When a film is successful enough, it’s a relatively natural assumption today that a sequel will follow. In that sequel we expect more of the same and hopefully something new as well. Unfortunately, there is a disturbing sideline for the animation sequel. Because the actors aren’t really on camera at all, there is the temptation to replace them so that you can do a much cheaper, often direct-to-video sequel. The folks who did Madagascar didn’t go that route, but the folks who did Open Season did. Gone are the likes of Martin Lawrence, Gary Sinise, Ashton Kutcher, and Debra Messing. These voices are replaced by Matthew W. Taylor, Diedrich Bader and Kirk Baily.The result is a decidedly inferior film that was relegated to the Wal-Mart bins instead of the box office.
Boog is upset because no one wants to join him for guy’s trip. Even Elliott has backed out of the annual camping trip. So he sets off on his own. He sees a sign for a circus that is coming to town and decides to check it out. There he runs into a circus bear Doug, who is looking to get out of the circus and live with the animals in the woods as the king of the forest. When Boog encounters Doug, he gets conned into switching places with the bear. Of course, both discover the grass really isn’t always greener on the other side.
Everything about this effort screams cutbacks. The animation is not nearly as good as the original or even the second film. That means corners were cut not only with the cast, but with the film’s entire production. I’d love to know if the likes of Martin Lawrence were cut because of budget or they just refused to be a part of this stupid affair. Keep your memories of the original intact and skip this unnecessary sequel. There are a few far better efforts out there that will more than fill the missing time for you and your kids in front of the set.
Open Season 3 is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1. 1080p image is arrived at with an AVC MPEG-4 codec at an average 22 mbps. In spite of the inferior animation, the colors of this film do a remarkable job. The picture is sharp and solid in every way possible, at least as far as the transfer is concerned. The animation is not as smooth, but we’re talking transfer here and not the animation. Black levels are rock solid. There are no compression problems here. It looks as good as this source material can.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is extremely average. There are some fun moments that allow for an expanded surround mix, but 90% of this presentation is fixed solidly front and center. That means you get great dialog but not much else here. The kids probably won’t really care, and that’s what they’re counting on here.
Rabbit Splatter Mode: You can use this viewing mode to throw rabbits at the screen with your remote.
Progressive Reel: (1:05) See a short scene go through the various layers from storyboard to final production.
Boog’s Cannon Blast Game
I have no idea why you would want to pick this inferior sequel up when there are some fine higher-budget efforts out there at the same time. I suspect this one will soon end up in the $1 bins, and that’s how it will end up in most of the homes it gets to. I understand the reason behind sequels. I also understand that this is a business that has as its first objective to make a profit. What we have here is material simply for material’s sake. Like the famous GNDN markings on the pipes of The Enterprise, this sequel goes nowhere does nothing. There are some great animation features out there, but not here. “And I know just the place to get it.”