The Animal is a 2001 American comedy film directed by Luke Greenfield and starring Rob Schneider, Colleen Haskell, John C. McGinley, Guy Torry, and Edward Asner. Schneider plays Marvin Mange, a man who is critically injured but unknown to him he is put back together by a mad scientist who transplants animal parts, resulting in strange permanent changes to his behavior.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Luke Greenfield|
|Produced by||Barry Bernardi|
|Screenplay by||Rob Schneider|
|Story by||Tom Brady|
|Music by||Teddy Castellucci|
|Cinematography||Peter Lyons Collister|
|Edited by||Jeff Gourson|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$84.7 million|
In the town of Elkerton, Marvin Mange (Rob Schneider) is an awkward, clumsy nice-guy who dreams of being a police officer like his dad was. He continuously attempts to pass the physical test to become a full-fledged police officer, but despite his repeated attempts, he is unable to finish the obstacle course. Marvin gets constantly mistreated by heartless and sleazy Sgt. Doug Sisk (John C. McGinley). He works in the police station as an evidence clerk and is friends with security guard Miles (Guy Torry) and fellow cadet Fatty (Louis Lombardi).
One day, while alone at the station, he receives a robbery call. With no other officers responding to the call, he attempts to take it himself but ends up driving off the road, tumbling down a mountain and seriously injuring himself. Just as the car finally comes to a stop, a boulder falls on top of it and he passes out.
Days later, Marvin returns to his normal life with no memory of what had happened. Suddenly, he's full of life. He can outrun horses, mean dogs are now scared of him, and he does not need his asthma medicine. He thinks it is due to his late-night TV purchase of "Badger Milk", which is guaranteed in the ads to make him stronger.
One day at the park, Marvin meets Rianna (Colleen Haskell) while she's out walking her dogs. His animal-like tendencies are slowly taking him over. When a frisbee is thrown in his direction, he cannot control himself, and he jumps to catch it in his mouth.
He goes to the airport to talk to Miles about his problem. While there, Marvin sniffs out a man trying to hide heroin in his rectum. For uncovering a drug smuggler, Marvin is declared a hero and is made a full-fledged police officer.
As days go by, Marvin's animal instincts are becoming stronger. He often wakes up in strange places, and subsequently, hears about animal attacks that occurred in the middle of the night. Because of these attacks, Dr. Wilder (Michael Caton) believes that Marvin is out of control. The mad scientist confronts him, takes him to his laboratory, and explains about the grafts and transplants that saved Marvin's life and gave him remarkable animal powers with certain troublesome side effects.
Later at a party thrown by the Mayor (Scott Wilson), Marvin chases after a cat and destroys everything around him and gets fired as a result. During his reprimand, he hears something, jumps into the nearby lake and rescues the mayor's son (Bret Smrz) using powers derived from a sea lion and a dolphin. He is swiftly reinstated.
Chief Wilson (Edward Asner) questions Marvin about the late-night attacks on farm animals because one of the witnesses made a police sketch, and it looks like Marvin.
Rianna goes to Marvin's house, where he has barricaded himself inside. They spend the night together, but Marvin wants to be tied up so he cannot hurt anyone. In the morning, he finds himself untied, courtesy of Rianna. Suddenly, the police show up outside. Another attack had happened that night, and the police have come for Marvin. Rianna convinces him to run.
Marvin escapes to the woods, where a huge chase ensues; the police have organized an angry mob as a search party to capture Marvin. While running through the woods, Marvin finds Dr. Wilder. The scientist tells him that there was another "patient" of his that is out of control, and he is in the woods looking for it.
Sergeant Sisk confronts Marvin and is about to shoot him. Suddenly, the other "animal" jumps from a tree and attacks Sisk. The beast is Rianna. Now, the crowd finds them both together but Miles is there and takes the blame for everything. He has been claiming that there is reverse racism towards him since he's black (a concept he explained in the beginning of the movie while out to eat with Marvin) and no one wants to hold him accountable for anything. Sure enough, once the mob thinks a black man was responsible, they don't care anymore and leave.
Marvin and Rianna get married and have a litter of children that each look like Marvin. While watching television, they see Dr. Wilder win the Nobel Prize. He says he owes it all to his fiancée, who is the same woman from the Badger Milk commercial. When she turns around to kiss him, there are large scars shown on her back, implying that Wilder performed the experiment on her as well.
- Rob Schneider as Marvin Mange
- Colleen Haskell as Rianna "Hummingbird" Holmes
- John C. McGinley as Sgt. Doug Sisk
- Guy Torry as Miles
- Edward Asner as Chief Wilson
- Michael Caton as Dr. Wilder
- Louis Lombardi as Fatty
- Bob Rubin as Bob Harris
- Scott Wilson as the Mayor of Elkerton
- Michael Papajohn as Patrolman Brady
- Ron Roggé as Patrolman Jaworski
- Raymond Ma as Mr. Tam
- Sebastian Jude as Lost Boy
- Philip Daniel Bolden, Deker Daily, Timmy Deters, Hannah K Ford, Megan Taylor Harvey, Mitch Holleman, Mollie Rae Dodson, and Charlie Stewart as Evidence Room Kids
- Tim Herzog as Badger Milk Host
- Bret Smrz as the Mayor of Elkerton's son
- Adam Sandler as Townie
- Norm Macdonald as Mob Member
- Brianna Brown, Amber Collins, and John Farley as Other Mob Members
- Cloris Leachman as Cat Lady (uncredited)
- Harry Dean Stanton as Hunter (uncredited)
The Animal debuted on June 1, 2001, grossing $19.6 million U.S. in its opening weekend. With a production budget of $47 million, the movie grossed $84,772,742 internationally.
Critical response Edit
This film received negative reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 30% based on 83 reviews, with its consensus stating: "While less offensive and more charming than recent gross-humored comedies, The Animal is still rather mediocre". Metacritic gave the film a score of 43% based on reviews from 22 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B+.
Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times called it "An outrageous and imaginative summer comedy." Robert Koehler of Variety magazine wrote: "The Animal is never more nor less than stupid, but stupid in ways that deliver goofiness rather than rampant humiliation." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone described it as "an Adam Sandler reject" and wondered how this "raunchy innuendo wrapped in a PG-13 rating" got past the censors.
Despite receiving mostly negative critical reaction, one supporter of the film at the time of its release was film critic David Manning who gave the film critical praise. In late 2001, Manning was revealed to be a fictitious character created by Sony to fake publicity for the film. At the time, Sony claimed that the error was due to a layout artist who entered 'dummy text' into print advertisements during their design, which was accidentally never replaced with real text.
- "The Animal (2001)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
- "Subject: Wes Ford Takahashi". Animators' Hall of Fame. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
- The Animal Movie Reviews, Pictures. Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 19, 2018
- "The Animal". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
- ANIMAL, THE (2001) B+ CinemaScore
- Kevin Thomas (June 1, 2001). "Calendar Live - Goofy 'Animal' Has a Nice Bite". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 8 June 2001.
- Michael O'Sullivan (June 1, 2001). "Schneider's 'Animal' Magnetism". The Washington Post.
- Owen Gleiberman (June 1, 2001). "The Animal". EW.com.
- Koehler, Robert (30 May 2001). "The Animal". Variety.
- Travers, Peter (7 June 2001). "The Animal". Rolling Stone.
- "Official court notice of David Manning settlement" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
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