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Animal House is a 2001 American-Australian family action-comedy live-action cgi film, directed by Lawrence Guterman with screenplay by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, and stars Jeff Goldblum, Elizabeth Perkins and Alexander Pollock. The story centers on the relationships between different animals (both domestic and exotic), depicting the relationship as an intense rivalry in which both sides use organizations and tactics that mirror those used in human espionage. It was shot in Victoria and Vancouver, Canada. The film was released on July 4, 2001 by Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, Zide/Perry Productions, and Rhythm and Hues Studios. Unlike Cats & Dogs film, which was made by a same director and got released in a same year and recieved mixed reviews, Animal House received positve reviews from critics and it earned $920,687,492 on a $171 million budget. Animal House was released on VHS and DVD on December 22, 2001, and eventually on Blu-rays on July 7, 2012 due to the film's success.

Plot

Mrs. Maggie Charles (Elizabeth Perkins) and her son Harry (Alexander Pollock) return home, and the family's German shepherd Budd starts chasing a Ball Python, a chase which ends with Budd's capture by other snakes in an ambush.

This is witnessed by a domestic dylanus named Tom (voiced by Alec Baldwin) who reports Budd's capture to his superiors. The head animal (Tiger the Bengal tiger) then orders the best animal agents to complete the mission by preventing all (snakes) from achieving their favorite goal: to make all humans allergic to animals that aren't snakes.

Meanwhile, at a pet store, a handful of rhinoceros iguanas make fun of a younger rhinoceros iguana (voiced by Tobey Maguire), who wants to be free. The young rhinoceros iguana tries an escape, but he fails. A group of young green iguanas, all of them trained animal agents, led by a large green iguana appear, round up the rhinoceros iguanas and force them into hiding underground. Mrs. Charles comes into the iguana pen and she selects the younger rhinoceros iguana who was forgotten by the green iguanas. She decides to adopt him and takes him home, naming him Lou after Harry sarcastically suggests the name "Loser".

Lou goes near an explosive trap set by the snakes but Tom comes out and detonates it harmlessly. Tom then shows Lou the network that animal agents use, then takes him to meet some more agents: Sylvestor (voiced by Joe Pantoliano) is a Persian cat who works in an underground tube and has surveillance and communications equipment and Barky (voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan) who is a Bergamasco shepherd. Having mistaken Lou for a trained animal agent, Tom raises his concerns to his superiors, but is told that there is no time to send a replacement. Lou is then briefed on the origins of the war between snakes and other animals, which apparently dates all the way back to Ancient Egypt. Tom also mentions that fate of Budd, who meanwhile had managed to escape from the snakes and was now retired from the spy business, living life in a condominium.

Meanwhile, Mr. Zander (voiced by Sean Hayes), an albino Burmese python, plans to conquer the world by making all humans allergic to non-snake-type animals with Mr. Charles (Jeff Goldblum)'s research on a cure for animal allergies. He is briefly interrupted by Jackie the Maid (Miriam Margoyles) who needs to dress him upon seeing the comatose Mr. George (Myron Natwick). Tinkles then tells his sidekick Danny (voiced by Jon Lovitz), a green anaconda, to send in the ninja snakes (voiced by Danny Mann and Billy West) he hired to steal the research. He sends in the cobra and the rattlesnake ninjas but Lou manages to prevent the theft. Lou then meets a former agent and Tom's ex-sweetheart and girlfriend named Peggy (voiced by Susan Sarandon), a perentie who belly scratches him. Disappointed that the ninja snakes failed him, Mr. Zander then orders Danny to send a reticulated python, whose name is Figora Nasty, (voiced by Glenn Ficarra) to steal the research. Nasty frames Lou for defecating in the house with a ball containing fake iguana feces, causing Lou to be confined outside, then places a bomb on the lab door. Tom and Lou manage to get into the house through the window, but Sylvestor and Barky are trapped outside after Lou knocks the window prop away. Nasty fires a series of boomerangs around the Charles' house causing serious damage and which break several vases and knock a lamp over; the boomerangs also cause the curtain pole to break. Lou then distracts the python while Tom tries to disable the bomb, but Nasty turns his attention on Tom and tries to kill him. Tom gets caught in a telephone wire, then Mrs Charles comes home looking for her cell phone and surprisingly does not notice her wrecked living room. Although he suspects that most animals can see in black and white, Tom can see in colors and manages to escape and disables the bomb, but Nasty holds out a remote that will detonate the bomb and laughs until the lab door opens and hits him. Nasty is then captured and interrogated. The agent tells the gang that they pumped a few things out of Nasty's stomach, including a note written by Mr. Zander.

