Open Season (film)

Open Season (film)
Open Season

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jill Culton
Roger Allers
Anthony Stacchi
Produced by Michelle Murdocca
Amy Jupiter
Steve Moore
John B. Carls
Written by Steve Bencich
Ron J. Friedman
Starring Martin Lawrence
Ashton Kutcher
Gary Sinise
Debra Messing
Jon Favreau
Matthew W. Taylor
Jane Krakowski
Billy Connolly
Georgia Engel
Patrick Warburton
Music by Ramin Djawadi
Editing by Ken Solomon
Pam Ziegenhagen
Studio Sony Pictures Animation
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) September 29, 2006 (2006-09-29)
Running time 87 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $85 million
Box office $197,309,027[1]

Open Season is a 2006 computer-animated comedy film, written by Steve Bencich and Ron J. Friedman and directed by Jill Culton, Roger Allers, and Anthony Stacchi, and production designed by Michael Humphries. The film was produced by Sony Pictures Animation and released by Columbia Pictures on September 29, 2006.

The story centers around woodland creatures that are traditionally hunted teaming up against hunters. The film features the voices of Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Gary Sinise, Debra Messing, Jon Favreau, Matthew W. Taylor, Jane Krakowski, Billy Connolly, Georgia Engel, and Patrick Warburton.

It has also been released in the IMAX 3D format. It was Sony Pictures Animation's first theatrical feature. A video game for the film was released on multiple platforms.



In the tranquil town of Timberline, 900-pound grizzly bear Boog (Martin Lawrence) enjoys a captive, but happy existence. He spends his day as the star attraction of the town's nature show and spends his nights living the life of luxury in the garage of park ranger Beth (Debra Messing) who raised him since he was a cub.

One day, the hunting fanatic Shaw (Gary Sinise) drives into town with the one-antlered buck mule deer, Elliot (Ashton Kutcher) strapped to the hood of his truck. Boog accidentally wakes him and the two scream in terror. With Boog reluctant to intervene, Elliot begs to Boog for help to escape. At the last minute and against his better judgement, Boog frees Elliot 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 to wake him. Elliot tells Boog the he is intent on returning the favor by "freeing" him from his garage captivity. Boog refuses to go with Elliot, but he still goes with Elliot when Elliot shows him a chocolate bar (which he calls a Woo Hoo Bar) and tells him that they can get more outside. Elliot begins to introduce Boog to a world of sweet temptations outside of the garage that he has never known. The two head for "Puni Mart", a convenience store. Boog and Elliot ransack the Puni Mart, causing a mess. Elliot escapes before Boog is caught by a friend of Beth, Sheriff Gordy (Gordon Tootoosis). Back home, Gordy tells Beth that it would be better if Boog were released into the wild.

During the nature show, Elliot who is being chased by Shaw runs into backstage and locks the door. Boog gets mad remembering the events Elliot made him go through. Boog attacks the buck, causing the whole audience in the show to panic (because it looks as of Boog is killing Elliot behind the curtain) before Boog threatens to kill Elliot. The two crash out of the curtains. Shaw prepares to shoot Boog, but the bear is instead shot by Beth with a tranquilizer gun; she shoots Elliot as well (six times in the butt). The duo are released into the Timberline National Forest, only three days before the start of open season.

Boog wakes up and realizes he has been released into the forest, and threatens to throw Elliot off a cliff, stating that Elliot drove him to this. Boog eventually throws Elliot into the air rather than throwing him off the cliff. Elliot's antlers get stuck in the ground, and while Boog goes around the forest in circles in search of Timberline , Elliot tries to break free. Boog decides to get familiar with the forest and tries to climb up a tree, but is attacked by a red squirrel called McSquizzy (Billy Connolly) and his gang. Soon, Boog gives up and frees Elliot and takes him as his hapless guide to get him back home to Timberline to reunite with Beth. But in the woods, they quickly learn that it's every animal for itself. The two run into their share of the forest animals including hot-tempered skunks (Nika Futterman and Michelle Murdocca), psychotic ducks (Danny Mann and Matthew W. Taylor) and panic-stricken rabbits. They also run into critters such as the Scottish-accented squirrel, Reilly (Jon Favreau) and his beaver construction worker team, and a porcupine (Matthew W. Taylor) who is in search of a friend (known as Buddy). With each adverse encounter, Boog learns a little about self-reliance and Elliot gains self-respect. Elliot finds his herd crush, a pretty female, Giselle (Jane Krakowski), but is also found by the herd leader, Ian (Patrick Warburton), a "jock" mule deer who had forced Elliot out of the herd before. They walk away from Ian's taunting, realizing that they've obtained true friendship.

Elliot tries to lead Boog out of the forest, but it becomes evident that he has no clue where they are going, because Boog realizes they meet the same animals again and again. After winding up at Reilly's dam, Boog and Elliot are confronted by Shaw. Boog tries to run over the dam, but it is not a "load bearing structure" . It breaks under his weight and the rush of water washes everyone in the forest, including Shaw, to the clearing below the 'falls.

At first, everyone blames Boog, but Boog accuses Elliot of lying to him about leading him home. Elliot confesses, saying he wanted Boog as a friend and thought if they just spent time together it would work out. Angry, Boog leaves, attempting to find Timberline on his own. He unwittingly find Shaw's log cabin. Shaw discovers him and pursues him. Boog flees to the city road where Boog finds a group of trucks with hunters in them, zooming past him and he soon finds the glowing lights of Timberline. Instead of deserting his companions, Boog decides to take Elliot with him, but the other animals want to live in the garage too, but they realize there is no way out because the hunters have already gathered around the forest. Boog decides that they should defend themselves, and they collect supplies from Bob and Bobby's (two scientists) RV while their pet, Mr. Weenie, joins the animals.

