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Osmosis Jones

Theatrical poster for Osmosis Jones
Directed by Bobby Farrelly
Peter Farrelly
animation director
Tom Sito
Piet Kroon
Produced by Dennis Edwards
Bobby Farrelly
Peter Farrelly
Zak Penn
Bradley Thomas
Written by Marc Hyman
Starring Bill Murray
Chris Rock
Laurence Fishburne
David Hyde Pierce
Brandy Norwood
William Shatner
Molly Shannon
Ron Howard
Music by Randy Edelman
Studio Warner Bros. Animation
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) August 10, 2001
Running time 95 min.
Language English
Budget $75 million

Osmosis Jones (2001) is a live-action/animated film whose title character is Osmosis Jones, an anthropomorphic white blood cell. Unusual for this genre, the live action characters and cartoon characters never meet. The live action characters are people as they appear in the real world, and the animated characters are the cells and germs which live inside a man named Frank, whom the story concerns. It spawned a Saturday morning cartoon spinoff, Ozzy & Drix, which aired on Kids WB from 2002 to 2004, and featured Osmosis Jones and his friend Drix inside a new body.



Frank Detorre is a slovenly zookeeper at the New England Memorial Zoo in Rhode Island. Much to the frustration of his young daughter Shane, he eats and drinks compulsively and has no regard for germs or disease. While trying to eat a hard-boiled egg it's stolen from him by a chimpanzee. He gets it back, but not before it falls into the filth of the chimp's habitat. When Shane is disgusted by him about to eat it he uses the "ten second rule" as a justification for the unsanitary act.

Inside Frank's body, the story unfolds. Protagonist Osmosis Jones, a former agent of Immunity (Frank's immune system), is a hot-tempered, adventure-seeking white blood cell. He is a rebel cop, frequently disobeying what an authority tells him to do. He grew up poor on the "South Side" of Frank and is often mocked by his fellow cops due to his rebellious nature. At the beginning of the story, he is relocated to the mouth to fight against germs entering the body via ingestion following an incident during which he induced Frank to vomit all over Shane's teacher, which was considered a false alarm because he had been the only one to suspect an incoming pathological threat. After several newcomer Germs, believed to be gingivitis, hijack a "squad car" in the mouth, Osmosis Jones and his senior partner, who is piloting their helicopter, are pulled into the lungs by a massive yawn while in pursuit. Even after the germs evade capture and pass into "Immunity's" jurisdiction, Osmosis disobeys direct orders and continues the pursuit on foot. The criminals escape and Osmosis accidentally triggers a major cramp in Frank's leg.

Meanwhile, Mayor Phlegmming is preparing for re-election, campaigning with the promise of more junk food (much to the joy of the citizens in the Love Handle District). The Mayor's reckless policies are largely responsible for Frank's deteriorating health; but his re-election hopes are complicated by the arrival of Thrax, a deadly virus that came with the hard-boiled egg. In an attempt to cover up the severity of the situation, Phlegmming 'tells' Frank to take a cold-suppressant pill. The pill, nicknamed Drix (short for his brand name Drixenol), arrives in the body and covers Frank's infected throat with a disinfectant to cover the irritation. Osmosis Jones is assigned as Drix's partner, much to his chagrin. Eventually, they reveal Thrax's plot to masquerade as the common cold while at the same time plotting to overheat Frank's body, killing him from the inside. Thrax is motivated by a desire to become the nastiest new virus, attempting to kill each new victim faster than the previous. His grandiose plan for Frank is death within 48 hours, breaking all previous medical records. Thrax also has the ability to burn tissue and make other cells explode by infecting them with his virus, which he releases by touching them with his larger-than-average left pointer finger, which he is able to glow, to release his virus at will.

Osmosis and Drix confront Thrax in one of Frank's zits, where Drix launches a grenade of medication at Thrax and his cronies, popping the skin blemish, killing nearly all of Thrax's men, and seemingly ending the virus's siege. To hide the truth, Phlegmming forces Drix to leave the body and fires Osmosis; both protagonists having insisted that Thrax was more than the common cold.

