Boog (voiced by Martin Lawrence), is a loveable grizzly bear who has been hand-reared by Beth (Debra Messing) since she rescued him as a cub. He lives an idyllic life and makes regular appearances with Beth on stage at a local wildlife park. His nice life is challenged when he rescues Elliot (Ashton Kutcher), a young buck, from local hunter Shaw (Gary Sinise).
Elliot is concerned that Boog is a ‘pet’ and needs to learn how to live in the wild. He persuades Boog to leave the comfort of his home and they take a trip into town. Here they break into the local store and trash the place. When Beth finds Boog the next day, the policeman tells her it’s time to return him to the wild. Boog is released into the wild with his sidekick Elliot just in time for open season. Boog has to learn how to fight the elements as well as humans, his natural enemy.
Animals in peril
Animals in peril
There is some violence in this movie including:
- Shaw drives his truck erratically across the road causing children to scatter and scream
- Shaw drives deliberately at the deer to knock him down
- Elliot and Boog break into the store and smash everything in it
- Beth fires tranquiliser darts at Elliot and Boog
- a troop of squirrels pelt Elliot and Boog with acorns when they try to climb their trees
- Boog falls over the edge of a mountain, landing heavily in a tree, then on a porcupine
- Shaw attacks a little dog that bites him back
- Shaw repeatedly fires at Boog and Elliot but always misses
- Shaw throws a knife at Boog who manages to run away only to be nearly run down by cars
- a war breaks out between hunters and animals in which the animals surround the hunters and all crash into them. The men fire at rabbits; animals send lit arrows at the men one of which hits a gas tank. This explodes and all the trucks get blown up
- a fight breaks out between Boog and Shaw in which Shaw attacks him with a knife and Boog retaliates with a golf club
- Shaw fires at Elliot.
Boog and Elliot become business partners. Some jokes are made about them being ‘partners’ in the personal relationship sense.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There is some use of substances in this movie, including:
- Boog reacts badly to eating sugar and overdoses on confectionery and soft drinks in the shop. He appears to be drunk.
- Shaw smokes.
Nudity and sexual activity
This movie contains occasional, very mild coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Open Season is not particularly original, but it might amuse some older children. The main message of the movie is that animals shouldn’t be hunted. It presents values of friendship, loyalty and respect for animals. You could talk about these values as well as the danger of using violence to counter violence.