A lot or a little?
Parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a funny, occasionally crude animated comedy that pits wild animals against domesticated pets in a race to save a conflicted dachshund. The trappings of domestication – leashes, treats, RVs – are presented as entrapment, at least from the perspective of the "wilds." But it ultimately delivers a nice message about the devotion between pets and their owners. While it might be helpful to see the original before viewing this, it's not imperative - kids will still be able to follow along with the action.
What's the story?
In this straight-to-DVD sequel to Open Season, OPEN SEASON 2 leaves the anti-hunting rhetoric mostly behind and takes on pet ownership. Elliott the mule deer (now voiced by Joel McHale) is supposed to be marrying Giselle (Jane Krakowski) as the movie opens. But Elliott has an attack of cold feet, conveniently explained by the disappearance of Mr. Weenie the dachshund – a former pet who has embraced live in the "vild" only to be lured back by his well-meaning owners en route to the Pet Paradiso RV resort. Elliott, Giselle, and a motley crew of forest animals take off in pursuit of Mr. Weenie, but don't anticipate the venom with which the dogs and cats of the RV park will fight the encroachment of the wild on their now-natural habitat.
Is it any good?
This sequel loses something of the star wattage of the voice performers in the original, but with Krakowski and Billy Connolly returning to their roles, it still entertains and amuses. In part the entertainment value comes from the richly imagined characters, from a perpetually angry Scottish squirrel to a psychopathic French poodle named Fifi (Crispin Glover, who else?) The depiction of crazily devoted pet owners – and the subtle way in which they have come to look like their pets – is also effective.
But in the end this is a buddy film, with Elliott realizing that to survive he'll need the help of his friends – and that includes his fiancc. What Giselle sees in Elliott is mystifying, between his hysteric tendencies and his unwillingness to commit, but since this is a movie aimed at kids we'll give it a pass. It's a fine family entertainment choice that may have children rethinking their assumptions about the family pet.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.