Osmosis JonesOsmosis Jones (2001) Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film by Dave Koch
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- Warner Bros., Conundrum Entertainment
- Animated Characters: Osmosis Jones, Drixorial, Thrax, The Mayor, Leah, The Chief.
- Live-Action Characters: Shane, Kelsey Jordan, Frank Pepperidge, Mrs. Boyd.
- Originally Released in 2001.
- Running Time: 95 minutes.
Cartoon Production Information:
Murray is also about as close as one could get to a live-action cartoon, which makes him the perfect star for Osmosis Jones, a live-action/cartoon movie that also qualifies as the best guilty-pleasure movie of the year. The premise is that Frank, a lowly zoo janitor (played by guess who), has let his body deteriorate to the point that he uses his daughter Shane (Elena Franklin) to fetch fast food that's only an arm's-reach away. The subplot is that inside Frank's body, an amoebic cop (voiced by Chris Rock) and an ingested cold pill ("Frasier's" David Hyde Pierce, his delivery as richly dry as ever) are working together to fight off an evil virus (Laurence Fishburne).
Just as Frank's body is at odds with the way Frank treats it, so the cartoon part of the movie is at odds with its live-action sequences. The live-action part is directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly, whose love of grossness puts even Bill Murray to shame. And as always, they revel in the movie's gross-outs. (Most of Murray's bodily orifices spill themselves onto Molly Shannon, whose overacting makes her deserve everything she gets.) But the Farrellys also try to impart a sincere message about taking care of yourself for the sake of others, and the Farrellys can't do sincere to save their lives. A climactic scene where Shane cries over Frank's impending demise is almost embarrassingly unconvincing.
On the other hand, the "City of Frank"--his internal body, where good-guy organisms fight villainous germs--is as richly realized as any setting in an animated film. The "highways" of Frank's bloodstream twist and writhe through the guck Frank has dumped on them, and the city's mayor (William Shatner) justifies Frank's every horrible action in order to keep his position. The on-the-nose pacing and gags in the cartoon sequences are as good as anything in Shrek. You get the feeling you could watch this animation over and over and still not see every gag stuffed into it.
So I recommend the movie, with mixed emotions. Cartoon and Bill Murray fans will delight in this movie; unfortunately, so will Farrelly followers. And the movie is rated PG, so as a family comedy, it gets by on a pass. But you might want to cover your kids' eyes when Frank's body starts defying itself.
Review By: Steve Bailey
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