The Nut Job

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Nut Job
The Nut Job poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Peter Lepeniotis
Produced by
  • Graham Moloy
  • Woo-Kyung Jung
Screenplay by
  • Peter Lepeniotis
  • Lorne Cameron
Story by Peter Lepeniotis
Based on Surly Squirrel
by Peter Lepeniotis
Music by Paul Intson
Edited by Paul Hunter
Distributed by Open Road Films
Release date
  • January 11, 2014 (2014-01-11) (Los Angeles)
  • January 17, 2014 (2014-01-17) (US & Canada)
  • January 29, 2014 (2014-01-29) (South Korea)
Running time
86 minutes[2][3]
Country Canada
South Korea[4][5]
United States[6]
Language English
Budget $43 million[4]
Box office $120.8 million[7]

The Nut Job is a 2014 3D computer-animated heist-comedy film directed by Peter Lepeniotis, who also wrote the film with Lorne Cameron. It stars the voices of Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Gabriel Iglesias, Jeff Dunham, Liam Neeson and Katherine Heigl. Stephen Lang, Maya Rudolph and Sarah Gadon also star in supporting roles. The film is based on Lepeniotis' 2005 short animated film Surly Squirrel.[8] Produced by Gulfstream Pictures, Redrover International and ToonBox Entertainment,[9] it was released in the United States on January 17, 2014, by Open Road Films.[10] With a budget of $43 million, it is the most expensive animated film co-produced in South Korea,[4] the film grossed $64.3 million in North America, for a worldwide total of $120.8 million.

A sequel titled The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature was released on August 11, 2017.


In the fictional town of Oakton City,[2] a purple squirrel named Surly (Will Arnett) and his mute rat partner Buddy reside in Liberty Park where their thieving reputation has made them outcasts. A group of urban animals led by Raccoon (Liam Neeson) and his cardinal assistant are running low on food for winter. Red squirrel Andie (Katherine Heigl) and glory hogging gray squirrel Grayson (Brendan Fraser) compete with Surly and Buddy to scavenge from a peanut cart manned by Lucky (Scott Yaphe) and Fingers (James Rankin) who are casing a bank. The squirrels' efforts inadvertently end with the cart's propane tank exploding in the park after its cord was bitten by Fingers' pug Precious (Maya Rudolph), the runaway cart ends up destroying and burning the tree, where the animals store their food. Surly is banished and Buddy follows him.

In the city, they find Maury's Nut Shop. Adjacent to the bank, it is a criminal hideout used by Lucky, Fingers, their boss Percy "King" Dimpleweed (Stephen Lang) and Knuckles, who plan to break through the wall and replace the bank's cash with nuts. King's girlfriend Lana (Sarah Gadon) believes King has gone straight and the nut store is legitimate.

Raccoon sends Andie and Grayson to the city to find food, but they get separated when a street rat approaches them. Andie recovers Fingers' dog whistle, which Knuckles threw out and Surly had used against Precious, and threatens to dispose of it if Surly does not share the nuts he is going to take. Surly accepts and unwittingly befriends Precious after threatening her with the whistle. Andie informs the park community of the plan. Raccoon reluctantly goes with the plan and assigns Mole (Jeff Dunham) and the Bruisers to go with her. Surly eventually learns from Mole that Raccoon's policy is to control the food supply in order to control the animals, and that Raccoon plans on sabotaging the nut bonanza. When Andie does not believe him, Surly leaves after Grayson reunites with them.

After fending off street rats who work for Raccoon, Surly and Grayson chase the criminal gang's getaway truck, which carries Raccoon and the other animals. Surly fights off Cardinal, and Mole defects from Raccoon and reveals the truth to the animals, resulting in Raccoon being voted out of the park community. King and Knuckles use the dynamite inside the empty truck to blow up a police barricade at a dam, but the police shoots the tire on the truck that falls from the dam, it explodes after Surly gets himself and Andie off it, and they fall into the river below. Surly makes it to a log, but finds out that Raccoon, King and Knuckles survived the explosion. Raccoon tries to kill Surly, but the nuts' weight begins to break the log, the animals arrive to rescue them, but Surly, deciding to be selfless in order to protect his friends, lets go of the log and falls into the waterfall with Raccoon. The park community now sees the good side of Surly, and mourns him.

