Open for younger audiences

Oct. 4, 2006, midnight | By Kate Harter | 17 years, 9 months ago

"Open Season" will only please younger viewers

Every once in a while an awesome animated film comes out and wows audiences everywhere despite their age. Movies such as Shrek and Toy Story are lucky enough to go down in history as truly inspired. But "Open Season," while appropriate and fun for young kids, does not please the older viewer like its better counterparts.

"Open Season," directed by Roger Allers, Jill Culton and Anthony Stacchi, is a story about finding oneself away from home, and remaining true to one's friends. Boog (Voice of Martin Lawrence) is a sweet and smart domesticated grizzly bear that performs shows for the town with his "Mom," Beth (voice of Debra Messing). While waiting for Beth in the car one day, Boog meets Elliot, (voice of Ashton Kutcher) a talkative, silly deer who finds himself in need of Boog's help. Boog does not realize that after helping Elliot out, that he will be so involved in his life from then on. After Elliot gets the two animals in trouble, they find themselves far away from the comforts of Boog's garage home and in the middle of the woods just three days before open season. At this point, Boog realizes that if he intends to get home, he needs to help the rest of the forest creatures escape their fate.

Though younger audiences may not notice, "Open Season's" two main characters are jarringly like the two main characters in "Shrek," Shrek and Donkey. "Open Season's" Boog is a big, sometimes frightening guy who offers a helping hand to Elliot without thinking about it. Assuming that this means the two of them are now best buddies, Elliot decides to move in with Boog. In "Shrek," an extremely similar situation occurs between Shrek and Donkey, and in each movie the friendly, eager character gets his partner into tons of trouble.

Though the storyline and characters in "Open Season" are very similar to those in "Shrek," the young audience doesn't seem to care. Every other line brought peals of laughter from the child-filled audience, and a few of the lines even brought a smile to the adults accompanying them. Unfortunately, the spare witty chatter between Elliot and Boog was not as hysterical enough to suffice.

The music in "Open Season" was exceptionally good and the songs in the background convey the emotions that the composers (Ramin Djawadi and Paul Westerberg) wanted to convey. The great music may have been lost on the younger crowd, but it would definitely stick with the older viewers.

The only reason anyone over the age of 11 should be seeing "Open Season" is if he or she is taking a child. If you really want to watch a great animated flick, you'd be better off renting the classics that set the standard.

Open Season (99 minutes in area theatres) is rated PG for some rude humor, mild action and brief language

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