A little bit like Over the Hedge, and a lot like the upcoming Flushed Away, in which an animated house mouse is forced to fend for himself in the sewers of London, Open Season may sound a bit familiar, but it is never dull.
With animated movies coming out every other week or so, mediocrity is becoming a rule. Open Season loses more points than most films because of its similarities to Over the Hedge, one of the few kids films that did it right this year.
Though hardly the first animated film to tackle the plight of domesticated animals returning to the wild, Open Season is a witty, warmly crafted chestnut that reps a promising feature debut from Sony's upstart toon division.
The film's soulless, computerized mountain ranges can't touch the immaculate, hand-painted backgrounds of old-school Disney. If animation filmmakers are going to recycle, they need to go back. Way back.
Directors Roger Allers and Jill Culton don't trust their material in the two big comic sequences, a sugar-fueled rampage in a convenience store, and a flood, and cut them too quickly for all the jokes to register.