On this day in Film History: Osmosis Jones (2001)


Otherwise known as “What the heck did I just watch?”

In August of 2001, Warner Bros. Pictures decided to torture the world with the release of Osmosis Jones, an animated/live-action film where the inner workings of a zookeeper’s body must come together to stop a deadly infection from killing the body they inhabit.

The titular character (voiced by Chris Rock), is a white blood cell police cop who has been demoted to working in the mouth after being the only one to recognize (and stop) a potential salmonella infection some time earlier (but since no one else saw it, no one believed him). Due to their human host (played by Bill Murray) having terrible hygiene, a deadly virus (dubbed “Thrax” and voiced by Laurence Fishburne) arrives and proceeds to infiltrate the body, determined to disguise himself as an ordinary cold until it’s too late for anything to stop it. Once again, Osmosis Jones is the only one to recognize a problem and he is forced to team up with a cold medicine pill (named “Drix”) to stop Thrax.

I was subjected to watching this film fifteen years ago in middle school health class. Major flaws aside, the animated segments of the film DO provide a fairly accurate representation of many bodily functions (I think that’s why we watched it). On the other hand, the toilet humor prevalent in the film ruins any chance of making the story enjoyable (for me at least). While the film has a few interesting moments (which all occur during the animated segments), the live-action portion of the film bored me almost to tears (I almost think this film would’ve done much better as a purely animated film). Not surprisingly, the film was considered a box office bomb, only earning $14 million against a $70 million budget (ouch!).

Did any of you go to see Osmosis Jones? Or have you heard of it at all? (I only ask that because Warner Bros. has done a fairly good job of hiding this little disaster). Would love to hear your thoughts (good or bad) about this….interesting (to be polite) piece of film history.

And for more “On this day in Film History” thoughts, see here

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*poster image is the property of Warner Bros. Studios


3 thoughts on “On this day in Film History: Osmosis Jones (2001)

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