The heroic duo's prediction rings true when Thrax is revealed to have survived the explosion and, after killing off his remaining henchman when they suggest that they lay low and recruit new members, decides to launch a lone assault on Frank's hypothalamus gland (the portion of the brain that contols temperature) by disabling its self-regulative capabilities. After killing the two scientists there, he uses his virus infecting finger to destroy the protoplasmic barrier around the gland, and retrieve a DNA bead. Soon after he does so, Leah Estrogen, the mayor's secretary and Osmosis's love interest throughout the movie, discovers his work (the temperature having risen to 100.735 degrees) and alerts security. Thrax manages to evade them; taking Leah hostage, he escapes from the brain to the mouth. Meanwhile, the temperature continues to rise, causing chaos to break out all over the City of Frank.

Frank is taken to the hospital under the influence of Thrax's attack. Thrax is confronted by Drix, whom he underestimates. Osmosis and Drix rescue Leah and the former fights Thrax directly; eventually Thrax leaves Frank's mouth after causing a confusion using pollen.

Osmosis is launched out after him by Drix (who has returned to the body and used his standard dosage to temporarily freeze Thrax's chief weapon (his left pointer finger). Thrax and Osmosis arrive on one of Shane's false eyelashes, which she was wearing atop her natural ones. During the struggle, Thrax threatens to kill Shane, but Osmosis causes him to knock Shane's false eyelash into a vessel of alcohol below, so that he is dissolved.

During this time, the situation becomes even more dangerous when the temperature hits 108 degrees, causing Frank to go into cardiac arrest.

Just as doctors give up attempting to revive Frank, he is revived when Osmosis returns to Frank via one of Shane's tears with the missing hypothalamus chromosome. Osmosis is reinstated into "Immunity" with full privileges, he and Drix (whom he has decided to take as his partner) are declared heroes, and Leah tells Osmosis she loves him and gives him a big kiss, which he returns.

The end of the movie shows Frank and Shane on a hike. Frank, having survived Thrax's attack, has begun to improve his diet and personal hygiene.

Meanwhile, Phlegmming has lost his position as mayor and now has a new job, cleaning the bowels. He accidentally ejects himself from the body via the rectum by touching a button that is important and marked "DO NOT TOUCH!".

Interlaced with the main plot are several live action sequences that detail Frank's troublesome relationship with Shane. Her mother died at an early age; viewers may speculate that Frank has deteriorated as a result of depression caused by emotional loss, although there is reason to suspect that his wife also led an unhealthy lifestyle which may have led to her death, as suggested during a conversation between Frank and Shane. Frank had humiliated Shane previously by vomiting on her teacher, Mrs. Boyd, during a science fair, in which he ate another student's oyster experiment; Osmosis, patrolling the stomach at the time, saw a nasty germ that had come along with the swallowed oysters and pressed the "puke" button, spraying Mrs. Boyd with bile. The event was put on the front page of the local news, making Frank the town laughingstock. This event was responsible for Osmosis Jones' being transferred to duty in the mouth as a punitive measure to keep him from causing any further trouble.

Osmosis Jones' suspicions have frequently been dismissed by others, though ironically he is usually correct even when he lacks the tact or caution to take care of problems without making a mess. This is evidenced by Thrax: "They’re making this too easy. You know, in all the bodies I’ve been in, no one has ever gotten wise to me, and now for the first time an immunity cell has figured out everything, and they don’t believe him!" .

Frank attempted to mend matters, but failed. Throughout the film, Shane is ashamed of her father and attempts to reform him. Seeing him facing a terminal virus prompts an epiphany in both of them, with the result that Frank begins caring for his body, and Shane develops a sense of daughterly pride in her father.


