob and Bobbie then start laughing, and then they high-five. "A real live homo Sasquatchez!", Bobbie exclaims. They start laughing again. The camera goes up to reveal that Shaw in on top of their trailer. Shaw then shouts "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" and the camera zooms into his mouth and the full credits begin.
- Martin Lawrence as Boog
- Ashton Kutcher as Elliot
- Gary Sinise as Shaw
- Debra Messing as Beth
- Jane Krakowski as Giselle
- Gordon Tootoosis as Gordy
- Patrick Warburton as Ian
- Billy Connolly as McSquizzy
- Cody Cameron as Mr. Weenie
- Georgia Engel as Bobbie
- Danny Mann as Serge
- Matthew W. Taylor as Buddy / Deni / Others
- Jon Favreau as Reilly
- Fergal Reilly as O'Toole
- Michelle Murdocca as Rosie
- Nika Futterman as Maria
- Jack McGee as Hunter
- Kirk Baily, Jack Blessing, Ranjani Brow, David Cowgill, Caitlin Cutt, Elisa Gabrielli, Jackie Gonneau, Wendy Hoffman, Scott Menville, Renee Robert, André Sogliuzzo, Hans Tester as Additional Voices
- (unknown) as Beavers
- Frank Welker as Jackrabbits / Animals' Vocal Effects (uncredited)
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, 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.
The film received mixed reviews from critics. Critics of Rotten Tomatoes gave the film 48% (out of 100 reviews) with the consensus "Open Season is a cliched palette of tired jokes and CG animal shenanigans that have been seen multiple times this cinematic year."
Kevin Smith gave the film a good 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."
Open Season opened #1 with $23 million on its opening weekend. It grossed $85.1 million in the United States and $104.8 million in foreign countries making $189.9 million worldwide.
- Main article: Boog and Elliot's Midnight Bun Run
A short film called Boog and Elliot's Midnight Bun Run was released in 2006.
- Main article: Open Season 2