The nuts make their way to Liberty Park. King and his associates are arrested as Lana breaks up with King. Andie and Buddy are still mourning over Surly, and when Precious learns what happened, she has Buddy come look at an unconscious Surly near the river. Doleful to see Surly lifeless, Buddy says his first two words: "best friend". Surly wakes up and hugs Buddy. Afterward, Precious leaves to meet Lana, who plans to run Maury's Nut Shop. Finding Surly alive, Andie embraces him and suggests to tell the other animals of his heroism. However, Surly declines, yet gains a willingness to work with others, and goes into the city with Buddy, allowing Grayson to take credit for the nuts making it to the park.

During the credits, the animals and humans dance with an animated Psy as he performs "Gangnam Style"; in a mid-credits scene, Raccoon and Cardinal are shown to have survived their ordeal and are sulking on a harbor buoy surrounded by sharks while coming up with another plan. In a post-credits scene, Precious chases Mole to get the bone he is holding that she wants and he drives her away with the dog whistle.


  • Will Arnett as Surly, a purple squirrel.[2]
  • Brendan Fraser as Grayson, an idiotic, glory-hogging squirrel who has a false reputation for being the "park hero".[2]
  • Gabriel Iglesias as Jimmy, a groundhog and the leader of the Bruisers.[11][12]
  • Jeff Dunham as Mole, a mole who works for Raccoon and has eyes that are sensitive to light.
  • Liam Neeson as Raccoon, a raccoon and the self-proclaimed, deceitful leader of the park.[2][13]
  • Katherine Heigl as Andie, a compassionate squirrel who eventually becomes Surly's friend.
  • Stephen Lang as Percy "King" Dimpleweed, a mob boss.
  • Maya Rudolph as Precious, a pug that is owned by Lucky.
  • Sarah Gadon as Lana, King's girlfriend.
  • James Rankin as Fingers, King's fellow criminal who helps Lucky run "Maury's Nut Shop".
  • Scott Yaphe as Lucky, the owner of the peanut cart, who is Precious' owner and King's associate.
  • Joe Pingue as Johnny, a groundhog and a member of the Bruisers.
  • Annick Obonsawin as Jamie, a small female groundhog and a member of the Bruisers.
  • Julie Lemieux as a girl scout that tries to buy nuts from Fingers and Lucky's nut cart.
  • Robert Tinkler as Buddy, a rat and Surly's incompetent partner-in-crime who does not talk much
    • Robert Tinkler also voices Redline, a blue mouse who idolizes Grayson and whose catchphrase is "We're all gonna die!".
  • James Kee voices an armored truck guard
    • James Kee also voices a street rat.
  • Scott McCord as a police officer who tries to get Fingers and Lucky to show him a permit for their nut vending.
    • Scott McCord also provides the voices of miscellaneous animals.
  • Katie Griffin as a park pigeon


On January 17, 2011, it was announced that Lorne Cameron would write the screenplay for the film, along with Peter Lepeniotis,[14] on November 15, 2012, it was announced that Katherine Heigl, Will Arnett and Brendan Fraser had joined the cast of the film,[15] and on March 1, 2013, it was announced that Liam Neeson has also joined.[16] On December 19, 2013, it was announced that South Korean entertainer PSY makes a cameo appearance as himself during the film's ending credits, which also feature his hit song "Gangnam Style".[4]

The film's production art was featured in a Brampton, Ontario exhibit.[17]


Ha Hoe-jin, CEO of Red Rover (middle left), and Park Geun-hye, the then president of South Korea (middle right), at the South Korean premiere of the film.

The film was released in the United States on January 17, 2014, and distributed by Open Road Films.[18] International distribution was handled by The Weinstein Company,[19] the first teaser trailer for the film was released on September 27, 2013.[20] The film had its premiere at a Regal Cinemas theater in Los Angeles on January 11, 2014.[21]

Home media[edit]

The Nut Job was released on DVD and Blu-ray on April 15, 2014, by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.[22]


Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 10%, based on 88 reviews, and an average score of 3.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Hampered by an unlikable central character and source material stretched too thin to cover its brief running time, The Nut Job will provoke an allergic reaction in all but the least demanding moviegoers."[23] On Metacritic, which calculates a normalized rating from reviews, the film has an average weighted score of 37 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[24] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a "B" grade, on an A+ to F scale.[25]