Live action characters/cities

  • Frank Detorre (Downtown Frank/The City of Frank) (Bill Murray) is a 40-year-old widower prone to eating junk food, discounting healthcare of himself, and behaving laconically.
  • Shane Detorre (Elena Franklin) is Frank’s 10-year-old daughter. Due to her father’s shortcomings, health is very important to her. She has become somewhat depressed after her mother’s death, and as a result her grades and relationships with other people are suffering. She is Thrax's next intended victim until his death.
  • Mrs. Boyd (Molly Shannon) is Shane’s science and P.E teacher in school. Having had her reputation and those of her three children ruined after her embarrassment by Frank, she has a 200-yard restraining order against him to prevent any further embarrassment.
  • Bob Detorre (Chris Elliott) is Frank’s brother and coworker, who, when Frank lost a job at a pea soup factory, got him a job at the zoo. Bob is also the person to which Frank trusted Shane's future when Frank was becoming feverish from his illness.

Animated characters

  • Osmosis "Ozzy" Jones (voice of Chris Rock) An over-zealous white blood cell, specifically a natural killer cell and the protagonist of the film. Osmosis' positive reputation was destroyed when he saw a salmonella pathogen about to enter Frank through a recently ingested raw oyster and reacted by causing him to vomit onto Mrs. Boyd. Since this discrediting incident, he was been suspended for unnecessary force and placed in out-of-the-way patrols. Therefore he seizes any opportunity to be able to make a difference. It is because of this that he is not believed about Thrax’s infection. Being a cell, Ozzy is able to contort his body drastically, to ooze under doors, and to combine his eyes into one, which allows him to escape Thrax's fate at the film's climax. Few other cells, though presumably able to do likewise, are shown doing so. He has a crush on Leah, and at the end of the movie, she admits she loves him and kisses him. It was shown in one scene that if enough force is exerted then his morphing will go back to normal as when Ozzy disguised himself as a germ to learn about Thrax's plan, his cover was blown when Thrax's henchman Lard affectionately but roughly patted Ozzy on the back contorting his body back to normal.
  • Thrax (voice of Laurence Fishburne) A tall, extremely virulent, and unusually powerful virus who serves as the film's primary antagonist. He claims loudly: “Ebola is a case of dandruff compared to me!”. He is red-skinned and angular in design. He carries a chain consisting of numerous chromosomes removed from other victims. His left index finger is a long claw, which can melt the cellular equivalent of steel, consume cells and other viruses in flames, and alter the properties of other cells. His claw can even melt synthetic polyester fiber (though at a much slower rate), a feature that comes into play at the climax. He appears to be resistant to heat and can glide using his trench coat. Thrax is suave and enjoys jazz. He is known as the Red Death, a reference to Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death". His name is a play on the word Anthrax. After taking a look at Frank's memory and running out in fear, he comically quips "this cat was sick before I even got here". It is likely that he is a fictional virus, but he could be meningitis or transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (the latter because Thrax never actually identifies himself as a virus). Thrax is killed at the film's climax when he falls into a tub of rubbing alcohol.
  • Drix (voice of David Hyde Pierce) is a cold pill; he is red and yellow, boxy, and robotic. His right arm is a cannon used to shoot an assorted variety of medication, including one that freezes any target. He is a follower of written rules and compensates for his doubts of himself by acting haughtily. He is learned, but not clever. Drix disagrees with Osmosis’s methods, but respects Osmosis for continuing to fight illness despite the lack of faith in him.
  • Leah Estrogen (voice of Brandy Norwood) is Mayor Phlegmming’s beautiful assistant, greatly relied upon by the Mayor for her skills. She is one of few inhabitants of Frank who realize the flaws of the current administration, and one of the few willing to believe Osmosis’s claims of a large-scale infection. She is Osmosis's love interest. At first, she dislikes him but she later begins to fall in love with him and to show how much she loves him, she gives him a big kiss at the end of the movie. She may also be the small amount of estrogen in Frank, considering her last name is Estrogen.
  • Mayor Phlegmming (voice of William Shatner) is the short, overweight and self-centered mayor of the "City of Frank". He serves as the film's secondary antagonist. He is either the cause or a reflection of Frank’s negligence, and is constantly preoccupied with everything but his job, except when it concerns planning his re-election. He can be considered an anti-hero for his support of an unhealthy Frank. Even in the midst of disaster, his concern is more with his own convenience than anything else, which was revealed by Leah towards the climax of Frank. However, at the film's climax, when the city of Frank is burning down due to his negligence, Phlegmming realizes his mistakes and sheds a tear. In a deleted scene, he willingly resigns and is placed in the bowels. His name is a pun on the word phlegm
  • Tom Colonic (voice of Ron Howard) is Mayor Phlegmming’s opposition in the election. He is a tall, thin cell, and supports a healthier Frank. His mannerisms and personality resemble John F. Kennedy's. He may have become the new mayor after Mayor Phlegmming was sacked.
  • The Chief of Police (voice of Joel Silver) is an extremely large, somewhat gelatinous cell with a short temper. He is evidently used to (though frustrated by) Ozzy’s adventures. Ultimately, he becomes supportive of Osmosis when severe symptoms appear.
  • Other Germs: In addition to Thrax there are several other germs in Frank's body, most of whom become Thrax's henchmen. This is achieved after Thrax kills Scabies, the Crime Don of the City of Frank (voice of Steve Susskind) by impaling him and then slicing him in half with his index finger claw. Although several other germs are in his employ, the only recurring germs are three thugs from the Don's mafia. Bruiser (voice of Eddie Barth) has only one eye; Spider Legs (voice of Carlos Alazraqui) has spider-like legs that give his lower body the appearance of a swivel chair; and Lard is mute and is very fat. Throughout the film they are shown aiding Thrax until their deaths. Lard is killed in the explosion of the Zit, while only Thrax, Bruiser, and Spider Legs survive. Later, in Frank's ingrown toe, Spider Legs and Bruiser try to convince Thrax to hide until they are greater in numbers. Thrax denies this, kills them both, and nonchalantly walks away remarking, "Medical books aren't written about losers!", indicating his determination to continue attacking Frank.

