Osmosis Jones
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBobby Farrelly
Peter Farrelly
Piet Kroon
Tom Sito
Written byMarc Hyman
Produced byDennis Edwards
Bobby Farrelly
Peter Farrelly
Zak Penn
Bradley Thomas
CinematographyMark Irwin
Edited byLois Freeman-Fox
Stephen Schaffer
Sam Seig
Music byRandy Edelman
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • August 7, 2001 (2001-08-07) (premiere)
  • August 10, 2001 (2001-08-10) (United States)
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 Piet Kroon and Tom Sito handling the animation and the Farrelly brothers directing the live-action sequences. Featuring the voices of Chris Rock, Laurence Fishburne, David Hyde Pierce, Brandy Norwood and William Shatner alongside live actors such as Bill Murray, Molly Shannon and Chris Elliott, the film centers on Frank DeTorre, a slovenly zookeeper who contracts a deadly virus known as Thrax. The live-action sequences are set outside Frank's body while the animated sequences are set inside his body, which is depicted as a city inhabited by anthropomorphic parameciums. In the animated sequences, white blood cell cop Osmosis "Ozzy" Jones and cold pill Drixenol "Drix" Koldreliff attempt to prevent virus Thrax from killing Frank within forty-eight hours.

Produced by Warner Bros. Feature Animation and the Farrelly brothers' Conundrum Entertainment, Osmosis Jones had its premiere on August 7, 2001, and was released in theaters three days later. The film was met with mixed reviews from critics, who praised its animation, story and voice performances but criticized its live-action portions and overuse of gross-out humor. It grossed just $14 million worldwide against a $70 million budget, making it a major box-office bomb. In spite of this, a spin-off 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 Maggie, he copes by overeating and foregoing basic hygiene, exasperating his daughter Shane. Inside his body, which is called the "City of Frank" by its anthropomorphic inhabitants, white blood cell Osmosis "Ozzy" Jones is an overzealous officer of the Frank Police Department, the city's center for responses against bodily threats. After Ozzy - against orders - induced Frank to vomit a contaminated oyster onto Shane's teacher Mrs. Boyd, Frank lost his previous job at a pea soup factory and was banned from visiting Shane's school, and Ozzy was demoted to patrol duty in the mouth.

A few years later, facing a serious challenge to his re-election prospects, Mayor Phlegmming doubles down on his junk food policies, ignoring their effect on Frank's health. This induces Frank to eat a boiled egg that fell into a chimpanzee's habitat, allowing Thrax, a virus known as El Muerto Rojo, to enter his body. Phlegmming then 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. Ozzy is told to assist Drix in his investigation, much to his displeasure. 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 duo pay a visit to Chill, a cell from a flu vaccine and one of Ozzy's informants. Chill directs them to Thrax's hideout - 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 to be known as the most dangerous virus in medical history, intends to masquerade as a common cold and use his knowledge of DNA to kill Frank within 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. Its pus lands on Mrs. Boyd's lip during a meeting between her and Frank, foiling Frank's one chance to apologize to her. In response, Phlegmming furiously closes the investigation, has Ozzy fired from the force and reminds Drix pills are only to remain in the body temporarily before ordering him to leave.

Unbeknownst to the duo, Thrax has survived the zit's destruction. After killing his remaining henchmen, he proceeds to launch 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, causing Frank to develop a dangerous fever. As Frank is taken to the hospital, Ozzy, having discovered Thrax's survival, reunites with Drix and convinces him not to leave. The two catch up to Thrax in the uvula and rescue Leah. Thrax uses pollen to induce Frank to sneeze, riding the 'wind' out of the mouth. Drix then shoots Ozzy out of the mouth after Thrax, and they land on Shane's cornea. As they fight, they fall onto one of Shane's false eyelashes, dislodging it. Ozzy tricks Thrax into getting his hand embedded in the lash, and escapes just as the lash falls into a beaker of rubbing alcohol, where Thrax dissolves.

As Frank's temperature surpasses 108 degrees, he goes into cardiac arrest. Riding on one of Shane's tears as she mourns her father, Ozzy returns to Frank's body with the stolen nucleotide, reviving him just in time. Ozzy is welcomed back into the police force and begins a relationship with Leah, while Drix is allowed to stay in the body as Ozzy's new partner. Having narrowly cheated death, Frank commits himself to living a healthier lifestyle, which results in Phlegmming losing the election to his opponent, Tom Colonic, in a landslide. Phlegmming is reduced to janitorial duty in the bowels, where he accidentally triggers Frank's flatulence, ejecting himself from the body.


Main article: List of Osmosis Jones and Ozzy & Drix characters



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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.

Principal Photography on the live-action scenes took place from April 2 to June 19, 2000 in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

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

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


Box office

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 penultimate project produced by Warner Bros. Feature Animation (preceded by 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

On Rotten Tomatoes, Osmosis Jones 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."[3] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 57 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[4] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B-" on an A+ to F scale.[5]

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".[6] 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."[7] 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."[8]

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".[9] Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide praised the film's animation and its glimpse of intelligence although did criticize the humor as being "so distasteful".[10] 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]


Main article: Osmosis Jones (soundtrack)

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


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