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O'Callaghan Talks Open Season 2

With this week's arrival of OPEN SEASON 2 on Blu-ray and DVD from Sony Pictures Home Ent.), director Matthew O' Callaghan, a vet of both animation (CURIOUS GEORGE, MICKEY'S TWICE UPON A CHRISTMAS) and vfx (BEOWULF, THE RUNDOWN), discussed the work.

"We had a much more reduced budget than the original and a very quick turnaround: under a year-and-a-half," O'Callaghan told AWN. "We used our resources at Sony to construct the story, do the writing and voice recording and used Reel FX in Dallas to do the actual production and we used a small crew of animators at Sony Imageworks [in Culver City and in Chennai, India]. We used original models but had to adapt them for a new pipeline. But I know that they used some sets and matte paintings."

The CG-animated follow-up to the $190 million box office hit OPEN SEASON, OPEN SEASON 2 features the voice talents of Joel McHale (E!'s THE SOUP) as Elliot, Mike Epps (THE HONEYMOONERS) as Boog, Jane Krakowski (TV's 30 ROCK) as Giselle, Billy Connolly (X FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE), Crispin Glover (BACK TO THE FUTURE) and Steven Schirripa (TV's THE SOPRANOS).

Here Boog, Elliot, Mr. Weenie and all the rebellious woodland creatures are back as OPEN SEASON 2 follows the "wild animals" as they face the "domestic pets" in a battle for everyone's favorite wiener dog, Mr. Weenie, and introduces a new set of furry characters including Fifi (Glover), the bitter toy poodle, and Roberto (Schirripa), a basset hound with a slobbering problem.

"It was really fun, and whenever you have a fast production it's really spontaneous and very energy charged," he continued. "I think the challenges of doing the sequel is you want the audiences who've seen the first one to remember the characters that they fell in love with and enjoy the second one. But you want a new journey, a new experience. The big shift was the first one was Boog's story with a gentler vibe cause he was the more grounded character. And Elliot was a little crazed, so the second one was from his point of view, and we were able to be a little quirkier with the humor and the adventure. And that's what I think works."

The dynamics between the characters of the first OPEN SEASON was very appealing to O'Callaghan. "The buddy relationship was interesting to me. The new characters were interesting and we guided them. Fifi and Roberto were a little undefined in the early drafts, and so it gave us a lot of liberties to cast them properly and pick a breed for each of the dogs. I think I respected the first film a lot and what they achieved. It's a little daunting at first, since I wasn't as familiar with the first movie as the people that were on it. The co-director, Todd Wilderman, was the lead animator on Boog, so he had a nice handle on that. And a lot of the voice actors were the same, so I had a nice support group who were in tune with the first one."

--By VFXWorld and AWN Senior Editor Bill Desowitz