Open Season (film)

Open Season is a 2006 computer-animated film produced by Sony Pictures Animation and directed by Roger Allers, Jill Culton and Anthony Stacchi. It was released on September 29 2006 by Columbia Pictures. It features a role reversal, with woodland creatures that are traditionally hunted teaming up against hunters, much like the classic Warner Bros. shorts. It has also been released in the IMAX 3D format. 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 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 in a poor captive state.

Maniacal hunter 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 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 "friend" 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's true instincts begin to emerge, 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 (voiced by Cree/Stoney actor 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 3 days before the start of hunting season.

Without any bear 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 militaristic 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.

Everyone blames Boog, but Boog accuses Elliot of lying. He confesses, saying he wanted Boog as a friend and used that lie to do so. Angry, Boog leaves to unwittingly find Shaw's 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, but instead he stays with his friends. She realizes that the bear is home in the forest.


Character Species Actor/Actress
Boog Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos) 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
Kevin North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) Matthew W. Taylor
Serge Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) Danny Mann


Boog: The reluctant hero and protagonist of Open Season. He is a domestic,900-pound grizzly bear who can do nothing more than to continue living in the tranquil town of Timberline with his estranged owner, park ranger Beth, who raised him in captivity. Boog has developed skills at living around humans and is the local Timberlines Nature Show's attraction but he absolutely has no skills in surviving in the Timblerine woods and would be at a complete loss if he ever had to "rough it" in the woods. It would take a force of nature to get Boog out of Timberline since he doesn't want to be alone when he is separated from home. And that is where his "friend", Elliot, comes in. When hunting season opens, Boog, Elliot, and all the forest animals band together to drive the poachers out of the forest. Shaw, however, still roams the forest grounds, and wounds Elliot. Outraged, the pure animal instincts within Boog are awakened, and Boog attacks Shaw like any real grizzly would do in contact with a normal person, and even mauls like one, before taking his rifle, and tying up his limbs with it. Boog and the rest of the animals choose to stay in their natural habitat.

Elliot: A scrawny, fast-talking mule deer. Elliot gets hit by a truck driven by Timberline's poacher, Shaw, and arrives in town with a missing antler and is strapped to the hood of Shaw's truck. As the runt of the Timberline woods, Elliot comes across as a pest, but all he really wants is to be accepted. After he persuades Boog to free him, neither of their lives are ever the same. Elliot soon starts an unlikely friendship with Boog to help the other animals to live. Elliot seems to love "Woo-Hoo" bars (actually Nummy bars) and coffee, claiming that coffee is "terrible yet wonderful at the same time." However, when Boog gives Elliot a fishy cracker, Elliot spits it out in disgust. In a shot when Elliot is holding Boog's favorite teddy bear, he was holding the bear in his crotch. That shows that Elliot is a laid-back deer. He also seems not to care about anyone's belongings. When he and the rest of the forest animals drive the poachers out of the forest, Shaw steps in, and is about to shoot Boog, but Elliot intervenes, and nearly takes the bullet. He is only stunned however, and when Shaw is dragged out of town, Elliot stays in the forest with all his animal friends. At the end of the movie, Elliot ends up losing his other antler after getting shot by Shaw during regular open season, yet it also appears as if he's won Giselle's heart.

Jackrabbits: These creatures have a lot of appearances since there are thousands of them around the Timberline woods, watching and waiting behind any rock and under every bush. The Jackrabbits are afraid of any threats and thrive on panic. There is also no escape from those creatures. Out of all the animals in the film, they clearly take the most abuse, especially when rabbit-fights begin (replacement of snowball fights). They also make pretty good gas masks and face towels.

Kevin: This character is seen when Boog gets his butt on his quills and he was a loner who wanted to have friends and constantly wants to give a hug. Kevin always says "buddy" and speaks in complete sentences when spooked or excited about something. Kevin also doesn't understand that he is downright painful to be around.

Reilly: The construction foreman of the woods, Reilly (voice by Jon Favreau) is an extreme perfectionist North American Beaver who takes great pride in the building of the largest dams in the world. He is also a tough worker who gets the job done come high water...and has plenty to say when Boog and Elliot mess up his work. Seems to have taken a fanatical liking to the chainsaw he stole.

