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Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose
Directed by Dale Baer
Produced by Audrey Wells
Stephen Swofford
Written by Roger S. H. Schulman
Dale Baer
Based on Thidwick the Big-
Hearted Moose

by Dr. Seuss
Starring Ryan Reynolds
Andrew Garfieid
Crispin Glover
Bethany Joy Lenz
Liam Neeson
Brittany Snow
Albert Brooks
Narrated by Billy Dee Williams
Music by Hans Zimmer
Edited by Sylvian Blais
Production
companies
Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Wonder
Studios
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date April 28, 2017
Running time 92 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $75--90 million
Box office $246 million


Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose (also known as and shown on-screen as Dr. Seuss' Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose) is a 2017 American computer-animated comedy film produced by Walt Disney Wonder Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Dale Baer (in her only directorial effort before her death in 2021), it is based on the 1948 children's book of the same name by Dr. Seuss. It stars the voices of Ryan Reynolds, Crispin Glover, Bethany Joy Lenz, Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, Brittany Snow, and Albert Brooks, and focuses on the titular moose as he sets out to protect his herd from starvation, as well as from hunters keen on getting his head for the Harvard Club wall.

Thidwick The Big-Hearted Moose was theatrically released in the United States on April 28, 2017. The film was a box office success, grossing $246 million worldwide on a $75--90 million budget, and received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised its animation, voice performances (particularly Reynolds, Garfield, Glover, Joy Lenz, and Neeson), and its faithfulness to the source material.

Plot

The big-hearted but clumsy Thidwick is a moose lives in a herd consisting of approximately sixty other moose who subsist on moose-moss and live on the northern shore of Lake Winna-Bango. Even though he is frequently ridiculed by the moose elders led by Grandmoose due to his clumsy nature, he is nonetheless enarmored with Gladys, a female moose who is regarded as the most beautiful moose in the herd. One day, a family called the Woodrows, led by the mean-spirited hunter Rancis arrive for the hunting season. His son, Barry, loves animals and dreams of being a researcher at the Forest Rescue Center, even though his sister, Sarah, objects to this, as Rancis won't let them end up with the same fate as their mother.

On the first day of autumn, the herd's winter supply gets harder to find. Thidwick, determined to earn the herd's respect, declares he will not let the herd starve, encouraging them to find all the moose-moss they can find to get them through the winter. As Thidwick searches for moose-moss, he befriends a hare named O'Hare. Thidwick invites O'Hare to help with the moose herd's harvest. After Thidwick is injured by a bully, the two encounter Barry. Barry takes the two animals to the Forest Rescue Center, where a veterinarian named Dr. Dutch who wraps a bandage around Thidwick's leg. Thidwick, O'Hare, and Barry travel to Lake Winna-Bango. Thidwick successfully demonstrates that humans can be peaceful, finally gaining the herd's respect.

Meanwhile, Sarah discovers that Barry left and informs Rancis. Suspecting his son will eventually turn against him, Rancis rallies the hunters to hunt Thidwick, planning to mount his head on the wall of the Harvard Club of New York, a building well known in the 1930s and 1940s for its hunting trophies. At Lake Winna-Bango, the moose, even Gladys, take a liking to Thidwick, but during a celebration, Barry's presence appalls Grandmoose, who places blame on Thidwick for breaking his promise, saying humans are a threat to the herd. When Thidwick refuses to give up on Barry, saying that he is his guest, the moose banish him from Lake Winna-Bango and desperately attempt to find more moose-moss.

Thidwick sees the hunters approaching and decides to stop them. On the way, Sarah meets them and lectures Barry for bisobeying his father's orders. Thidwick, Barry, and O'Hare save her from a dangerous field of geysers, succeeding in showing her that moose can actually be peaceful, and she eventually changes her mind. That night, a snowflake falls on Thidwick as winter apporaches, and, at Lake Winna-Bango, the herd swims across the lake to find fresh supplies of moose-moss. That morning, Rancis sedates Thidwick with a tranquilizer gun and puts him a cage to take him to the Harvard Club wall, and has some hunters take Barry and Sarah home to keep them away from any more moose.

With encouragement from Sarah, Barry borrows a hunter's jeep and pursues Rancis and the hunters. O'Hare arrives, takes the keys to the cage, and frees Thidwick. Thidwick, O'Hare, and Barry return to the same side of Lake Winna-Bango that the herd swam to. The herd is compromised to Rancis and the hunters, but Thidwick, undettered, challenges Grandmoose's will, saying that humans and moose are alike in many ways, and that it is not neccessary to hunt moose. Barry, O'Hare, Grandmoose, and the herd listen, but Rancis betrays Barry. Sarah comes to the rescue, and Thidwick tries to outrun Rancis and the hunters, but is cornered. As Rancis is about to shoot Thidwick, Thidwick remembers that it is time to shed his antlers and uses this to his advantage to push Rancis and his hunters into the river.

With the herd saved, Rancis and his croonies are arrested, while Laura and Sarah live in the forest to protect it from hunter. Thidwick rejoins the herd and is hailed as a hero, and O'Hare takes up residence with the herd. Thidwick reveals his feelings for Gladys, and the two become a couple. A new era begins, with moose and humans now co-existing in peace.

Cast

  • Ryan Reynolds as Thidwick, a big-hearted but clumsy moose.
  • Andrew Garfield as Barry Roodrows, Rancis' son who dreams of becoming a researcher at the Forest Rescue Center.
  • Crispin Glover as the Jackrabbit, a rabbit with antlers and Thidwick's best friend.
  • Bethany Joy Lenz as Gladys, a female moose and Thidwick's love interest.
  • Liam Neeson as Rancis Woodrows, a hunter and Barry's mean-spirited father who wants Thidwick's head put on the wall of Harvard Club of New York.
  • Brittany Snow as Sarah Woodrows, Barry's sister who tries to get him to listen to her father.
  • Albert Brooks as Grandmoose, the leader of the moose in Lake Winna-Bang.
  • Omar Sy as Dr. Dutch, a self-proclaimed veterinarian of the Forest Rescue Center.
  • John Kassir as Howling Harry, a wolf and a big bad bully.
  • June Squibb as Turtle mom
  • Billy Dee Williams as Narrator

Box office

In the United States, Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose was released alongside Rings and the The Space Between Us, and was projected to gross $75 million in its opening weekend. The film grossed $123 million in the United States, and $123 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $240 million by the end of the theatrical run; it was one of the lower-grossing Walt Disney Wonder Studios films, but was still commercially successful, beating a budget of $75--90 million.

Critical response

Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose received positive reviews. It has a 84% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 245 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "Though not at the level of Disney In The House: Introduction and Critter Country, the beautifully animated Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose manages to stay true enough to the spirit of Dr. Seuss' classic book". Metacritic assigned the film to a score of 65 out of 100 based on 47 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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