Osmosis Jones is a 2001 live-action/animated comedy film directed by Tom Sito and Piet Kroon for the animated segments and the Farrelly brothers for the live-action ones. Unusual in this genre, the animated characters are inside the live-action ones.
It is set in a fictionalized version of the human body which resembles a large city, where micro-organisms or any being based in organisms are anthropomorphic and centers on Frank Detorre, a slovenly zookeeper. Osmosis Jones, a white blood cell teams up with Drix, a cold pill, against Thrax, a deadly virus, who plans to kill Frank within a matter of hours and other characters living within him.
Since the human body is fictionalized as a city in the film, the blood vessels and arteries resemble freeways and highways, the nerve endings and Nervous System resemble power lines and electrical substations, the lymph nodes resemble police stations, the stomach functions as an airport with arrivals, the urinary bladder functions as a cruise ship terminal with departures to leave the body, the bowels resemble a city dump and a harbor, the inner nose resembles a dam, the eyes functions as an amusement park ("See World"), the uvula resembles an observation tower, a zit resembles a nightclub, and the Brain resembles a city hall and a power plant.
It met with mixed reviews, but was a failure at the box office, earning under $14 million against a budget of $70 million. Despite the lack of accolades, the film sold well in home media. It was later adapted a Saturday morning cartoon television show, Ozzy & Drix, which aired on Kids WB from 2002 to 2004, albeit being completely animated and more emphasis on Osmosis and Drix's partnership in a different body. Limited merchandise was created due to the film's financial failure.
Frank DeTorre (Bill Murray) is an unkempt, 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, to the annoyance of his young daughter Shane (Elena Franklin).
Osmosis "Ozzy" Jones (Chris Rock) is a rebellious officer of the Frank PD, who was demoted to patrol duty in the mouth after an incident where he induced Frank to vomit against orders, resulting in Frank being fired from his previous job at a pea soup factory and banned from visiting Shane's school due to a restraining order filed by her science teacher, Mrs. Boyd (Molly Shannon).
Two years later, facing a serious challenge to his re-election prospects, Mayor Phlegmming (William Shatner) 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 (Laurence Fishburne), a deadly virus, to enter the throat. Unwilling to admit responsibility, Phlegmming instructs Frank to take a cold suppressant through brain signals. The suppressant, Drixenol "Drix" Koldreliff (David Hyde Pierce), proceeds to disinfect the throat, covering up any evidence of Thrax's arrival. To his displeasure, Ozzy is subsequently assigned to assist 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 one of Ozzy's informants, who reveals Thrax's plan to pose as a mere cold virus as a cover for killing Frank with a high fever in order to become the next big virus in the medical records. Based on his information, Ozzy goes undercover at a nightclub intending to infiltrate Thrax's gang, only to be discovered and forced to call in Drix, who manages to destroy the club with a grenade. The explosion pops a zit on Frank's forehead during a meeting with Mrs. Boyd, ruining any chance for him to apologize. In response, Phlegmming closes the investigation, has Ozzy fired from the force, and orders Drix to leave the city.
Having survived the assault, Thrax eliminates his remaining henchmen and launches a one-man assault on the hypothalamus gland (the portion of the brain that controls body temperature), where he steals a DNA bead. He then abducts the Mayor's secretary, Leah Estrogen (Brandy Norwood), and flees to the mouth to escape. His actions disable the body's ability to regulate temperature, causing the city to break out in flames and panic. As Frank is taken to the hospital in a fever coma, Ozzy and Drix reconcile and proceed to rescue Leah. They succeed, but Thrax is able to exit the mouth using pollen as a distraction. Ozzy pursues him to the surface of Shane's eye, and as they fight they both land on one of Shane's false eyelashes. As Thrax has Jones pinned down after Jones recovers the DNA bead, he gloats over how he will break his record by killing Shane as his next victim, but gets stuck in the false eyelash; Jones escapes at the last minute before the eyelash slides off and lands in a vessel of rubbing alcohol, where Thrax dissolves.