Giselle: A mule deer doe in the Timberline woods, she is quick-witted and strong-willed. Giselle has a very long neck, that makes her a little less beautiful. The only reason that Elliot likes her is because Ian is not affectionate. Giselle puts up with the rantings of the strong and tough mule deer buck, Ian, and secretly longs for a little sensitivity in her life. She is the living object of Elliot's affection, which puts Elliot at even greater odds with Ian. Capable of holding her own against anybody.

Ian: The leader of a mule deer herd who is bold and opinionated. A tough, muscular Alpha male, Ian easily intimidates the herd into submission, and like the quarterback of a football team picking on a class nerd, he has forced Elliot out of the herd and told him never to come back. Fed up with his browbeating, the rest of the herd would love it if someone stood up to Ian as a "tough guy"... but none of them will. Although a bully when Boog first meet him, Ian later became friends with the bear and deer and had helped Elliot lead the deer herd to an attack against the poachers as a steed for Elliot. Was last seen wearing a jacket that caused him to fall down in embarrassment in front of two other deers of the herd.

The Herd: The rest of the mule deers led by Ian. Tend to confuse an oval formation with a circle one and are afraid to stand up against Ian himself. Double as cavalry as well as mobile firing platforms for the Furry Tail Clan (with underwear attached to their antlers).

Serge and Deni: A pair of psychotic mallard ducks with French accents. Both were survivors of the "Great Migration", an event where many other mallards were shot down by poachers while Serge and Deni remained the only survivors of the incident, both refusing to fly again and Deni suffering from insanity after being shot in the butt by a poacher. Eventually, the shell-shocked pair get their chance at payback when Boog and Elliot enlist them (with backup) to ward off the poachers back to town. One of the pair (presumed to by Deni) had the honor to drop "Mr. Happy" (a gas cylinder McSquizzy stole from Mr. Weenie's owners) on a guy's van. Deni was also the source of Maria and Rosie's argument near the end of the film.

McSquizzy: A gray squirrel who speaks in a Scottish accent (played by Billy Connolly), McSquizzy is the leader of the Furry Tail Clan, a group of hundreds of squirrels, and is the Guardian of The Pine. He may appear small but he makes up for it with a fierce temper. McSquizzy and the Furry Tail Clan own many trees that no one will ever touch or climb on because nobody--and they mean nobody--messes with McSquizzy. Stole a gas cylinder (which he christened "Mr. Happy") and used it against the poachers and was with the herd (riding on Mr. Weenie) when the assault started. Was responsible for blowing up every single one of the poachers' vans by shooting a signal flare towards the back of the van Mr. Happy landed.

The Furry Tail Clan: A clan of gray squirrels loyal to McSquizzy. They often shout "Oi!" when they appear onscreen and like poking fun at Mr. Dinklemann (Boog's teddy bear). Their main arsenal often consists of acorns, though they were seen throwing various items (household or otherwise) at the poachers during the assault. Were also seen firing forks of flaming marshmallows at the poachers using the antlers of the herd and underwear as slingshots.

Maria and Rosie: Two female Stripped Skunks, Maria and Rosie are not to be messed with and they sometimes argue and fight over something (in fact, they fight over everything). If someone dares to be around them, they will force people to smell their butts to death or else they will spray their foul-smelling gas from their scent glands and even though they smell their butts they will still gas people anyway to make people learn not to mess with them. If any poachers run, they cannot hide. Led all the other skunks into battle against the poachers while hanging on a flock of mallards then they started gassing the hunters to death. Last seen fighting over who would gas shaw.

Mr. Weenie: A domestic Dachshund accustomed to a pampered good life. Mr. Weenie has a personality to match his name. While taken captive, when on vacation with his owners, Bob and Bobbie, he discovers that he has been living a lie and begs to join Boog, Elliot and the other creatures of the woods to take him with them. During the plan to run the poachers back to town, Mr. Weenie had never felt so alive. Last seen being used as McSquizzy's steed when he chased Reilly for cutting down a pine with his chainsaw.

Salmon: They are "super elite ninja assassins" - expert martial artists who appear speak in Japanese accents (though the only words that ever came out of their mouths are just screams and shouts). Not to be taken lightly, ever.