Peter Debruge of Variety wrote, "The Nut Job comes up short compared with a film like Ratatouille, which, despite its less-than-adorable rodents, won audiences over through appealing voicework and writing."[5] Alonso Duralde of The Wrap wrote, "The Nut Job is merely shrill and frantic, chock-full of uninspired characters and tedious wackiness."[26] Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "A whimsical period setting helps this 3D animated caper escape some overly familiar trappings."[1] Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic wrote, "Arnett is a great comedic actor, an acidic wit, but here his Surly is just a selfish jerk. If there weren't some redemption involved, this wouldn't be a by-the-numbers animated feature, but it is, and there is, and it is wholly predictable."[27] Linda Barnard of the Toronto Star gave the film two out of four stars, saying, "If The Nut Job fails to connect through its characters it deserves praise for being a visually inspired effort, with clear homage paid to 1950s animation styles, especially Warner Bros. classics."[28] Chris Cabin of Slant Magazine gave the film one out of four stars, saying, "There's no personality in the design or the script, which only renders the cynical aftertaste of this convoluted one-squirrel-against the-world story all the more potent."[29] Jordan Hoffman of the New York Daily News gave the film two out of five stars, saying, "The cartoon is stuffed with exhausting visual mayhem, some jokes land, but most kids over 10 will roll their eyes."[30]

Joe Williams of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying, "The burnished backgrounds are pleasant to look at, but finding something to savor in the story is a tough nut to crack."[31] Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune gave the film one out of four stars, saying, "The Nut Job fights its protagonist's own charmlessness from the first scene. Turning a dislikable leading character a little less dislikable by the end credits sets an awfully low bar for this sort of thing."[32] Rafer Guzman of Newsday gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying, "The overall mood resembles a furry, nut-based version of Stanley Kubrick's The Killing."[33] Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the film two out of four stars, saying, "Someone spent a lot of time making the architecture and production design match the era. Grandparents getting dragged to The Nut Job will be appreciative."[34] Annlee Ellingson of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "The Nut Job features decent CG animation, especially of animals, but the writing isn't particularly clever, relying on obvious puns and slapstick humor."[35] Stephanie Merry of The Washington Post gave the film two out of five stars, saying, "That feeling of been-there-done-that is pervasive, with many of the jokes sounding like they were ripped off from other movies."[36] Kevin McFarland of The A.V. Club gave the film an F, saying, "The most egregious problem with The Nut Job is how shamelessly it fills in the gaps left by expanding Lepeniotis’ short with generic and tedious rogue-to-hero cliché."[37] Lou Lumenick of the New York Post gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "The small-town setting of a half-century ago is beautifully animated by director Peter Lepenotis and his team, and there are some nicely staged old-school action sequences."[38]

Scott Bowles of USA Today gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying, "When the story gets stale, the movie inserts a 'nuts' pun or, worse, resorts to a gas or burp joke, it doesn't work the first time, nor the fifth."[39] Miriam Bale of The New York Times wrote, "The Nut Job features muddy-colored and often ugly animation, a plot that feels too stretched out and loaded with details to hold the attention of most children, and more flatulence jokes than anyone deserves."[40] Adam Nayman of The Globe and Mail gave the film two out of four stars, saying, "Only a multilevel chase sequence involving Surly and some glowing-eyed street rats has any real kinetic excitement, and the supporting characters lack visual distinction."[41] Bill Zwecker of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "The bottom line: Kids may be mildly amused by The Nut Job, but adults accompanying them won't find much to capture their interest."[42] Kimberley Jones of The Austin Chronicle gave the film two out of five stars, saying, "The richly hued CG animation is quite nice – a mix of hyperdetailed character work and painterly cityscapes and pastorals – and the script putters along with small but regular amusements."[43] Tom Russo of The Boston Globe gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying, "The plot doesn’t take clever turns, the visual thrills aren’t all that thrilling, and you’re ultimately left to get your heist-movie kicks elsewhere."[44] Joel Arnold of NPR wrote, "Once Surly and Buddy case the joint, develop a plan, and deal with the inevitable surprises, The Nut Job could be any classic caper flick."[45]

Box office[edit]

