Osmosis Jones

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Osmosis Jones
Osmosis Jones poster.JPG
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBobby Farrelly
Peter Farrelly
Produced byDennis Edwards
Bobby Farrelly
Peter Farrelly
Zak Penn
Bradley Thomas
Written byMarc Hyman
Music byRandy Edelman
CinematographyMark Irwin
Edited byLois Freeman-Fox
Stephen Schaffer
Sam Seig
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$70 million[1]
Box office$14 million[2]

Osmosis Jones is a 2001 American live-action/animated buddy cop action comedy film directed by the Farrelly brothers with animated scenes directed by Piet Kroon and Tom Sito.[3] Starring the voices of Chris Rock, Laurence Fishburne, David Hyde Pierce, Brandy Norwood and William Shatner alongside live actors Bill Murray, Molly Shannon and Chris Elliott, the film centers on Frank DeTorre (Murray), a slovenly zookeeper; the live-action scenes are set outside Frank's body while the animated scenes are set inside his body, which is portrayed as a city inhabited by anthropomorphic parameciums. In the animated sequences, white blood cell cop Osmosis "Ozzy" Jones and cold pill Drix attempt to prevent deadly virus Thrax from killing Frank within forty-eight hours.

Produced by Warner Bros. Feature Animation and the Farrelly brothers' Conundrum Entertainment, Osmosis Jones premiered at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre on August 7, 2001 before being released in general theaters three days later on August 10, 2001. The film was met with mixed reviews from critics, who praised the animated scenes, the voice cast (particularly Rock's, Pierce's and Fishburne's) and plot, but criticized the live-action portions and the overuse of gross-out humor. The film was also a box-office bomb, earning $14 million against a budget of $70 million,[1] though it later sold well in home media. A spin-off animated television series titled Ozzy & Drix later ran on Kids' WB from 2002 to 2004.


Frank DeTorre is an unkempt and slovenly zookeeper at the Sucat Memorial Zoo in Rhode Island. Depressed by the loss of his wife years earlier, he copes by overeating and ignoring basic hygiene, much to the concern of his young daughter, Shane. Inside his body, or "The City of Frank" to its anthropromorphic inhabitant cells, white blood cell Osmosis "Ozzy" Jones is an overzealous officer of the Frank Police Department, the city's center for immune responses against bodily threats, who was demoted to patrol duty in the mouth after he induced Frank to vomit against orders. This incident made Frank the town's laughingstock, getting him fired from his previous job at a pea soup factory and also getting him banned from visiting Shane's school due to a restraining order filed by her gym and science teacher, Mrs. Boyd.

Two years later, facing a serious challenge to his reelection prospects, Mayor Phlegmming doubles down on his junk food policies, ignoring their effect on Frank's health. This causes Frank to eat a boiled egg covered in filth, allowing Thrax, a deadly virus known as "The Red Death", to enter the throat. Unwilling to admit responsibility, Phlegmming instructs Frank to take a cold pill through brain signals. The pill, Drixenol "Drix" Koldreliff, proceeds to disinfect the throat, covering up evidence of Thrax's arrival. Much to his displeasure, Ozzy is assigned to assist the stoic and straight-laced Drix in his investigation. Meanwhile, Thrax assumes leadership of a gang of sweat germs and launches an attack on the mucus dam in Frank's nose, nearly killing Drix before Ozzy rescues him.

The two pay a visit to Chill, a flu vaccine and one of Ozzy's informants, who directs them to Thrax's hideout in a germ-ridden nightclub in a large zit on Frank's forehead. Ozzy goes undercover and infiltrates Thrax's gang, where he learns that Thrax, wanting his own chapter in the medical history books, intends to masquerade as a common cold and use his knowledge of DNA to kill Frank in forty-eight hours. When Ozzy is discovered, Drix comes to his aid, causing a brawl which culminates in the zit being popped by a grenade. The pus lands on Mrs. Boyd's lip during a meeting with her and Frank, foiling any chance for him to apologize. In response, Phlegmming closes the investigation, has Ozzy fired from the force and orders Drix to leave.

Unbeknownst to the duo, Thrax has survived the zit's destruction and, after killing his remaining henchmen, launches a lone assault on the hypothalamus, where he steals a crucial nucleotide. He then abducts Phlegmming's secretary, Leah Estrogen, and flees to the mouth to escape. His actions disable the body's ability to regulate temperature and a dangerous fever develops, causing mass panic to erupt in the city. As Frank is taken to the hospital, Ozzy, having discovered Thrax's survival, convinces a dejected Drix not to leave, and the two catch up to Thrax and rescue Leah. However, Thrax uses pollen to induce Frank to sneeze and blow him out of the mouth. Drix shoots Ozzy out of the mouth after Thrax, and he and Thrax both land on Shane's cornea. As the two battle, they end up on one of Shane's false eyelashes, where Thrax appears to gain the upper hand and threatens to make Shane his next victim. Ozzy, however, has tricked Thrax into getting his hand embedded in the lash, and escapes just as the lash falls into a beaker of rubbing alcohol, killing Thrax.

As Frank's temperature goes over 108 degrees, he goes into cardiac arrest. Riding one of Shane's tears as she mourns her father, Ozzy falls back into Frank's mouth with the stolen nucleotide, reviving him just in time. Ozzy is then reinstated into the police force as he begins a relationship with Leah, and Drix stays as Ozzy's new partner. Having survived, Frank commits himself to living a healthier lifestyle with Shane, which results in Phlegmming being impeached from office and his opponent Tom Colonic winning by a landslide in the election. Phlegmming is then reduced to janitorial duty in the bowels, where he accidentally ejects himself from Frank's body by triggering his flatulence.


