In Sony Pictures Animation's first feature film, the animated action adventure comedy Open Season, the odd are about to get even. Boog (Martin Lawrence), a domesticated grizzly bear with no survival skills, has his perfect world turned upside down when he meets Elliot (Ashton Kutcher) a scrawny, fast-talking mule deer. When Elliot convinces Boog to leave his cushy home in a park ranger's garage to try a taste of the great outdoors, things quickly spiral out of control. Relocated to the forest with open season only three days away, Boog and Elliot must acclimate in a hurry. They must join forces to unite the woodland creatures and take the forest back!
Growing up can be a confusing journey fraught with difficult choices. Boog (Martin Lawrence) is a domesticated Grizzly Bear who leads a perfectly happy life inside of Park Ranger Beth's (Debra Messing) garage, but a chance meeting with an overly energetic mule deer named Elliot (Ashton Kutcher) quickly changes everything and lands Boog high in the forest a few days before the opening of hunting season. Devoid of even the most basic survival skills, Boog and Elliot stumble through the woods and find themselves at the mercy of every forest animal from skunks to chipmunks as well as an evil hunter named Shaw (Gary Sinise). After unintentionally inciting and endangering an entire forest full of clever animals, Boog and Elliot come to the realization that only by banding together do the forest animals stand a chance of outsmarting the hunters and ensuring their own survival.
This first animated film from Sony Pictures Animation takes its inspiration from cartoonist Steve Moore (In the Bleachers) and features animals with human-like intelligence, a vibrant color palate, and skilled animation that makes everything from the wind blowing Boo's fur to the animals' wild trip down the falls simply breathtaking. While it doesn't quite live up to Over the Hedge, Open Season is an entertaining production that explores the difficult process of maturation, the universal need for acceptance, and the true value of friendship. Special features include a 15-minute featurette about the animation process at Sony Pictures Animation and Image Works, a 7-minute look at the recording sessions featuring the voices behind the characters, two deleted scenes, three short animated cartoon strips, a short "Boog and Elliot's Midnight Bun Run" that's an extension of the trailer scene in the movie, art gallery, beat boards, humorous commentary from the animals' point of views, and a full length commentary by Producer Michelle Murdocca, Directors Roger Allers and Jill Culton, and others. Activities include a "Voice-A-Rama" where viewers can hear specific lines spoken by alternate voices and a trivia "Wheel of Fortune--Forest Edition" as well as a DVD-ROM link to more online fun. (Ages 3 and older) --Tami Horiuchi
Meet the Critters of Open Season (click for larger image)
Stills from Open Season (click for larger image)
Boog (aka Martin Lawrence),
hear Martin Lawrence, "On Boog":
Elliot (aka Ashton Kutcher),
hear Ashton Kutcher, "On being Elliot":
Shaw (aka Gary Sinise),
hear Gary Sinise, "On Shaw":
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More hugable, loveable bears on DVD
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Meet The Chubbchubbs!
For a limited time, purchase Open Season (Widescreen Edition) on DVD and receive a complimentary copy of the Academy Award winning animated short, The Chubbchubbs!, exclusive to Amazon.com.
When it was briefly shown in theaters with Men in Black II, the delightful animated cartoon The Chubb Chubbs had the awkward distinction of being funnier and more inventive than MIIB. The six-minute film won the 2003 Oscar for best animated short. --Jeff Shannon