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Arizona
Directed by Mike White
Produced by Michelle Murdocca
Screenplay by Ethan Reiff
Cyrus Voris
Story by Mike White
Ethan Reiff
Cyrus Voris
Starring Mel Gibson
Matthew McConaughey
Kumail Nanjiani
James Earl Jones
Nicole Kidman
Music by Mark Mothersbaugh
Cinematography Simon Dunsdun
Edited by Lynn Hobson
Production
companies
Columbia Pictures
Sony Pictures Animation
Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing
Release date February 10, 2023
Running time 91 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $65 million
Box office $159 million


Arizona is a 2023 American computer-animated comedy film directed by Mike White and written by Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris (who also co-wrote with White). Taking place in a fictional version of the U.S. state of the same name that is entirely populated by anthropomorphic talking animals, the film's plot follows a pig and a rabbit setting out to save the Animal Enterprises, Inc from closure by searching for a mythical gemstone capable of fulfilling one's wishes. The film stars Mel Gibson, Matthew McConaughey, Kumail Nanjiani, James Earl Jones, and Nicole Kidman.

Produced by Sony Pictures Animation, Arizona was released into theaters on February 10, 2023 by Sony Pictures Releasing under its Columbia Pictures label. It grossed $159 million worldwide on a $65 million budget and received positive reviews from critics for its music, humor, animation, and the performances (particularly those of Gibson and McConaughey), although its story was criticized.

Plot

Set in a fictional version of Arizona populated by anthropomorphic talking animals, a pig named Sun V. Washington (named Sunny for short) and his best friend and partner-in-crime Nicholas Funnybunny the rabbit (named Nick for short) work at Animal Enterprises, Inc., where they put packages into delivery trucks. Despite being the top deliverers, their rival, Wendall the snake, is close behind. However, Animal Enterprises, Inc. is going out of business due to lacking popularity, and its CEO, Mr. Malamute the dog, is determined to find a solution to the problem.

One evening after work, Sunny discovers a package left by someone. As he inspects the package, a gem shines. He reports the gem to Malamute, which he knows is capable of fulfilling one's wishes. Intrigued, Sunny finds Nick. He inadvertently interrupts Nick's date with his receptionist girlfriend, Ava the flamingo, at a Japanese restaurant and reveals the gem. Chaos erupts when the gem explodes and causes a fire. Sunny and Nick manage to escape while the Arizona Police Department (AFD) arrives with the assistance of the Arizona Fire Department (AFD).

Sunny and Nick end up in the Sonoran Desert, where they meet a bison, who had been banished years ago. The bison tells them to take a shortcut to the town, which Sunny realizes he can use to get back to Animal Enterprises, Inc. and stop Wendall. After receiving a new gem, Sunny and Nick later find Arizona in the distance and charge through a field of geysers. Sunny and Nick make it to Animal Enterprises Inc., only to find Wendall has taken Malamute hostage. They rescue Malamute, who distracts Wendall long enough to let Sunny and Nick get away.

As they hurriedly head off, Ava, angry with Nick for ruining their earlier date, threatens to break up with him, but he defends himself by revealing Wendall's plot. Ava creates a diversion by claiming that Wendall broke the all-time delivery record. Sunny and Nick escape into the package handling system, while Wendall follows them. The two wish to make the packages into portals, allowing them to freely pass in and out of different lands. Wendall takes the gem and tries to kill Sunny, but Nick subdues him, enabling Sunny to catch Wendall. Sunny and Nick trap Wendall in a package and throw it into a pit.

With their rival finally defeated, Sunny and Nick find Malamute. The gem restores Animal Enterprises Inc. to its former popularity before disintegrating. The company becomes more successful than ever, and, impressed by Sunny's determination, the mayor certifies Nick and Sunny as heroes. Ava and Nick resume their romantic relationship, and Nick and Sunny break the all-time delivery record.

Cast

  • Mel Gibson as Sun "Sunny" V. Washington, a domestic pig who wears tap shoes and has been the top package deliverer at Animal Enterprises, Inc. for several months running.
  • Matthew McConaughey as Nicholas "Nick" Funnybunny, a white rabbit who wears a purple bow tie. He is Sunny's co-worker, and the two are close roommates and best friends.
  • Kumail Nanjiani as Wendall, a blue and purple snake who is a package deliverer, Sunny and Nick's rival, and the film's antagonist.
  • James Earl Jones as Mr. Malamute, a white dog and the CEO of the Animal Enterprises, Inc. company
  • Nicole Kidman as Ava, a flamingo who is a receptionist at Animal Enterprises, Inc. and Nick's girlfriend.
  • Spencer Treat Clark as Hudson, a snowy owl and Wendall's assistant.
  • Dee Bradley Baker as Waltz, a sloth with a raspy voice who administrates the delivery station where Sunny, Nick, and Wendall work.
  • Mackenzie Crook as John Tarantula, a Sifaka who manages the package station and is a good friend of Malamute.
  • Kevin Michael Richardson as a bison who was banished to the desert years ago.
  • Mike White as Weener and Swat, a goofy Arctic hare and roadrunner with cracking voices, who work as janitors and activate the Package Fixer when required.
    • White also voices Mr. Mile, a Canada goose who works at Animal Enterprises, Inc. as a package trainee.
  • Nancy Cartwright as Mint, a wallaby who trains new animals to deliver packages.
  • Roger Craig Smith as Proboscis, a proboscis monkey and the mayor of Arizona.
  • Martin Short as Tonza, a Italian badger and a farmer's market salesman who only appears in the scene where Sunny and Nick walk to work.
  • Jet Li as an unnamed octopus who owns a Japanese restaurant.

Reception

Box office

Arizona was released in select theaters on February 10, 2023 by Sony Pictures Releasing. It was projected to grossed $90 million in its opening weekend. It grossed over $55 million in North America and $104 million internationally, up to a total of $159 million worldwide. Produced on a $65 million budget, the film was a modest commercial success.

Critical response

Arizona received wildly positive reviews upon release. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 78% approval rating based on 210 reviews. The consensus reads, "Although it may not live up to greatest moments of charm from a Disney or Pixar film, winning performances from Mel Gibson and Matthew McConaughey make Arizona a hit with goofy-yet-charming ways". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 61 out of 100 based on 34 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.

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