Open Season is a 2006 American computer-animated comedy film directed by Jill Culton, Roger Allers and Anthony Stacchi from a screenplay by Steve Bencich and Ron J. Friedman. The film stars the voices of Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Gary Sinise, Debra Messing, Billy Connolly, Jon Favreau, Georgia Engel, Jane Krakowski, Gordon Tootoosis and Patrick Warburton.
In the small town of Timberline, a 900-pound (408 kg) grizzly bear named Boog enjoys a captive but luxurious existence and spends his days as the star attraction of the town's nature show, while at night living in the garage of park ranger Beth, who has raised Boog since he was a cub. One day, the cold-hearted hunting fanatic Shaw drives into Timberline with a one-antlered mule deer named Elliot strapped to the hood of his truck, who is unconscious after being hit by the truck. When Boog meets him, he discovers that Elliot has memory loss, thinks that he is lonely, and forgets about the accident. When Boog becomes sick from eating too many candy bars, events quickly spiral out of control, as the two raid a convenience store. Elliot escapes before Boog is caught by a friend of Beth's, Sheriff Gordy. Shaw tries to shoot Boog and Elliot, but Beth shoots both animals with a tranquilizer gun just before Shaw fires his own gun. Shaw flees before Gordy can arrest him. Realizing that Boog is too threatening in the town, Beth relocates him and Elliot into the Timberline National Forest, only two days before open season starts, but they are relocated above the waterfalls, where they will be safe from the hunters. Since he lacks any outdoor survival skills, Boog reluctantly takes Elliot as his unstable guide to get him back home to Timberline to reunite with Beth, but in the woods, they quickly learn that animals can be extremely unwelcoming. Boog runs into a lot of forest animals who think that he is a loser, including skunks Maria and Rosie, ducks Serge and Deni, various unnamed panic-stricken rabbits, the Scottish-accented squirrel McSquizzy and his loyal gang of fellow acorn-throwing squirrels, beaver Reilly and his construction worker team, a porcupine named Buddy who is in search of a friend, and a herd of deer led by Ian and Giselle, the girl that Elliot is in love with and quickly remembers.
Eventually, Boog learns about self-reliance and Elliot gains self-confidence, and they start to become friends. The next day, it is revealed that Elliot has absolutely no idea where he and Boog are going and has been leading Boog in a big circle, due to his memory loss. After accidentally causing a flood at Reilly's dam, Boog and Elliot are confronted by Shaw; Boog rescues his toy bear, Dinkleman, before the current makes the doll float out of Boog's paw. They end up in a waterfall, which sends the animals falling down into the hunting grounds. After recovering from the flood, at first all the animals are furious at Boog for pushing them into the hunting ground, but then he accuses Elliot of lying to him about knowing where Timberline is. Boog angrily storms off, but unwittingly ends up in Shaw's log cabin, where he is discovered by Shaw, while Boog manages to make a hasty escape before Shaw could get him when he ends up on a nearby road where Boog happens upon the glowing lights of Timberline. Instead of deserting the animals, Boog reconciles with Elliot and helps the animals defend themselves, while befriending them in the process, using supplies taken from an RV owned by a caring married couple named Bob and Bobbie, who are looking for Bigfoot, while their pet dachshund Mr. Weenie joins the forest animals.
The next day, Boog leads a revolution against the hunters, causing the hunters to retreat in defeat after McSquizzy blows up their trucks with a propane tank ignited by using an emergency flare. Shaw returns for a final showdown and seemingly kills Elliot by gun-shot, prompting Boog to furiously confront Shaw and quickly overpower him by tying him up with his own gun. Boog accompanies Elliot, who survived and with his memory back but his remaining antler is broken off by the shot. The forest animals thank Boog for his help and then proceed to take out their vengeance on Shaw by smothering him with honey and pillow feathers and sending him fleeing into the woods. Beth later returns in a helicopter to take Boog back home. Realizing how the experience has changed him, Boog decides to stay in the forest with his new friends under Beth's blessing.
In a mid-credits scene, while crossing the street, Shaw suddenly gets struck by Bob and Bobbie, who humorously mistake him for Bigfoot and strap him on top of their trailer. Unable to escape, Shaw shouts in fear as the camera zooms into his mouth and the rest of the credits appear.
- Good animation, especially for 2006 standards.
- It started the legacy of Sony Pictures Animation, who would later go on to create other great films like Surf's Up, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Hotel Transylvania, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and the more unfortunate side known as The Emoji Movie.
- The protagonist, Boog, is pretty likable, funny and interesting.
- Boog and Beth's relationship with each other is very emotional.
- Boog and Elliot's growing friendship throughout the film is somewhat funny & interesting to see (Even if it's overly silly & pretty predictable).
- Shaw is a very enjoyable and intimidating if crazy antagonist.
- The film features several comedic moments such as the scene where Boog and Elliot burst into Puni-Mart and throw a wild party and Elliot's lullaby to Boog.
- Speaking of the humor, it's on point & funny. Where it is delivered in a silly manner as it is humorously exaggerated (there is some tongue in cheek jokes like Shaw hitting Elliot with his car at night, but the moment was still done hilariously).
- Great soundtrack.
- A lot of fast-paced and thrilling action scenes such as the fight with the hunters and the flood sequence.
- The story is executed in a decently emotional and semi-silly way (Especially coming from the same creators of the Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs franchise, but not as great as that movie).
- Some very gross and lowbrow moments like Boog vomiting, Boog twerking a couple of times, some childish humor, and Elliot pooping onscreen.
- Elliot's dim-witted, immature & moronic nature can get pretty annoying since he was the problem for Boog in the first place and the movie weirdly tries to make him look likable when he was rather quite the opposite in comparison to Boog.
- The animation can be uncanny at times due to when it was made (though that doesn't mean it's bad, but looks quite off even for 2006 standards).
- The character designs, except for Boog, Giselle, Mr. Weenie and McSquizzy, are extremely unappealing and bizarre to look at, especially the humans.
- While Elliot's design is passable, it's very weird to see him walking on two paws while the rest of the deers in the movie walk on four. Sure, Alex and Gloria in Madagascar walk on two, but that's because all the lions and hippos in the Madagascar universe walk on two, while in Open Season, Elliot is the only deer to walk on two.
- Some not so good moments with the writing and making the movie seem insanely weird, humor wise or not.
- Most of the characters (the animals and the people in particular) are either very dumb or insane, or even both combined.
- The voice acting, while not bad, could’ve done better.
- The story can be cliché and predictable as it is highly similar to Madagascar and Over the Hedge (who are both better movies, even if Open Season is decent on its own), except a much more weirder version of the two.
- The movie gets very mean-spirited at times, mainly in the moments in which Boog and Elliot are bullied by McSquizzy, the deer herd, and the beavers.