Film production and box office reception

Osmosis Jones went through a troubled time in production. The animated sequences, directed by Tom Sito and Piet Kroon, went into production as planned, but acquiring both a director and a star actor for the live-action sequences took some time, until Bill Murray was cast as the main character of Frank, and Peter and Bobby Farrelly stepped in to direct the live action sequences. As part of their contract, the Farrelly Brothers are credited as the primary directors of the film, although they did no supervision of the animated portions of the film.

Upon its original release, the film lost a considerable amount of money, and was the second-to-last production for Warner Bros.' feature traditional animation department (following The Iron Giant, and followed by Looney Tunes: Back in Action, which both also lost money upon their original releases). Osmosis Jones opened at #7 in its first opening weekend at the U.S. Box office. The film was not a huge box-office success and received mixed reviews.

Footage cut from the final film

  • In the original script and in early cuts of the movie, a scene was featured when Osmosis and Drix go to the Gonad's Gym. It involved their talking to the "exercising" sperm cells. The scene was cut to aviod a PG-13 rating and appeal to a family audience. The Gonad's Gym logo does appear on Drix's suitcase during a scene in police station locker room.
  • In an earlier "cut" of the film, Ozzy and Drix visit an amusement park behind Frank's eye, called "See World". A sign advertising the latter can still be seen near Frank's stomach, which functions as the "arrivals" terminal of an airport.
  • The DVD release contains three extended (and half-animated) scenes, all of which appear in cut-down form in the final edit:
    • Drix and Jones visit the eyes, while Drix complains that he has to visit the nose and the throat. Jones gets doughnuts and calls the information desk on his cell phone while at the eyes.
    • Frank picks his nose during the dam-bursting sequence, and Jones saves Drix from ending up on Frank's fingertip. In the end, they are inhaled into the sinuses.
    • The race to catch Thrax on his way to the uvula is extended; we see Thrax leap from his car and glide away. After Jones takes the wrong turn, he takes a "shortcut" to the uvula by way of the esophagus, riding a massive, acidic belch up the throat (A reference to the 1991 classic Thelma & Louise). Osmosis says "What the hell is a uvula?" It was later edited from hell to heck.
  • A draft of the script reveals that Osmosis, as a young boy, went to a family reunion. At that time Frank went to the doctors to have some blood removed, possibly in a blood drive. The needle drew out all of Ozzy's relatives, apparently leaving him all alone. This would have add to his "loneliness" in the film. The ending has Frank getting a blood transfusion to save his life, with his own prior blood. Thus Ozzy's family and relatives would have returned to Frank, in a parody of the abductees returning in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. This was detailed in the film's commentary.
  • Another scene that was canceled so as to cut time was a scene where it showed how Phlegmming got kicked out of office. In the final cut it's assumed that he was impeached but in a deleted scene he realizes all of his mistakes and willingly resigns thus putting Tom Colonic in office. This explains how he lost office at the film's end. This was supposed to connect with a scene when Phlegmming sees the city going up in flames and sheds a tear upon realizing all that he has done has caused Frank's near-destruction (this scene being left in the final cut).