Beth: Boog's beloved owner and park ranger of Timberline, Beth is a kind woman who always watches for Boog and raised him since he was a cub. Ever since Boog threatened to kill Elliot when the mule deer messes up his Nature Show career, Beth is concerned that Boog shouldn't live in Timberline anymore and soon puts him somewhere in the Timberline woods (above the waterfalls) where he will be safe before hunting season. She is very emotional towards Boog and possesses a maternal instinct towards him, and this clearly conveyed when she is forced to let him go in the end.

Shaw: Timberline's fanatical poacher, Shaw is the main antagonist of Open Season and is an arch-rival to Beth . During hunting season, Shaw hunted many animals as trophies and was the one responsible for hitting Elliot with his truck. When hunting season opened, he entered the forest that Boog and Elliot occupied, and sought Boog. He was about to harvest him, when Elliot intervened, and was sedated. For wounding his ally, Boog became a real grizzly, and viciously attacked Shaw and tied him up with his own rifle, after which the other animals started pounding the heck out of him. At the end, Shaw is strapped to the roof of the RV of Mr. Weenie's owners after mistaking him for Bigfoot (he was covered in leaves and feathers at that time) and running him over and hasn't been the same since. He never started poaching again.

Lorraine Shaw's pet rifle, Lorraine's apparently a high caliber pump-action model with a sniper scope and has "her" name engraved on the butt-stock. Last seen used by Boog to maul Shaw, rendered unusable thereafter.


The film was inspired by the town of Estes Park Colorado and the Rocky Mountain National Park. References to the Lawn Lake Dam flood, Longs Peak, and other points of interest in the area are depicted in the movie.

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.

References to other movies

  • The scene where the Jack Rabbits pops out of their holes resembles the introduction of the brown rabbits from Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
  • It is thought that the Furry Tail Clan leader, riding the dog is inspired by Sir Didymus from Labyrinth. (Both have similar accents)
  • At the start of the film, Boog dances in a boogie, a reference to Baloo's dancing from The Jungle Book (1967).

Critical reception

Open Season received mixed reviews from critics - on Rotten Tomatoes, critical opinion was split almost evenly in half. All commended the film's animation but some slated its use of crude humor, celebrity voiceovers and similarities to other CG films such as Shrek, Ice Age, Brother Bear, Balto, Spirit, The Lion King, Rain Man, Madagascar, Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. (Boog and Elliot pair are similar to both Donkey and Shrek, Sulley and Mike, Manny and Sid, Charlie Babbit and Raymond Babbit, Balto and Boris, Spirit and Little Creek, Mufasa and Scar, Kenai and Koda, Alex and Marty, Woody and Buzz.) Some critics did, however, think that it was well suited for its younger audience as well as keeping adults from being bored.

Audiences were similarly divided but were slightly more approving - as of January, 2007, the film has been given a weighted average of 6.0/10 by 1,769 voters on the Internet Movie Database. Some audiences praised the film for its snappy comic timing and good intentions, but many noticed the instances of déjà vu in the storyline.

Box office performance

The film opened to a surprise US$ 23 million in its first week, in 3,833 theaters. In its second week, it made US$ 16 million. It has made over US$ 84 million within the United States, along with around $103 million at the foreign box office. .


The soundtrack includes original music scored by Ramin Djawadi 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 "Meet Me In The Meadow" Paul Westerberg Credits
2 "Love You In The Fall" Paul Westerberg Credits
3 "I Belong" Paul Westerberg Film
4 "I Wanna Lose Control (Uh Oh)" Deathray Film
5 "Better Than This" Paul Westerberg Film
6 "Wild Wild Life" Talking Heads Film
7 "Right to Arm Bears" Paul Westerberg Film
8 "Good Day" Paul Westerberg Film
9 "All About Me" Paul Westerberg Film
10 "Wild As I Wanna Be" Deathray Credits
11 "Whisper Me Luck" Paul Westerberg Film
12 "I Belong" (Reprise) Pete Yorn Film
13 "Wild As I Wanna Be" Paul Westerberg iTunes exclusive


DVD, UMD, and Blu-Ray

This movie 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.


External links

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