The mid 2000s were a great time for animated movies, and bringing animal characters to life gave us a whole new kind of format and lots of fun times when our favourite actors could cut loose with no cameras on them Just a script and a soundboard. No wonder actors love doing voice acting. We are treated to the talents of Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Debra Messing, Gary Sinise, Billy Conolly, Georgia Engel, Gordon Tootoosis, and Patrick Warburton are just part of the crew assembled that takes back the forest when the local authorities declare Open Season in some random forest town in the Pacific Northwest.
Boog (Martin Lawrence) is a 900 lb. grizzly bear, but he has the temperament of a teddy bear, as he is a pet to Beth (Debra Messing), a local forest ranger that does a wilderness show at the local state park. Boog was rescued as a cub by Beth, and the two are the best of friends. One day, as Beth and Boog are on their way to the show, they run into Shaw (Gary Sinese), a hunter with a really bad attitude that like to flaunt the law for his own gain. Strapped to the hood of Shaw’s truck is Elliot (Ashton Kutcher), a desperate mule-deer with a talent for fast-talk. He convinces Boog to help him get free, and with the slash of a claw, Elliot, the one-antlered buck is on the loose, but he does not go back to the herd. Elliot was outed from his herd for trying to take the alpha buck, Ian’s (Patrick Warburton) doe, Giselle (Jane Krakowski) for his own. Elliot is on the run from Ian’s wrath, and he finds the one creature that has recently showed him some compassion, Boog.
After Elliot teases Boog about being a pet, Boog takes great offense, and follows Elliot into town on the promise of gaining access to something Elliot calls “woohoos”. A chocolate bar that is laced up with caffeine and sugar, they make even the biggest animals go “Woo hoo!” The bear and the deer raid the local PuniMart, and soon they are busted. This leads to Boog getting sick after a sugar high, having a sugar hangover, and running into Elliot at his show. The crowd sees what looks to be a big bear attacking a deer in the shadows, but they have it all wrong, and soon Elliot and Boog tear down the curtain, and it is curtains for them as Beth takes down both animals with a tranq gun. One shot in Boog’s neck, five in Elliot’s behind.
With much convincing, Beth knows the best thing to do now is send Boog and his deranged new friend to the wild, but far from the hunting grounds, where he will be safe. Elliot even manages to screw that up for them, but when this little rag-tag team of creatures gets together, Open Season is soon declared on the hunters, and soon even Shaw will get his comeuppance. It’s worth it, too. This is one fun family movie worth a few watches.
I give this film a Musing review of