Live-Action Cast[edit]

  • Bill Murray as Frank DeTorre, Shane's father and Bob's brother. Therefore, the animated scenes of the film take place inside his body, which is referred to by its inhabitants as "The City of Frank".
  • Elena Franklin as Shane DeTorre, Frank's 10-year-old daughter and Bob's 10-year old niece.
  • Molly Shannon as Mrs. Boyd, Shane's science and P.E. teacher.
  • Chris Elliott as Bob DeTorre, Frank's brother and Shane's uncle.


Additional Voices[edit]


Osmosis Jones went through development hell during production. The animated sequences, directed by Tom Sito and Piet Kroon, went into production as planned, but acquiring both a director and a star actor for the live-action sequences took a considerable amount of time, until Bill Murray was cast as the main character of Frank, and Peter and Bobby Farrelly stepped in to direct the live-action sequences. As part of their contract, the Farrelly brothers are credited as the primary directors of the film, although they did no supervision of the animated portions of the film. Will Smith was interested in the part of Ozzy, but in the end his schedule would not permit it.

Osmosis Jones was originally rated PG-13 by the MPAA for "crude language" and "bodily humor" in 2000. However, Warner Bros. edited the film to make it family-friendly; and in 2001 when it was released, the film was re-rated PG on appeal for "bodily humor".[citation needed]



The first trailer for Osmosis Jones was released in front of Pokemon 3: The Movie on April 6, 2001 and contains a classical masterpiece from Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Home media[edit]

Osmosis Jones was released on VHS and DVD on November 13, 2001.


Box office[edit]

Osmosis Jones had its world premiere screening on August 7, 2001 at the Grauman's Egyptian Theatre before being widely released on August 10, 2001 in 2,305 theaters worldwide. Upon its original release, the film was a financial stump and was the second-to-last project produced by Warner Bros. Feature Animation (preceding The Iron Giant and followed by Looney Tunes: Back in Action, which both also failed at the box office upon their original releases). The film opened at #7 in its first opening weekend at the U.S. box office, accumulating $5,271,248 on its opening week. The film soon grossed $13,596,911.[1] The film was a box office bomb, unable to recover its $70 million production budget.

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 55% based on 110 reviews, with an average rating of 5.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The animated portion of Osmosis is zippy and fun, but the live-action portion is lethargic."[4] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 57 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[5] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B-" on an A+ to F scale.[6]

The animated parts of Osmosis Jones were praised for their plot and fast pace, in contrast with the criticized live action segments. Robert Koehler of Variety praised the film for its animated and live-action segments intervening, claiming it to be "the most extensive interplay of live-action and animation since Who Framed Roger Rabbit".[7] The New York Times wrote "the film, with its effluvia-festival brand of humor, is often fun, and the rounded, blobby rendering of the characters is likable. But the picture tries too hard to be offensive to all ages. I suspect that even the littlest viewers will be too old for that spit."[8] Roger Ebert gave the film 3 out of 4 and wrote: "Likely to entertain kids, who seem to like jokes about anatomical plumbing. For adults, there is the exuberance of the animation and the energy of the whole movie, which is just plain clever."[9]

The use of gross-out humor in the film's live-action sequences, as seen in most films directed by the Farrelly brothers, was widely criticized. As such, Lisa Alspector of the Chicago Reader described the film as a "cathartically disgusting adventure movie".[10] Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide praised the film's animation and its glimpse of intelligence although did criticize the humor as being "so distasteful".[11] Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly felt that the film had a diverse premise as it "oscillates between streaky black comedy and sanitary instruction", however the scatological themes were again pointed out.[citation needed] Jonathan Foreman of New York Post claimed Osmosis Jones to have generic plotting, saying that "It's no funnier than your average grade-school biology lesson and less pedagogically useful than your typical Farrelly brothers comedy."[citation needed] Michael Sragow of Baltimore Sun praised David Hyde Pierce's performance as Drix, claiming him to be "hilarious" and "a take-charge dose of medicine".[citation needed]

The film received numerous Annie Award nominations including Best Animated Feature (losing to Shrek).[citation needed]


A soundtrack containing hip hop and R&B music was released on August 7, 2001 by Atlantic Records. The soundtrack failed to chart on the Billboard 200, but Trick Daddy's single "Take It to da House" managed to make it to number 88 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Osmosis Jones". The Numbers. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  2. ^ "Osmosis Jones (2001)". Box Office Mojo.
  3. ^ "Osmosis Jones". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  4. ^ "Osmosis Jones". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  5. ^ "Osmosis Jones review". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  6. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com.
  7. ^ Koehler, Robert (2001-08-02). "Osmosis Jones". Variety. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  8. ^ "Movie Review - FILM REVIEW; Bill Murray as a Battlefield and Showing It - NYTimes.com". The New York Times. 11 June 2021.[dead link]
  9. ^ Ebert, Roger (August 10, 2001). "Osmosis Jones movie review & film summary (2001)". Chicago Sun-Times.
  10. ^ Alspector, Lisa. "Osmosis Jones". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  11. ^ McDonagh, Maitland. "Osmosis Jones". TV Guide. Retrieved 2010-12-24.

External links[edit]