Open Season

Voiced by Martin Lawrence. Ashton Kutcher, Debra Messing Billy Connolly. Directed by Roger Allers and Jill Culton.
Running Time: 99 minutes.
Rated: Rated PG.
Despite 2006 having many (too many?) animated films with talking animals, Open Season is still very enjoyable. It is the first of Sony's animation company's films and has been very successful, straddling that strange gap between kids and parents.

What if a bear cub had been brought up by a nurse in a town and lived in a garage with his own en suite? What if he went on a bender in a supermarket, hypo on candy, cookies and sugar with a dopey deer mule that he had rescued from a dastardly hunter named Shaw who could not wait the three days until the start of open season? What would he do if taken out into the wild and found that there was no toilet plumbing?

These and many other questions are amusingly answered in Open Season.

Then it is Open Season declared and the animals who have been mocking the bear are all on the run ahead of the rifles. What would the mayhem be like? This too is amusingly answered.

The film does not take itself too seriously and benefits from Martin Lawrence doing his smart talk as Boog the Grizzly and Ashton Kutcher doing his slacker best as the deer, Elliot. Plenty of other good voices as well, Gary Sinise as the horrible Shaw, Debra Messing as the nurse and Billy Connolly as a Scots squirrel.

The message is clearly anti-hunting and pro-animals but it puts the emphasis on entertaining rather than preaching.

Fr Peter Malone MSC directs the film desk of SIGNIS: the World Association of Catholic Communicators, and an associate of the Australian Catholic Film Office

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