After an incident involving Lou playing with Harry, Professor Charles' machine finally gets the positive combinations for the formula. As Mr. Zander and Danny overhear the call between Professor Charles and a doctor, they decide to spring a trap for Dr. Charles and his family. First, Mr. Zander makes his sinister and talking side known to Jackie, causing her to faint, then he and his snakes take Mr George's comatose body to George's Christmas tree flocking plant, where Zander passes his voice off as Mr George to send the employees home and commandeer the factory for the next plot. The snakes send soccer tickets to an exhibition game between Uruguay and Chad to the Charles family, obviously a ruse. The snakes make a fake entry and when the Charles family pulls up, the snakes throw a gas bomb into their car, which goes off in a tremendous explosion and leaves the family unconscious.

While trying to decipher Mr. Zander's location, the animals are obviously unaware that the Charles have been led into a trap and are kidnapped by the said snake. After receiving a video from the snake demanding Mr. Charle's research as a ransom, the animals from around the world assemble at a meeting (like the United Nations General Assembly) run by Tiger the Bengal tiger (voiced by Charlton Heston). When the animal agents are unable to give up the formula after the meeting of the world's animals, Lou angrily confronts Tom for not helping him. Tom then explains that when his owner went to college, he left him with his grandmother and storms off, cutting off all of Lou's communications with Sylvestor and the others, so Lou would not seek help to save his family. Lou gives in and brings Mr. Zander the research, and is betrayed. Tom manages to find the depressed Lou and, along with Peggy, the two stage an ambush of Mr. Zander's factory where the latter plans to use gerbils to spread the now mass-produced allergy to non-snake animals. While Tom, Peggy, Sylvestor and Barky fight Zander's snake forces, Lou frees the Charles and Danny (who was betrayed by Zander), revealing he can speak in the process. Lou defeats Zander and rescues Tom, but the claw of the excavator hits his head and a flocking tank, causing an explosion that destroys the factory. Tom manages to save Lou and he tells him he was right about everything, but the rhinoceros iguana is unresponsive and seems to be dead. After a few hurtful moments of sadness and sorrow (in which Harry, feeling genuinely remorseful for referring to Lou as "loser", tearfully apologizes to Lou), Lou suddenly awakens, and all rejoice. Lou decides to be a normal animal and not a secret agent yet, but one day he will be when he is a full-grown rhinoceros iguana.

Meanwhile, Mr. Zander is sent to live with Jackie and her three sisters, who dress him in hilariously ridiculous girly outfits as punishment; Mr. Zander then remarks that "This can't be happening".

Cast

Voice Cast

  • Tobey Maguire as Lou, a rhinoceros iguana, who is the main protagonist of the film, who lives with the Charles family.
  • Alec Baldwin as Tom, a domestic dylanus who's an experienced field agent and Lou's mentor (voice).
  • Sean Hayes as Mr. Zander, an albino Burmese python, who's the main antagonist of the film, the leader of the snake agents who wants to defeat other exotic animals as well as domestic animals and rule the world.
  • Susan Sarandon as Peggy, a perentie, a "domestically challenged" former animal agent Lou meets when he trains to be an agent, who has a history with Tom.
  • Charlton Heston as Tiger, a former pet Bengal tiger the leader of the animal agents.
  • Jon Lovitz as Danny, a green anaconda and Mr. Zander's second in command.
  • Joe Pantoliano as Sylvestor, a Persian cat who's an animal agent.
  • Danny Mann as a ninja cobra.
  • Glenn Ficarra as Figora Nasty/The Asian, who's a small and cute-looking but deadly reticulated python agent sent by Mr. Zander to set off an explosive device at Professor Johnson's lab.
  • Richard Steven Horvitz as a rhinoceros iguanas at the pet store (uncredited).
  • Dan Aykroyd as Bogar the bear (uncredited).

Live Actors

  • Jeff Goldblum as Professor Johnson Charles.
  • Elizabeth Perkins as Mrs. Maggie Charles.
  • Alexander Pollock as Harry Charles.
  • Miriam Margolyes as Jackie the Maid.

Puppeteers

  • Adam Behr
  • Kevin Carlson
  • Alejandro Diaz
  • Randi Kaplan
  • John Kennedy
  • Luke Khanlian
  • Bruce Lanoil
  • Drew Massey
  • Gordon Robertson
  • Michelan Sisti
  • Allan Trautman

Filming Locations

The house, was filmed at an actual house: 1661 45th street Bikeway, Vancouver, British Columbia. The basement lab was the only part of the house that was filmed at Warner Bros. Studios, in Burbank, California. Tom's house was also filmed at an actual house: 6288 Churchill street, Vancouver, British Columbia. The interior of Mr. George's tree flocking factory was filmed at Warner Bros. Studios. The exterior was filmed at an abandoned boiler factory. The soccer stadium was filmed at the Pacific Coliseum. Mr. George's house was filmed at Craigdarroch Castle, in Victoria, British Columbia.

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