Hello, Spongey here.
Oh boy, we’ve got a ripe one today. After some more tame bad movies so far, it’s time for one I dislike a bit more. Most people would rate something like Sir Billi even worse than this but as you know by now, I’m not most people. Anyway, remember Open Season?
Most people don’t these days. I talked about it back in my ranking of the animated films of 2006. The short version is that it was meh. Close to average not being majorly awful, as it mostly just a dull retread of other animated films from the time. But it was brought down by the character of Elliot, who was fairly annoying and caused all the problems.
Otherwise, it’s just kind of forgettable. Thankfully Sony Pictures Animation moved on to better things…but Sony wasn’t quite done with these characters yet. The film was a decent box office but did especially well on DVD, which was enough for them to green-light a direct to video sequel that came out in 2009.
I do not miss the era where basically any movie could get a direct to video sequel like this. Sure, some still happen but not as much as back in the 2000’s. This turned Open Season into a franchise, which continued with a 3rd and even fourth film! I watched this a bit ago and wanted to possibly review it but wanted to watch 3 first, as I heard it was worse. Spoilers, I don’t agree, hence why I’m here with 2. I’ll talk more about how I feel about 3 and 4 at the end, as I watched 4 after I wrote this intro.
I needed a scene by scene for the month so once again I picked something I watched a while back that I should have done ages ago. I remember kind of strongly disliking this to put it lightly so this will be fun. As I said before, getting too mad at direct to video movies is a bit silly but at the same time, it is possible for even something like this to be merely mediocre. Thus, there’s not much excuse for it to be way worse than that.
But we’ll see how it “holds up”. This actually is not a proper SPA movie, as the animation was done by Reel FX., Yep, the same studio that went on to do Free Birds and Book of Life. Anyone else hoping they finally make a proper movie again instead of just doing animation for other people’s movies like they’ve been doing since Book of Life? Wikipedia says Rumble will be counting as one but at the moment I’m counting it as Paramount Animation movie that Reel FX again just happens to be supplying animation for.
Back on topic, the writer hasn’t done too much, his biggest thing of note aside from this is being on the story for Free Birds and coming back for Open Season 3. The directors are more notable though. One went on to co-direct Abominable but when I say more notable I’m referring to how the other director is Matthew O Callaghn. He’s had a pretty extensive career in animation, which an old Mr. Coat video goes into. His only other feature directing gig so far has been Curious George, which was pretty good.
It’s a bit sad to see him on something this weak but at least it shows even stuff like can have some great talent working on it. With all that, what is the damage here? How bad can it be? Let’s see.
This, is Open Season 2
The movie begins with narration going on about the beauty of spring. I was going to say this is too classy for this movie but it turns out the narrator is Elliot, who is now voiced by Joel Mchale. Yeah, as you would expect, most of the cast has been replaced which is fine.
(The sole main exceptions are Jane Krakowski as Giselle and Cody Cameron as Mr. Weenie). Elliot is really bragging about his big antlers, much to the annoying of Boog, who is now voiced by the guy from Meet the Blacks. Goofy.
Elliot refers to it as his “rack” which is about as awkward as how this can all be a stand in for someone bragging about their dick. He’s going on about stuff until he falls down and breaks his rack. Karma at its finest.
Elliot is somehow getting married to Giselle, who was apparently in the first one but I honestly forget. Either way how anyone can be attracted to him is anyone’s guess. While she’s getting ready, she is approached by Ian who brings us the most baffling casting change. In the first one he was voiced by Patrick Warburton but has been replaced by Maddie Taylor. The replacement is fine, they even do a decent impression. The thing is, Warburton came back for Space Chimps 2 and Hoodwinked 2…but this he passed on.
That really says everything about this movie, when the guy who is in everything declines to come back. Unless there was a wacky scheduling issue that didn’t happen for those others, I don’t know Not much happens here so it’s back to Elliot, who they manage to cheer up with a rabbit fight. Although he still has a few itters afterwards.