Pop culture references

  • During Frank's near death experience, a group of street performers play a requiem, symbolizing the apparent end of Frank. The group's leader remarks, "Gentlemen, playing with you has been my greatest pleasure of my life," before playing one final stanza. In the film Titanic, the ship's orchestral quartet does the same (mirroring the actions of the ship's band on the historical Titanic). Mayor Phlegmming's scene of shedding a tear at realizing he has doomed everyone in Frank also parallels Titanic's captain Edward Smith and builder Thomas Andrews, both of whom went down with the ship.
  • The Matrix is parodied briefly during the final fight between Jones and Thrax (Matrix star Laurence Fishburne) on the surface of Shane's eyeball. As Thrax gives Jones a roundhouse kick and Jones bends down to duck, the scene freezes and the camera swivels around the two in trademark Matrix style.
  • In the scene where Jones stops Drix from leaving Frank, one of the germs is holding a Pikachu.

In the scene where Osmosis sings "My Name is what, my name is who, my name is chika chika chika Osmosis." That is from Eminem's song "My Name Is"


There was very little merchandising for the film. Trendmasters planned on releasing a toy line of the characters from the film (including but not limited to action figures, "flingable snot" and the like). However, they claimed they would only release the toys if the film exceeded $65 million at the box office. Unfortunately, the film failed to do so and the toys were never released. One of a few products released was a video game based on the series Ozzy & Drix. Hats, posters, soundtracks and presskits for the film can be found on eBay.


A soundtrack containing hip hop and R&B music was released on August 7, 2001 by Atlantic Records. The soundtrack failed to make it to the Billboard charts, but Trick Daddy's single "Take It to da House" managed to make it to 88 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Osmosis Jones (2001) is a part animated, part live action film whose title character is Osmosis Jones, a white blood cell.

Directed by Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly. Written by Marc Hyman.
He's one cell of a guy.


Osmosis Jones

  • Yo, you see this badge? You see this gun? You see this gooey white saccus membranous 'round my personhood? Well, you dealin' with a white blood cell here! I should be out in the veins, fightin' disease, not in the mouth on tartar control.
  • Osmosis Jones to dispatch. We got multiple germs - I repeat, multiple germs - comin' down the windpipe, and if these bad boys hit the blood stream, we're gonna be illin'. I'm talkin' nose-drippin', chicken soup-drinkin', rectal thermometer-stickin' illin'!
  • [The Chief asks Jones where he was in their conversation] Uh, you were just talking about promoting me to head of brain security.
  • [Thrax demands to know who the undercover Jones really is] Uh, "Bad Booty-Shaken Pickanosis", yeah, that's who I am.
  • [Drix shoves his gun arm into the flu shot's mouth and Osmosis gets an idea] Uh-oh, you done done it now, Chill. This guy's a psycho cop. You had your chance to spill it, but it's too late. This guy just got off the thorazine, and now he's Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs! He's going El Pollo Loco on your crazy behind!


