Open Season (2006)

(On TV, July 2017) Classic structure, quick gags and fast action sequences make Open Season exactly like most other contemporary animated movies out there. That can be good or bad depending on your saturation with such movies at the moment. Alas, I’m currently into something of a burn-out phase for average animated movies—Even if they’re good (and most of them are good), I have trouble getting enthusiastic about yet another familiar spin on the same material. So here we have a neurotic pair of bear and a moose trying to survive hunting season in an attempt to get home. By the time the film concludes, it has worked itself up to a confrontation between the entire forest’s animals and human hunters. The jokes are there, the action moves quickly and the voice talents do their best to interest us, but this early Sony Animation production does fall prey to an unrelenting formula. The quality of the animation has lost its lustre since its release, of course, although it remains generally good. Open Season has led to three direct-to-video sequels so far, but if this first film is the best it can get, then there isn’t any compelling reason to seek out the follow-ups.

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