“Boog, do you think I’m doing the right thing here?”
“What I’m wondering is, is Giselle doing the right thing?”
This but unironically.
The wedding begins but Elliot gets really nervous when Ian mentions this lasting forever and ever. Meanwhile, Mr. Weenie follows a trial a food that has been placed by his old owners who happened to show up here looking for him. Elliot sees this but can’t get to him before the owners find him and take him.
He tells the others about this, but it becomes clear he’s just using it as an excuse to get out of the wedding. If he was ready for it, he’d be like “ah well thems the breaks” because yes, Elliot is that bad, especially at this point as we’ll see throughout this.
A few of the animals back out, which causes the Scottish guy to call them “weak minded pansy a-“before being cut off. Perfect Family Entertainment!
Inside the RV of the owner’s, we meet their pets which include Fifi, voiced by Crispin Glover, and Roberto.. The former is pampered, the other is not. How wacky. Roberto needs to ppop so Fifi gets the owner to stop by throwing up. It’s not a bad animated movie unless there’s a joke involving gross stuff.
There’s a whole line of country lovin’ pet owners in RVs so when they stop we meet some other pets, including one voiced by Fred Stoller. I guess without Warburton they needed another actor who is in everything. They all find out about Mr. Weenie and we learn Fifi hates wild animals. So I guess he’s classist, to the point where even a fuzzy bunny gets his hatred because it’s wild. I will admit that Fifi threatening the bunny before just going back to the owner was kind of funny.
Our heroes head out and Giselle wants to talk a bit about how reluctant Elliot seemed to be back there. He denies everything and continues to assure us he truly cares about Mr. Weenie. Then the best luck ever happens and they spot him, but Elliot is all “Eh, maybe it’s not” when it clearly is. Yeah, Elliot was bad in the first one but he is seriously insufferable here.
Thankfully he does soon see it is him and they head over to the RV to rescue him. He’s chained up though so it’ll take some work.
“Focus on the weenie!”
They get him out of the chains and book it but Mr. Weenie can’t get out fast enough to his teeny legs and Elliot slamming the door like right before he could get out. Thankfully the others do call him for his stupidity. Even Giselle does, while also trying to get them to focus.
Again, why does she stay with him?
Giselle has the group split up to find the RV but Elliot gets snippy and thus we get a bickering couple. Joy. I don’t think Elliot has done a single good thing in this whole movie. Eventually Eliot runs off, saying he’ll just find Mr. Weenie himself. He then walks off a cliff but sadly lives so the movie can move on.
Weenie’s owners stop at a place where all the other RV’s can stop and allow their pets to mingle. Fifi is upset when he founds out that Mr. Weenie is friends with some wild animals. Now his schitck goes from whatever to just being annoying. Also, he repeats himself a lot.
There’s a section where Fifi tries to “de-wild” him which has its moments and that ends with Mr. Weenie escaping. We’re far from done, don’t get your hopes up. Boog and Giselle make a stop for the night as the latter rightfully craps on Elliot. She goes off and I think we’re supposed to disagree with her at least a bit uh…nah, she’s right, just a bit annoying about it.
The next morning, Mr. Weenie happens to bump into Elliot. He found that that the others are going to some pet resort vacation…thing to look for Weenie I guess and this is bad so Elliot has to help save them. We cut to there to see it is basically Pet Alcatraz so yeah, bad news. Boog and the gang disguise as pets and there’s a bunch of antics. I don’t know, it’s just whatever, are we done yet?
The Scottish one is disguised as a girl dog and another dog hits on him as a result. Comedy gold. Look, Elliot isn’t as present in this section so there is less to rant on. Elliot and Weenie meet up with Boog and then do a wacky plan where Elliot pretends to be a human owner so they find Giselle as she has now been captured by Fifi who is now the villain. I guess. I usually would enjoy a villain who is all insane like this but he’s just kind of annoying, he repeats himself and yells too much.