  • Funny. He dosn't look fluish.
  • [first line] Special Agent Drixo-Benzo-Medapedramine. [changes tone of voice to more commercial-friendly] Drixnol! The brand that eases your coughs and sneezes!


  • [first line] Careful, I'm contagious.
  • Think I'll turn up the heat in here!
  • Ebola? Let me tell you something about Ebola, baby. Ebola is a case of DANDRUFF compared to me!
  • Hit all the pressure valves. They're about to blow the scene.
  • You see this? This little DNA bead comes from a little girl in Riverside, Califoria...didn't like to wash her hands. Took me three whole weeks. And this one: nice lady in Detroit, Mowtown- six days flat. Then there's this old guy in Philly- I killed him in 72 hours. Yeah, I'm getting better as I go along, baby, but the problem is I never set a record! Until my man Frank, that is. I'm gonna take him down in 48 hours! Get my own chapter in the medical books!
  • Well, what do we have here? An officer of Frank's finest...Somebody lay down a towel! This is gonna be messy...
  • You know what, Jones? You want this chain so bad, Big Daddy Thrax is going to let you have it! [begins choking Osmosis with the chain] It looks good on you Jones! You wear it well! It's a shame you came all this way just to die!
  • It's a shame you won't be here to see me break my record when I take down Frank's pretty little girl...

Frank Detorri

  • Honey, the reason that monkeys eat so many fruits and vegetables is because they're not smart enough to butcher a cow. Your mother - God bless her soul - she didn't believe the old-fashioned ideas about nursing and breast-feeding and all that. Uh-uh, you were fed cheeseburgers as a baby, and look at you - you're as big as a house, you're as strong as a bull, you smell like a cow. Your cholesterol's probably a little high, but they have medicine for that now. You can get an angioplasty, get it all cleared out.
  • [sees monkeys scratching their behinds] Oh, come on, hey, hey, hey! Show some class will ya? We got mixed company down here. [scratches his own behind]
  • Is beer fluid?
  • [after almost dying, but returning to life; to Shane] Your momma says "hi".

Mrs. Boyd

  • [To Frank] What a zit! I mean, what is it? What do you want?


Osmosis Jones: Goodbye, Drips.
Drix: That's Drix.
Osmosis Jones: Whatever.

Osmosis Jones: In the words of the immortal James Brown, get down!
Drix: James who?

Osmosis Jones: Baby, when are you and me gonna hook up? I know this little spot right behind the eye, has the perfect view - perfect for a little rendezvous between me and you. You know what I'm sayin'? Do you know what I'm sayin'? 'Cause I been sayin' it a long time.
Leah: Jones, what in the world makes you think I would ever go out with you?
Osmosis Jones: What'chu talkin' about? I'm a legend, girl! The chicks line up to divide with me.
Leah: Oh, really? 'Cause to me you look like the kind of cell who mostly divides with himself.
Osmosis Jones: Whoo, who cut off the heat? Somebody pay the bill! It's cold in here.

Leah: Whoa, this is huge.
Osmosis Jones: Don't be all impressed, 'cause 99 percent of that is just sugar, ya know.
Leah: Yeah, and 99 percent of you is just stupid.
Osmosis Jones: Ooh, like I haven't heard that one before.

Osmosis Jones: I bet Johnny Streptoccocus and the Melanoma family would be very interested to hear about your flu shot work.
Flu Shot: You can't jack me on that, brother. I'm in the Virus Protection Program.

Drix: My, what big zits he has. How does something like this happen?
Osmosis Jones: You wash your face with fried chicken, that's how.

Dispatcher: (over radio) Suspect is headed toward the uvula - repeat, headed toward the uvula.
Osmosis Jones: What the heck is a u-va-la?
Drix: It's that little dangly thing that hangs down in Frank's -
Osmosis Jones: (interrupting) Boxer shorts! Okay, here we go!
Drix: Not that little dangly thing! The one in his throat!
Osmosis Jones: I knew that. I knew that.

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