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Still shot from the movie: Open Season.

Open Season

In this silly animated film, Boog the bear (voice of Martin Lawrence) finds his sweet domesticated life turning sour after a wild night out with a one-antlered deer named Elliot (Ashton Kutcher). Banished to the deep woods, the homesick grizzly (and the tag-along buck) determines to find a way back to Ranger Beth (Debra Messing) and safety before hunting Open Season begins. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: B --
Violence: B-
Sexual Content: B+
Language: A-
Drugs/Alcohol: B
Theater Release: 28 Sep 2006
Video Release: 29 Jan 2007
MPAA Rating: PG
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Boog the bear (voice of Martin Lawrence) has a sweet life. Found as a cub by Ranger Beth (Debra Messing), the big brown bundle of fun has enjoyed a home in her garage, fish crackers for treats, and a tuck-in with his teddy each night.

However, his domestic bliss turns sour after a chance meeting with Elliot (Ashton Kutcher), a dazed-but-not-dead mule deer who has been strapped to the hood of a sportsman's truck. Although Boog barely raises a paw to aid in his escape, the one-antlered animal is determined to pay back the favor by introducing the grizzly to the great outdoors.

Unfortunately, the duo's wild night out results in tranquilizer darts and banishment from civilization. Awaking to discover they have been relocated high up the mountain, Boog is anxious to make his way home. The friend-starved Elliot is equally anxious not to be left alone, and offers himself as a guide. Reluctantly accepting the help, the pair sets off hoping to transverse the wilderness in less than three days, because that's when Open Season begins.

Besides the fish-out-of-water antics as the pet-like bear attempts to bond with Mother Nature (such as using the woods for an outhouse and adjusting his tastes to an organic diet), the plot also prances into a survival-of-the-fittest war when the hunted decide to take on the hunters. Organizing all the forest friends they have met along the way, Boog and Elliot form an oddball army that particularly targets Shaw (Gary Sinise), a trigger-happy brute with whom they have a personal score in need of settling.

With a focus on comedy, the script presents some rude bathroom humor, moments of irresponsible behavior, and the portrayal of coffee and chocolate bar consumption as having an addictive and inebriating effect on animals. For young viewers however, the greatest concern may be when the fur flies between the mammals and the humans. Constantly threatened by guns and bullets, the four-legged creatures at first defend (then later retaliate) against their foe by throwing everything they can get their claws on. The perilous nature of these situations and the resulting damage to property and the environment could potentially cause little ones some alarm.

Obviously never intended to be anything more than an entertaining romp, the computer-animated film's most serious message is a reminder that through the eyes of the prey, Open Season is no picnic. So should you be the predator, you might want to watch your back "If you go out in the woods today..."

Open Season is rated PG: for some rude humor, mild action and brief language.

Cast: Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Debra Messing
Studio: 2006 Sony Pictures Animation

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About the Reviewer: Donna Gustafson

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