The Nut Job is a 3D computer-animated film released in North America on January 17, 2014 by Open Road Films.The movie follows the adventures of Surly, a squirrel (who only looks out for himself) who is banished from the park he lives in after he accidentally destroys the other animals' food supply for winter after one of his many thefts goes awry. Forced to survive in the city, he and his rat friend Buddy come across a nut shop and plan a heist of epic proportions, even if it means getting the other park animals to help out before the winter weather arrives. Elsewhere, the owners of the nut shop are planning their own heist: to rob the bank across the street. It's a race against time to see who can pull off their heist first.Although it was critically blasted, its low budget and relatively strong box office made the film a big enough success for a sequel to be scheduled for January, 2016.
Tropes from The Nut Job:
Action Girl: Andie is the only park dweller who is competent as a hero, especially compared to the ditzy Grayson.
Artistic License - Biology: The robbers consistently refer to Surly and the others as rats, even though they're variously squirrels, gophers and a mole. Only Buddy is a rat.
Artistic License - Law: Part of the robbers' getaway plan was to cross state lines, apparently expecting the police that were hot on their tails to suddenly break off pursuit at that invisible boundary. Police can cross state lines in pursuit of a suspect if the person is suspected of a felony (e.g. robbing a bank); that is the very definition of the term, "Hot Pursuit."
Idiot Hero: Grayson takes it to new levels of obliviousness and stupidity, but he means well. And although we don't know him for very long before he is involved in a big crash, it's implied the head injury he suffers is the reason for his behavior later in the film, and that, prior to this, he was actually a competent hero, just a smug, overconfident and arrogant one.
Manipulative Bastard: Raccoon, who convinces everyone to banish Surly from the park, and then use Surly all so they can steal food that only he'll have access to so he can control the animals' food supply, thus controlling the animals themselves.
Meaningful Name: The word surly means "rude and unfriendly", or "menacing or threatening in appearance." Subverted towards the end of the movie.
Oh Crap: Surly gets this reaction when he first encounters Precious.
Surly: Oh, great.
Only Sane Squirrel: Andie is the only park dweller who is a real asset to the park community.
It seems Grayson was, too, until his injury at the beginning of the film which is apparently largely responsible for his behavior later. His only negative trait prior to the injury seemed to be his arrogance.
Paper-Thin Disguise: Surly tries to evade a gang of bad rats by putting a small plastic cup over his nose to look like one of them. It doesn't work.
Surly: Looking for that squirrel, huh? Me too. [cup falls off]
Please Don't Leave Me: The Stinger reveals that Raccoon survived his fall over the waterfall, and has drifted out to sea on a life buoy. The Cardinal flies out to sit with him. Raccoon responds with a snarky comment. The Cardinal takes offense and prepares to leave, to which Raccoon quickly backtracks and says, "Please stay."
Plot Parallel: The various loyalties of the park animals and the gangsters usually.
Smug Snake: Raccoon. Throughout the whole movie, he tries to blame all the bad misdeeds on Surly and manipulates everyone into believing him, but when Mole exposes Raccoon for who he really is, all his plans fall apart. Even then, he still tried to blame Surly for it.
Also Knuckles, who never says a single thing in the film.
Raccoon's cardinal friend.
Undying Loyalty: Buddy wants to stick with Surly no matter what obstacles they face.
Women Are Wiser: Andie is sincerely determined to help her community and is the only park dweller who has the skill and determination to do that reliably.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Surly seems to swing back and forth between bright purple and coal black depending on the lighting.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Raccoon seems fond of this trope. Andie, despite her competence, doesn't follow orders as well as he'd like. So he sends her out on what is apparently an intentionally doomed mission, seemingly never expecting her to return. It would appear this is also why he sends the recently brain-damaged Grayson with her - in his current state, Grayson is a joke as the "park hero" (no matter what the other animals think of him) and an embarrassment to Raccoon's leadership. He later does this to all the heroic characters by locking them in a van, since their role in making the mission fail and frame Surly for it is now over.