A lot of todayís animated films want to be Looney Tunes. They try to capture that irreverent satire or at least that seems to be what they are trying to do. Most fail. Open Season is a good example.
Now donít get me wrong, I love a good sport-hunters-are-bad message movie. This tradition is well established in animation from the classic Elmer Fudd in Looney Tunes to the exquisitely rendered Gaston in Beauty and the Beast. Open Season has its own sport-hunter villain and the film is fun as the animals get their revenge. Whatís the old joke? ďHunting isnít a sport; in sport both sides know they are playing.Ē
Good. We get it. The animals are cuddly and sport-hunting for fun is a bad thing that stupid people do. Letís have a good laugh at the gun toting, militia minded, conspiracy theorizing, sport-hunters and move on. Thatís pretty much all Open Season is good for.
Beyond that, the film never reaches the heights it is reaching for. This is no where near the brilliance of the Frez Freleng, Chuck Jones masterpieces. This filmís idea of irreverence are nut jokes. They never get into the psyche of the American public in the way that those classics did.
And this is why the state of animation is so sad today. Cuddly animals making fart jokes is the curse that I will fight against until animation is treated as the art form it should be. People may role their eyes but I ask you, why shouldn't films be better than this? Our children deserve better and so do we.