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Open Season

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jill Culton
Roger Allers
Anthony Stacchi
Produced by Michelle Murdocca
Amy Jupiter
Executive Producer
Steve Moore
John B. Carls
Written by Steve Bencich
Ron J. Friedman
Starring Martin Lawrence
Ashton Kutcher
Debra Messing
Gary Sinise
Jon Favreau
Matthew W. Taylor
Jane Krakowski
Billy Connolly
Georgia Engel
Patrick Warburton
Music by Ramin Djawadi
Studio Sony Pictures Animation
Distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment
Columbia Pictures
Universal Pictures (outside USA/UK)
Release date(s) September 29, 2006
Running time 86 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $85,000,000
Gross revenue Domestic:
Followed by Open Season 2 (2009)

Open Season is a 2006 computer-animated comedy film, directed by Roger Allers, Jill Culton and Anthony Stacchi. 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. 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. Open Season 2, a sequel, was released on January 27, 2009.



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 mule deer Elliot (Ashton Kutcher) strapped to the hood of his truck. Boog wakes him as 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 judgment, Boog frees Elliot before Shaw could 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. Elliot tells Boog the 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 the grizzly becomes intoxicated with sugar, events quickly spiral out of control as the two ransack the town's food store. Elliot escapes before Boog is caught by a friend of Beth, police officer Gordy (Gordon Tootoosis).

At the nature show, Boog meets up with Elliot who is being chased by Shaw. Boog attacks the mule deer, causing the whole audience in the show to panic before Boog threatens to kill Elliot. Shaw prepares to shoot Boog but the bear is instead shot by Beth with a tranquilizer gun; she shoots Elliot as well (six times). The two trouble-makers are released into the Timberline National Forest, only three days before the start of open season.

Since he lacks any outdoor skills, Boog takes Elliot 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, psychotic ducks and panic-stricken rabbits. They also run into critters such as the Scottish-accented squirrel, McSquizzy (Billy Connolly) and his rogue gang, Reilly (Jon Favreau) and his beaver construction worker team, and a porcupine who is in search of a friend. 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, but is also found by the herd leader, Ian (Patrick Warburton), a 'jock' mule deer who has forced Elliot out of the herd. They walk away from Ian's taunting, realizing that they've obtained true friendship.

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 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 to unwittingly find Shaw's log cabin. Shaw discovers him 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 Bob and Bobby's RV while their pet, Mr. Weenie, joins along.

The following day, Boog leads a rampage against the hunters, sending them running after McSquizzy blows up their trucks. Shaw returns for a final battle. Elliot takes a bullet meant for Boog, enraging the bear who ties up Shaw 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 where he will be safe, but instead he stays with his friends. They both realise that the bear is at home in the forest.


The film location was inspired by the towns of Sun Valley 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. Of the three directors on working on the film, only Roger Allers had experience in feature film directing before.

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. Martin Lawrence and Ashton Kutcher never met during production.


Character Species Actor/Actress
Boog Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) Martin Lawrence
Elliot Mule Deer (Odocolieus hemionus) Ashton Kutcher
Beth Human (Homo sapiens) Debra Messing
Shaw Human (Homo sapiens) Gary Sinise
McSquizzy Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) Billy Connolly
Reilly American Beaver (Castor canadensis) Jon Favreau
Ian Mule Deer (Odocolieus hemionus) Patrick Warburton
Giselle Mule Deer (Odocolieus hemionus) Jane Krakowski
Mr. Weenie Dachshund (Canis lupus familiarus) Cody Cameron
Buddy North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) Matthew W. Taylor
Serge Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) Danny Mann


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", deleted scenes, Audio Commentary, I Wanna Lose Control music video, Swept Away documentary and other disc extras.


Open Season 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."[2]

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."[3]

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.


Open Season
Soundtrack by Paul Westerberg
Released September 26, 2006
Label Lost Highway
Producer Lou Giordano & Dana Gumbiner
Professional reviews
Paul Westerberg chronology
The Resterberg
Open Season 49:00... Of Your Time/Life

The soundtrack includes original music scored by Ramin Djawadi (half of the 1980s synthpop duo Blancmange) with help by and original songs written by Paul Westerberg, formerly of The Replacements. Audio of the songs can be located here.

# Song Artist Where Played
1 "Me In The Meadow" Paul Westerberg Credits
2 "Love You In The Fall"
3 "I Belong" Film
4 "I Wanna Lose Control (Uh-Oh)" Deathray
5 "Better Than This" Paul Westerberg
6 "Wild Wild Life" Talking Heads
7 "Right to Arm Bears" Paul Westerberg
8 "Good Day"
9 "All About Me"
10 "Wild As I Wanna Be" Deathray Credits
11 "Whisper Me Luck" Paul Westerberg Film
12 "I Belong" (Reprise) Pete Yorn
13 "Wild As I Wanna Be" Paul Westerberg iTunes exclusive


  • 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[5] 15


External links


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