The Nut Job grossed $64,251,541 in North America, and $56,633,986 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $120,885,527.[7] In North America, the film opened at number three in its first weekend, with $19,423,000, behind Ride Along and Lone Survivor,[46] it had the biggest opening weekend ever for an indie animated feature film.[9] In its second weekend, the film stayed at number three, grossing an additional $12,101,118;[47] in its third weekend, the film dropped to number four, grossing $7,278,450,[48] and in its fourth weekend, the film dropped to number eight, grossing $3,753,080.[49]


The Nut Job won the Audience Award for Best Children's Animation at the 2015 Anima: The Brussels Animation Film Festival.[50]

The film was nominated for Best Sound Editing – Feature Film at the 2014 Directors Guild of Canada Awards.[51] Paul Hunter won for The Nut Job in the Best Editing in Animation category at the Canadian Cinema Editors Awards.[52]

The French ATAA awarded the film Best Dubbing Adaptation for an Animated Film for 2015.[53]


The film's score was composed by Paul Intson, the soundtrack was released on January 17, 2014.[54]


On January 23, 2014, The Nut Job 2 was announced, with an initial release date of January 15, 2016,[55] on April 11, 2016, the release date was pushed back to May 19, 2017.[56] Will Arnett, Gabriel Iglesias, Jeff Dunham, Katherine Heigl and Maya Rudolph reprised their roles, the film details the park animals banding together to prevent a crooked mayor from bulldozing Liberty Park and replacing it with a dangerous amusement park.[57][58] On May 25, 2016, Heitor Pereira was hired to score the film,[59] on July 5, 2016, Jackie Chan joined the cast as territorial street mouse gang leader Mr. Feng;[60] in December 2016, the film was pushed back to August 11, 2017.[61]