Elliot barges in and naturally he fails, getting captured. Elliot takes the chance to finally apologize to Giselle. To be fair, it’s not as bad as you’d expected, as he admits he was wrong and yada yada. Still think he sucks but as rushed as this moment is, it could have been phrased in a much worse way.
Boog appears in manages to rescue them but not before causing chaos by revealing himself to be a bear in front of the humans. Chaos ensues and long story short, Fifi pulls out a button that is supposed t do something bad but Eliot switches out so Fifi blows up I guess. Well, not really but it’s funnier if I say that. Either way he’s defeated and our heroes have prevailed. It’s less rushed in execution but i just wanna be done.
Howe4ver, Weenie tells them that he wants to stay with the other pets, as he thinks this is best for him. I actually like this because frankly, what we get of his owner kind of make me feel sorry for her a bit. For the most part, she seemed fine so I’m okay with this, as I’m glad they recognized that.
Anyway, Elliot opens up to Giselle and they finally have the wedding. I give it a week. They sing about it for some reason and we see the other animals joining in. At the end of the song, Elliot antler’s break further and then we get a iris in like a damn Looney Tunes cartoon. Actually, Matthew O’Callaghan later directed a few CGI Looney Tunes short that were actually good so there’s that. The end!
Right off the bat, I’ll say I didn’t hate it as much this time around. The thing is, it’s better when not watched all at once as the antics just get to be too much. Plus, I was in a bad mood when I randomly watched it the first time so that added to it. That said, this is still bad.
The primary reason is Elliot and how they focus so much on him. He is really annoying here and once again just causes problems. Him changing at the end feels rushed and it doesn’t really do anything to make me want to see these 2 together. I sort of get why they wouldn’t to just repeat the Boog/Elliot friendship stuff again but focusing so much on the worse of the two was a bad move.
Boog isn’t much of a character but he’s at least tolerable so of course he’s just kind of there in this one. As for the other characters, they certainly exist. Fifi is a weirdly annoying villain though.
The story itself with saving Weenie is fine on paper but gets too stretched even at at barely over an hour and 10 minutes. It just gets to be too much with all the wacky antics, most of which aren’t that funny.
The animation is passable for a direct to video movie but that’s about it. It isn’t full on weak, it’s just okay. It’s helped by how the first one didn’t look too impressive to begin with, so the downgrade isn’t a big deal.
There’s a couple chuckles and the ending with Mr. Weenie is fine but otherwise so much of this was either annoying or boring. Anything good that could have come out of this is ruined by Elliot, who is just obnoxious most of the way through. This could have been merely mediocre but they went the extra mile, especially in that regard.
Overall, blah. Do not recommend. By the way, this somehow got a theatrical in some countries, including Russia where this series does rather well. So…there’s that I guess. But unless you’re Prussian, it’s not good.
As for the others, 3 is honestly a slight improvement. I heard this was the worst one but I can’t agree. For one it brings the focus back to Boog and Elliot isn’t in it as much. He still sucks but at least he’s not the focus. The plot involving Boog joining a circus is whatever, but I didn’t hate it. It was mostly just meh, basically it’s what I wanted this one to be: Certainly not that good, but nothing that hugely bothers me either. Mediocre.
Open Season Scared Silly was honestly the “best ” of the series. Still far from good, but it had a few more enjoyable moments. The black and white opening story was neat, the villain from the first comes back and is still kinda fun, and the animation (this time by Rainmaker) was more expressive than basically all the others. That said, Elliot is back to being in it more and still sucks, the plot stretches way too thin and only just barely got a 2.5. It’s weirdly between the first and the rest but the ending with Mr. Weenie and the owner only makes sense if it were after this one. Overall, not good but an improvement in my opinion.
Could have done without the shit eating scene though. Yes.
I’m glad this franchise seems to be done for now. As for what is next for us….let’s get Spy Kids 2 out of the way so we can finish that series.