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Film / Woody Woodpecker

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Woody Woodpecker is a 2017 American live-action/GCI comedy film directed by Alex Zamm, written by Zamm and William Robertson, and based on the eponymous cartoon character. The film focuses on Woody (Eric Bauza) working to save his home tree from getting cut down by attorney Lance Walters (Timothy Omundson), who wants to build a house in Woody's home forest.

The film also stars Graham Verchere as Tommy Walters, Jordana Largy as Samantha Bartlett and Thaila Ayala as Vanessa.


Woody Woodpecker providess examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: Woody flies, is very agile, and can drill through wood like a tornado in this film while he (usually) lacked these abilities back in the cartoons. In the 1940s animated shorts, Woody rarely flew and he stayed on the ground or drove a car to get to places.
  • Adapted Out: None of the other Woody Woodpecker characters are present due to the film being a Human-Focused Adaptation.
  • Animal Nemesis: Lance becomes obsessed with getting rid of Woody after the woodpecker starts to get in the way of the construction of his new house.
  • Animation Bump: Woody is computer-animated in this film instead of drawn on paper with ink this time, marking his CGI debut.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: Inverted. In this film, Woody is downsized to between one and two feet, although back in the cartoons he was at least half the size of a human and drove a car. Woody also doesn't carry any money in this film, while he always did in the cartoon, especially whenever his nemesis Buzz Buzzard (who's not in this film) was involved and tried to cheat him out of his money.
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  • Anti-Hero: Woody, naturally and also Lance.
  • Befriending the Enemy: Taking Sam's advice, Lance decides to play nice with Woody, offering him treats in return for letting him build his house. This works, until Woody accidentally sets the house on fire.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Nate and Ottis Grimes, the brother poachers who desire to hunt Woody and sell him to the highest bidder.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Woody does this often by "pausing" the movie.
  • Calling Parents By Their Names: Tommy calls his father Lance at the start of the movie, much to Lance's annoyance. He starts to call him dad as their relationship improves.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Tommy does this a lot to his dad Lance for antagonizing Woody so much.
  • Captain Obvious: Woody, he deliberately says obvious things the whole movie.
  • Cassandra Truth: Samantha doesn't believe Lance when he tells her there's a red-crowned pileated woodpecker in the area because it's believed they've been extinct for a hundred years. She remains skeptic until she finally sees Woody.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Woody strips two bullies who were picking on Tommy down to their underwear out in the middle of the street. Woody threatens to strip them even further before they run away in embarassment and terror.
  • Continuity Nod: The fake female woodpecker decoy that the Grimes brothers set up for Woody is a nod to Winnie. However, because the movie states that Woody's the last of his species, this could mean that Winnie doesn't exist in this movie's continuity or she died from the poaching that extinguished all the other woodpeckers.
  • Disposable Fiancé: Vanessa, Lance's fiancé at the start of the film, breaks off their engagement halfway through the film after seeing him fail to get rid of Woody and allowing her to get blown up. This appears to free Lance up to pursue a relationship with park ranger Sam.
  • Evil Poacher: Nate and Ottis Grimes very frequently hunt endangered animals, ignoring the "No Poaching" signs being hung up. They go after Woody after finding out how much money he would be worth if sold on the black market.
  • Food and Animal Attraction: Woody's genuine love of food is how he befriends Tommy and takes advantage of Lance.
  • Funny Animal: According to Samantha's ornithology book, Woody is a red-crowned pileated woodpecker... who can talk, wears gloves, and operates on Toon Physics. Notably, all of the illustrations of red-crowned pileated woodpeckers in the book are realistic except for an illustration of Woody leaning against a tree; and the species has purportedly been extinct for almost a century.
  • Gasshole: Woody when he eats beans can fart out his own signature laugh.
  • Hard-Work Montage: Woody as he works to ensure that Lance's dream house never gets built and also Tommy, Jill and Woody practicing for their performance at a concert.
  • Human-Focused Adaptation: The story of a man building a house and those who would thwart him, and Woody.
  • Iris Out: Woody gets caught in one at the end of the movie, and grumps that "someone's in a hurry for the credits."