  1. ^ a b c d Rechtshaffen, Michael. "The Nut Job Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Rechtshaffen, Michael (January 11, 2014). "The Nut Job: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Nut Job [2D] (U)". British Board of Film Classification. June 16, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d "PSY to Cameo in New Animation Movie "The Nut Job"". Soompi. December 19, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Peter Debruge (January 11, 2014). "'The Nut Job' Review: Squirrely Heist Movie Is No Match for Scrat". Variety. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Nut Job". Screen International. January 11, 2014.  (subscription required)
  7. ^ a b "The Nut Job (2014)". Box Office Mojo. January 17, 2014. Retrieved December 21, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Production information of the film". Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Busch, Anita (September 24, 2014). "'The Nut Job' Uncovers Its $100M Worldwide Gross". Deadline. Retrieved July 24, 2015. 
  10. ^ Fleming, Mike (April 11, 2013). "Open Road Squirrels Away 3D Animated Pic 'The Nut Job' For January 17 Release". Deadline. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  11. ^ Roberts, Sheila (January 19, 2014). "Will Arnett and Katherine Heigl Talk THE NUT JOB, Creating the Voices for Their Characters, Collaborating with the Director and Animators, and More". Retrieved August 27, 2014. 
  12. ^ McNary, Dave (February 13, 2014). "Gabriel Iglesias' 'Fluffy' Comedy Concert Film Set for Release". Variety. Retrieved August 27, 2014. Open Road and Gulfstream worked with Iglesias on animated film "The Nut Job," with Iglesias voicing Jimmy, a groundhog. 
  13. ^ Schillaci, Sophie (January 3, 2013). "Liam Neeson to Voice Villainous Raccoon in 'The Nut Job'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Disney Scribe Lorne Cameron to Crack 'The Nut Job'". The Hollywood Reporter. January 17, 2011. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  15. ^ Fleming, Mike. "Katherine Heigl, Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser Lend Voices To Animated 'The Nut Job'". Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  16. ^ Yamato, Jen. "Liam Neeson To Voice Villain In Animated Comedy 'The Nut Job'". Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  17. ^ Goodfellow, Ashley (April 5, 2014). "VAB goes nuts for film exhibit". The Brampton Guardian. Retrieved October 14, 2014. 
  18. ^ McNary, Dave (April 11, 2013). "Open Road Acquires U.S. Rights On 'The Nut Job'". Variety. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Weinstein Takes Nut Job". July 18, 2013. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  20. ^ "'The Nut Job' Teaser Trailer | Watch the video - Yahoo Movies". Yahoo Movies. Yahoo!. Retrieved September 28, 2013. 
  21. ^ Cassie Carpenter (January 11, 2014). "Katherine Heigl makes The Nut Job premiere a family affair with husband Josh Kelley and shy daughter Naleigh | Mail Online". London: Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  22. ^ "The Nut Job Blu-ray". Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  23. ^ "The Nut Job (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  24. ^ "The Nut Job Reviews". Metacritic. January 11, 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  25. ^ "'Ride Along' In High Gear, 'Hustle' Tops Oscar Contenders at Friday Box Office". January 18, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  26. ^ "'The Nut Job' Review: Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph Can't Save This Cluster Bomb of a Kid Flick". TheWrap. January 12, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  27. ^ "'The Nut Job,' 2 stars". The Arizona Republic. January 12, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  28. ^ "The Nut Job: Uninspired animated tale stars squirrels on a mission". Torstar Media. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  29. ^ "The Nut Job | Film Review". Slant Magazine. January 14, 2014. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Movie reviews: 'The Nut Job,' 'Big Bad Wolves' and 'Like Father, Like Son'". Daily News. New York City. June 25, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  31. ^ Williams, Joe. "Animated 'Nut Job' is pea-brained : Entertainment". Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  32. ^ Michael Phillips (January 16, 2014). "The Nut Job movie review by Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  33. ^ Guzman, Rafer (January 16, 2014). "'The Nut Job' review: Squirrel's jokes are acorny". Newsday. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  34. ^ Peter Hartlaub (October 16, 2013). "'Nut Job' review: A mix of the crude and the noir-ish". SFGate. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  35. ^ Ellingson, Annlee (January 16, 2014). "Review: 'The Nut Job' 3-D animated movie doesn't quite crack it". LA Times. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  36. ^ Stephanie Merry (January 16, 2014). "'The Nut Job' movie review: The grouchy squirrel might grow on you". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  37. ^ Kevin McFarland (Jan 16, 2014). "The Nut Job is a tedious cookie-cutter family film". The A.V. Club. 
  38. ^ Lumenick, Lou (December 31, 2013). "Comedic chestnuts pay off in animated 'The Nut Job'". New York Post. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  39. ^ Scott Bowles (January 18, 2014). "'Nut Job' is just a squirrelly clunker". Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  40. ^ Bale, Miriam (January 12, 2014). "In 'The Nut Job,' a Surly Squirrel Plans a Heist". The New York Times. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  41. ^ Nayman, Adam (January 17, 2014). "The Nut Job: Going squirrelly, Gangnam-style". Toronto: The Globe and Mail. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  42. ^ Bill Zwecker (January 16, 2014). "'The Nut Job': Not much for adults, or maybe even kids". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  43. ^ "The Nut Job - Film Calendar". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  44. ^ Tom Russo (January 14, 2014). "Movie review: 'The Nut Job'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  45. ^ Arnold, Joel. "Movie Review - 'The Nut Job' - A Churl Of A Squirrel, On The Make In The Big City". NPR. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  46. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for January 17-19, 2014". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  47. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for January 24-26, 2014". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  48. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for January 31-February 2, 2014". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  49. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for February 7-9, 2014". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  50. ^ "Anima 2016". Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  51. ^ "DGC - News & Events". Retrieved October 14, 2014. 
  52. ^ "2014 Canadian Cinema Editors Awards announced". Canadian Film Centre. July 7, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2014. 
  53. ^ "English Press Release | ATAA Awards 2015" (PDF). 
  54. ^ "'The Nut Job' Soundtrack Released". Film Music Reporter. January 25, 2014. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  55. ^ McNary, Dave (January 23, 2014). "'Nut Job 2′ Set for Jan. 15, 2016". Variety. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  56. ^ Hipes, Patrick. "'The Nut Job 2' Gets May 2017 Release Date". Deadline. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  57. ^ "Open Road Sets Release Date for Will Arnett's 'The Nut Job 2'". The Hollywood Reporter. 1969-12-31. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  58. ^ "The Nut Job 2 (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  59. ^ "Heitor Pereira to Score 'The Nut Job 2'". Film Music Reporter. May 25, 2016. 
  60. ^ McNary, Dave (July 5, 2016). "Jackie Chan Joins 'The Nut Job 2'". Variety. 
  61. ^ "Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature". Retrieved December 28, 2016. 

External links[edit]