What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie is rife with bathroom humor involving toilets, poop, farts, spit, snot, and underwear. Younger kids will laugh at the obvious stuff and won't get the edgier humor aimed at older audiences. That said, some little ones might find the hunting-themed images -- guns, deer strapped to the front of trucks, hunters swarming the woods for fresh meat -- a bit disturbing. On the plus side, the movie might encourage older kids to put themselves in Boog's paws and consider what life is like outside their own neighborhood.
What's the story?
Martin Lawrence voices Boog, a domesticated 900-lb. grizzly bear who lives in a comfortable garage complete with a cozy bed, his own teddy bear, three square meals a day, and a TV he uses to watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. Though he refuses to admit it, Boog is a "pet" bear; his owner is a kooky, loveable park ranger named Beth (Debra Messing). One day while out and about with Beth, Boog sees a mule deer strapped to the front of a hunter's truck. The deer, named Elliot (Ashton Kutcher), is actually alive, and begs Boog to untie him. Once free, Elliot barges into Boog's comfortable garage pad and quickly decides that the bear needs to be freed from "captivity." He lures his rescuer outside with a candy bar, and the two soon end up hopelessly lost in the woods. Boog has no bear skills whatsoever, so Elliot assures him that he knows the way back ... unfortunately, he doesn't have a clue. Meanwhile, hunting season is just around the corner.
Is it any good?
From some of the folks behind The Lion King and Monsters, Inc. comes an animated flick about the oddest of couples, inspired by the work of cartoonist Steve Moore. Yes, the wacky-sidekick plot is tiresome, and if you're downright sick of CGI animal movies, you're not alone. But OPEN SEASON does have some funny moments. Lawrence and Kutcher have great chemistry, and the movie's messages about friendship, loyalty, taking care of each other, and finding peace in a violent world never go out of style.
With each adversity the bear and the deer face in the woods, Boog learns something about self-reliance, and Elliot gains newfound self-respect. Sure, it's been done before. But with a lively cast, colorful animation, and a storyline that moves along quickly, there are worse ways to spend a couple of hours. If you can get past the crude humor, Open Season is pretty funny. Parents may be bored, but kids will love it.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the importance of putting yourself in others' shoes. What if you went from a comfortable life -- like Boog's -- to having to fight for survival? Maybe that's a little weighty for kids under 10, but they'll get the message that it's good to nurture friendships and lean on each other through tough times. Families can also discuss the practice of hunting. Why do some people love hunting and others hate it? Why does hunting have to be regulated?
|Theatrical release date:||September 28, 2006|
|DVD release date:||January 30, 2007|
|Cast:||Ashton Kutcher, Gary Sinise, Martin Lawrence|
|Directors:||Anthony Stacchi, Jill Culton, Roger Allers|
|Studio:||Sony Pictures Animation|
|Genre:||Family and Kids|
|Run time:||99 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||some rude humor, mild action and brief language.|