The following day, Boog witnesses the hunters coming, and sends a signal to the animals by flinging one of the mule deers of the herd in the air. Elliot receives the signal and sends out the ducks, who are carrying skunks, into the air, causing stinky green air to flow around the forest. Meanwhile, Elliot and the squirrels ride on the mule deers and charge. On the other side, Boog and the other animals charge too, causing a big rampage. The ducks drop a tank of gas (known as "Mr. Happy") onto one of the hunters trucks, but it goes out, so McSquizzy flings some dynamite into the air, and all the trucks blow up, and the hunters all run away. All the animals start celebrating. Suddenly, Shaw appears, and attempts to kill Boog with his gun, but Elliot shoots things that they had stolen from the RV. One of the objects hits the gun, and the gun falls out of reach. Shaw then proceeds to attack Boog with his hunting knife. Boog beats him with a golf club Elliot had shot. Shaw, within reaching distance of his gun, grabs it, and attempts to shoot Boog. Elliot takes the bullet meant for Boog, enraging Boog who tackles Shaw, roars loudly in his face, then ties him up with his own gun. Boog finds that Elliot survived the wound, only losing his second antler in the fight. Beth returns to take Boog back home where he will be safe, but he instead stays with his friends. They both realize that the bear is at home in the forest.

Voice cast

  • Martin Lawrence as Boog, a 900-pound grizzly bear.
  • Ashton Kutcher as Elliot, a hyperactive, mule deer with only one antler.
  • Gary Sinise as Shaw, the nastiest hunter in Timberline and Beth's arch-rival.
  • Debra Messing as Beth, a park ranger who raised Boog since he was a cub.
  • Billy Connolly as McSquizzy, a grumpy, old Scottish-accented red squirrel.
  • Jon Favreau as Reilly, a beaver.
  • Patrick Warburton as Ian, a "jock" mule deer who is Elliot's arch-rival. He has forced Elliot out of the herd, and told him to never come back.
  • Jane Krakowski as Giselle, Elliot's love interest.
  • Gordon Tootoosis as Gordy, Timberline's sheriff and Beth's friend.
  • Georgia Engel as Bobbie, an overweight woman.
  • Cody Cameron as Mr. Weenie, a domesticated, German-accented dachshund.
  • Danny Mann as Serge, a French-accented, psychotic mallard duck.
  • Matthew W. Taylor as Deni, Serge's dim-witted companion. Taylor also voiced Porcupine, an unnamed blue North American porcupine who is in search of a friend.


The idea for the film came from cartoonist Steve Moore, known for his comic strip In the Bleachers.[2] Moore and producer John Carls submitted the story to Sony in June 2002, and the movie immediately went into development.[3] On February 29, 2004, Sony Pictures Animation announced the beginning of the production on its first CGI animated feature, Open Season.[4]

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.[5]

Martin Lawrence and Ashton Kutcher never met during production.[6]


Home video

The film was released on DVD and UMD Video and Blu-Ray on January 30, 2007. It includes a new animated short called Boog and Elliot's Midnight Bun Run. It was later released to 3D Blu-ray on November 16, 2010.[7]

Video game

A video game based on the film was released for PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS, and Microsoft Windows.


The film received mixed reviews from critics. Critics of Rotten Tomatoes gave the film 47% 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."[8]

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."[9]

The film 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.

Rolling Stone gave the film's soundtrack three stars out of five,[10] as did Allmusic.[11]


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
Open Season 49:00... Of Your Time/Life

The soundtrack includes an original film score by Ramin Djawadi (half of the 1980s synthpop duo Blancmange) and several original songs by Paul Westerberg, formerly of The Replacements.

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:

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.[12]


  • Adam Ayan – Mastering
  • Bob Badami – Music Consultant
  • Jeff "Bucko" Biggers – Engineer
  • Michael Bland – Drums
  • Jim Boquist – Bass, Mandolin, Accordion, Vocals (bckgr)
  • Kevin Bowe – Harmonica, Percussion, Engineer, Sitar (Electric)
  • Kim Buie – A&R
  • John Fields – Mixing
  • Lou Giordano – Producer
  • Dana Gumbiner – Producer
  • Darren Hill – A&R
  • Michelle Kinney – Cello
  • Karen Naff – Design
  • Tommy Stinson – Bass, Vocals
  • Lia Vollack – Soundtrack Producer
  • Paul Westerberg – Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Accordion, Vocals, Producer


Chart (2009) Peak
U.S. Billboard Top Soundtracks[13] 15


Two direct-to-video sequels have been made: Open Season 2 was released on September 24, 2008 and Open Season 3 was released on October 21, 2010.


  1. ^ "Open Season (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  2. ^ "Open Season". Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  3. ^ ""Open Season" in Theatres Tonight; Credit Goes to Universal Press Syndicate Creator". Universal Uclick. 2006-09-29. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  4. ^ "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. 
  5. ^ Sony Pictures Animation (2006-10-06). "Open Season Diary: Animating the Animals". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  6. ^ Murray, Rebecca. "Martin Lawrence Grins and 'Bears' It in "Open Season"". Retrieved August 29, 2011. 
  7. ^ "'Open Season - 3D' Announced for Blu-ray 3D". High-Def Digest. September 20, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Open Season (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  9. ^ "At the Movies Archive". 
  10. ^ "Open Season featuring the songs of Paul Westerberg". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  11. ^ Thomas Erlewine, Stephen. "Open Season (Original Soundtrack) > Review". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  12. ^ "OPEN SEASON - ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK (10'' LP)". MusicDirect. Retrieved October 30, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Open Season (Original Soundtrack) > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 

External links

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