As Frank's temperature goes over 108 degrees, his heart begins to shut down and flatline. Riding one of Shane's tears, Ozzy reenters his body with the bead in hand and replaces the missing chromosome, reviving Frank from his momentary state of death. Having narrowly cheated death, Frank commits himself to living a healthier lifestyle and Ozzy and Drix are declared heroes, with Ozzy having been reinstated to the force with Drix as his new partner, at which point Ozzy also begins a relationship with Leah. Frank and Shane go hiking, as he attempts to live a healthier life. Phlegmming, meanwhile, is impeached from office due to his actions having nearly killed Frank and the City of Frank with him, resulting in his opponent Tom Colonic (Ron Howard) winning the election by a landslide, and is reduced to a custodian in the bowels, and later ejects himself accidentally by triggering Frank's flatulence.
Animation voice cast
- Chris Rock as Osmosis "Ozzy" Jones, an overzealous blue and white blood cell with little respect for authority
- Laurence Fishburne as Thrax, a tall, extremely virulent, pathogenic agent
- David Hyde Pierce as Drixenol "Drix" Koldreliff, a stoic cold pill who becomes Ozzy's best friend.
- Brandy Norwood as Leah Estrogen, Mayor Phlegmming's secretary and Ozzy's love interest
- William Shatner as Mayor Phlegmming, the self-centered mayor of the "City of Frank"
- Ron Howard as Tom Colonic, Phlegmming's rival for the mayoralty of the City of Frank
- Kid Rock, Kenny Olson, Jason Krause, Joe C., Stefanie Eulinberg, Jimmie Bones, Uncle Kracker as Kidney Rock
- Joel Silver as the police chief, Ozzy's boss
- Steve Susskind as Mob Germ Boss
- Carlos Alazraqui as Spanish germ
- Antonio Fargas as Chill
- Rodger Bumpass as Announcer for Nerve News Network / Joe Cramp
- Paul Christie as Dan Matter / Germ
- Richard Steven Horvitz as Male Red Blood Cell
- James Arnold Taylor as Coffee Holding White Blood Cell
- Herschel Sparber as Bruiser
- Eddie Barth as Conductor
- Robert Wisdom as Big Germ
- Danny Mann as Musician Cell
- Paul Pape as Male Red Blood Cell #2
- Al Rodrigo as the Frank Police Department walkie talkie
- Doug Stone as police officer with a big germ / Jamie, a police officer of Frank Police Department who broke his neck, arm, and leg due to Germ #2
- Anne Lockhart as Female Red Blood Cell
- Jansen Panettiere (uncredited) as Billy, a kid who is friends with Tom Colonic
- Jonathan Adams as Tom, a police officer of Frank Police Department who broke his arm just like Jamie
- Billy West (uncredited) as Collin, Ozzy's helicopter pilot
- "Stuttering" John Melendez as Arty, a janitor of the City Of Frank who was kidnapped by Thrax
- Sherry Lynn as Trudy McCartney, a news reporter for Nerve News Network who works with Dan Matter
- Liz Callaway as Female Cell
- Chris Phillips as Doug, A Firefighter who is a close friend of Ozzy
- Dante Basco as Reporter #1
- Lauren Tom as Reporter #2
- Harry Shearer as Reporter #3
- Doug Preis as Reporter #4
- Donald Fullilove as Doughnut
- Rif Hutton as Charlie, one of Thrax's minions
- Mickie McGowan as a Librarian
- Eddie Frierson as a police officer of Frank Police Department
- Bill Murray as Frank Detorre; The animated part of the film takes place inside his body, which is referred to by the cells as "the City of Frank"
- Elena Franklin as Shane Detorre, Frank's 10-year-old daughter
- Molly Shannon as Mrs. Boyd, Shane's science and P.E. teacher
- Chris Elliott as Bob Detorre, Frank's brother and Shane's uncle