  • Last of His Kind: Woody. He suffers from loneliness because of this, as all the other woodpeckers were wiped out by poaching.
  • Lost Aesop: The film flips from being about preserving the environment to the value of family, even as the pristine forest is cleared for development.
  • Market-Based Title: Titled Pica-Pau: O Filme in Brazil.
  • Maternally Challenged: Lance's fiance, Vanessa, claims to not be very good with kids, which means she doesn't get along with Tommy at all, and didn't want him to join them on their trip. She doesn't look forward to becoming a step-mom at all.
  • Mythology Gag: Woody's rap song is a modern arrangement of his opening song number from his first solo cartoon, The Cracked Nut.
  • Mad God: Invoked, as the park ranger informs Lance that Woody's species was seen by the local indigenous people as the manifestation of their god of chaos and mayhem.
  • Medium Awareness: Woody — true to his nature as a zany cartoon character — pauses the film to address the audience at various points.
    Woody: Hey, don't let the mushy music fool you. We're not friends or anything. I'm only doing this for the free food.
    Woody: Okay, okay. I know what you folks are thinking. "Woody is a big, fat sellout." [the camera pans back to reveal his house stuffed full of peanut butter cookie boxes] But the way I see it, it's a mutually-beneficial business agreement.
  • Prefer Jail to the Protagonist: The Grimes brothers after being defeated by Woody in the climax are relieved that the police arrive, begging to be arrested so that they can get away from Woody.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: Feathery Vengeance?
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: The web page that the two poachers check at the beginning has "bird" spelled as "ird". What makes this even more jarring is the fact that "bird" was spelled correctly on the same page prior to the misspelling.
  • Run for the Border: The story takes place near the Canadian border and the Grimes brothers decide to run for it upon being exposed as illegal poachers.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!:
    Samantha: You can't just kill it. The woodpecker is a protected species, you'd be breaking the law. A $10,000 fine!
    Lance: Do you take credit cards?
    Samantha: And two years in jail.
  • The Prankster: Woody veers between this and Karmic Trickster over the course of the movie, being antagonistic towards Lance for no apparent reason and blackmailing him into getting a huge stockpile of Peanut Butter Bonkers cookies; and also one-upping the poachers trying to capture him.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: The Native Americans who lived in the area Woody currently resides left because otherwise they couldn't rid of the red-crowned pileated woodpeckers who lived there back then.
  • Shockingly Expensive Bill: Lance gets a handful of these while Woody is sabotaging the construction of his new house. After paying off a huge bill, he gets handed yet another one to his shock. Then after paying that bill off, he gets more and more bills ranging from $25,000 to $65,000.
  • Shout-Out: Lance wakes up in the middle of the night to see Woody leering down at him, delivering a reference to the The Shining's "Here's Johnny!" line.
  • Skewed Priorities: Park ranger Samantha tells Lance that the penalty for killing Woody will be $10,000 dollars before also adding two years in prison. Wouldn't it make more sense to state the penalty's sentence and then its fine?
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Vanessa finds herself getting a great deal of physical punishment throughout the film, including getting whacked in the face with a broom and getting blown up in a gas fire, all played for laughs.
  • Start My Own: After being fired for making an unfriendly comment, Lance decides to improve and sell a land he inherited from his grandfather so he can start his own company to compete against his former employers.
  • Toilet Humor: Woody farts his signature laugh, poops on Lance's girlfriend, and poops on a guy's ice-cream.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Woody loves peanut butter, especially peanut butter cookies, which is what drives him to extort Lance for hundreds of peanut butter cookies.
    • Tommy states that his favorite is pizza, which Lance seems to loathe.
    • Lyle loves hot dogs so much he ate 29 of them in one sitting! Though Lyle very soon regrets this.
  • Toon Physics: In contrast to the normal humans barring a few slapstick moments, Woody operates on cartoon physics — including breaking the fourth wall several times, defying gravity to walk along the walls and ceiling of his home, and Self-Duplication during his rap.
  • Villain Protagonist: Both Woody and Lance (especially Woody) start off from the movie as this. Woody and Lance are initially hostile towards one another out of territorial dispute even though as Samantha points out, the forest is big enough for both of them, but seeing as Woody is the true victor in any fight that happens between the two, Lance starts to cave in and make amends with Woody.