The Fred the Ostrich Movie is a 2009 animated musical-comedy movie and the first of a series of animated feature films starring Fred the Ostrich and the gang. Directed by James Frawley, the movie's screenplay was written by Brian Meehl and Jack Burns. It was rated G.
Produced by New Line Cinema, The Fred the Ostrich Show depicts Fred the Ostrich as he embarks on a cross-country trip to Hollywood. Along the way, he encounters several of his animal and human friends—who all share his ambition of finding success in professional show business—who all share his ambition of finding success in professional show business—while being pursued by a relentless restaurateur with intentions of employing Fred as a spokesperson for his ostrich legs business.
The movie was released on October 2, 2009, and was released on DVD in the United States on December 15, 2009. All the songs featured in this movie were originally written for The Muppet Movie by Kenny Ascher and Paul Williams, who made a cameo as a piano player in the El Sleezo.
The film is a movie-within-a-movie, wherein Fred the Ostrich and the rest of the characters from The Fred the Ostrich Show create havoc in a screening room, where they are about to watch The Fred the Ostrich Movie. When asked by Alvin if the film depicts how they began, Fred responds "It's sort of approximately how it happened."
As the story opens, Fred is enjoying a relaxing afternoon in a Florida exotic animal preserve, singing a tune (the Oscar-nominated "Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie) and strumming his banjo, when he is approached by an agent named Bernie who recognizes his talents and encourages Fred to pursue a career in Hollywood. Inspired by the idea of "making millions of people happy," Fred sets off on a cross-country trip to Hollywood, initially via bicycle but eventually via station wagon after teaming with David the Duck, who had been working as a hapless stand-up comedian in a sleazy bar. During their journey, they are pursued by the villainous Doc Hopper (voiced by Nathan Lane, wearing an outfit similar to Colonel Sanders), owner of a struggling French-fried ostrich legs restaurant franchise, and his shy assistant, Max (voiced by Barry Williams). Doc Hopper wants Fred to be the new spokesman for his restaurants, but when Fred refuses, Hopper refuses to accept "No" for an answer and resorts to increasingly threatening means of persuasion.
Fred and David's journey also includes misadventures which introduce them to a variety of eccentric characters ("Movin' Right Along"). During one of their drives, they encounter Bugs Bunny and offer him a ride. Bugs declines stating that he's heading to Atlanta, Georgia to make his debut on Cartoon Network. Fred and David encounter Dr. Tusks and the Generation Society and their manager Peter Olsen who plan to turn an abandoned church into a pizzeria, ice cream parlor, bakery, and coffee shop. They manage to disguise Fred's car so that Doc Hopper can't recognize them ("Can You Picture That?"). They end up encountering Donald and Clara the Chicken whom had been working as plumbers until their truck crashes into Fred and David's car. When it comes to getting a replacement car from a used car dealer owner Mad Man Mooney, they meet Jumbo the Powerful Elephant and invite him to join them. The elephant runs off and Fred drives away unbeknownst that Jumbo has left to pack his things. At a carnival, the group meets Julie Simpson following a beauty contest, who falls in love with Fred in the process ("Never Before, Never Again"). She joins Fred and David as they continue traveling to Hollywood. Jumbo is still trailing Fred. At a local motel, Fred and Julie form a relationship during dinner, but a waiter calls Julie for the telephone, causing her to abandon Kermit at the motel alone and depressed. Fred wanders into the bar and meets up with Ralph the Bear, who works as a pianist at a lounge and cheers him up by telling him about the difficulty of having to live with and without women ("I Hope That Something Better Comes Along"). Doc Hopper and Max kidnap Julie and Doc sends a call to Fred to exit the motel where Fred runs into Doc's henchmen because Doc Hopper said that if Fred didn't, Julie would be slaughtered. Doc Hopper has hired an evil scientist named Dr. Max Krassman in an attempt to brainwash Fred. Fortunately, the scientist insults Julie just before he starts the process, causing her to break free in a rage and defeat him and Doc Hopper's henchmen. Immediately after freeing Fred, Julie gets a call from her agent about a job and leaves Fred to attend it.
Following a problem with the film, the movie continues as Fred's group is now joined by Ralph ("The Star-Spangled Banner"). Meanwhile, Doc Hopper goes to an even further scheme by hiring a sinister, but sexy, assassin named Snake Walker who kills ostriches for a living. Doc Hopper broadcasts on the CB Radio threatening for Fred to surrender and agree to Doc Hopper's deal or he will become an ostrich burger. When night falls, Fred's car breaks down leaving the group stranded in the desert. During a campfire that night, they sadly consider that they may miss the audition tomorrow, and Donald cheers up most of the group with a song about his longing to find his place in the world ("I'm Going to Go Back There Someday"), while Fred wanders off, ashamed of himself for seemingly bringing his friends into a dead end, and wondering whether his dreams were really worth leaving home for. Upon consulting a more optimistic vision of himself, Fred remembers that it was not just his friends' belief in the dream that brought them this far, but also his own faith in himself. Fred hears music and returns to the camp where the Generation Society and Peter arrive in their bus having followed the script that Fred left behind and end up taking them to Hollywood.
The next day, Max appears to Fred disguised as a motorcycle policeman to warn Fred that Doc Hopper has hired an assassin to kill Fred. Refusing to be hunted any longer, Fred attempts a Western-style showdown in a ghost town where the group meets Professor Bunscombe and his assistant Sneeker (who owns a laboratory in a ghost town). Fred breaks tradition by trying to talk Hopper into backing off, but Hopper refuses and orders his henchmen to kill him and all his friends. Fred and his group is saved only when one of Bunscombe's inventions, "insta-grow" pills, temporarily turn Anthromorph into a giant who is able to permanently scare off Hopper and his people.
The gang proceed to Hollywood, where they finally meet the imposing producer and studio executive Lew Lord (a reference to Lord Lew Grade who in real life gave The Muppet Show the green light), and hires them on the spot under "the standard rich-and-famous contract" after Fred reveals why they've come. The film ends with Fred and the gang attempting to make their first movie, which turns out to be a surreal pastiche of their experiences, hinting that the movie they're making is the same one the audience has been watching all along ("The Magic Store"), but a huge stage accident occurs causing most of the props to collapse and fall, and cause the lights to explode. As the dust around shattered roof clears, a stream of rainbow appears, and the group joined in by all the other characters from The Fred the Ostrich Show, various characters made by Hanna-Barbera, characters from Looney Tunes, characters from MGM cartoons, characters made by Walter Lantz (including Woody Woodpecker), characters from Popeye, characters from Pink Panther, characters from Bullwinkle, superheroes of DC and Marvel comics, characters from Super Mario Bros., characters from Donkey Kong Country, characters from The Legend of Zelda, characters from Metroid, characters from Kirby, characters from Star Fox, characters from F-Zero, characters from Pac-Man, characters from Megaman, characters from Sonic the Hedgehog, movie monsters, various merchandising characters (including Cap'n Crunch and Ronald McDonald), characters from the 1988 movie Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw, characters from Inspector Gadget, characters from Peanuts, characters from Dennis the Menace, characters from Heathcliff, characters from Garfield & Friends, characters from Speed Racer, characters from Kim Possible, characters from American Dragon: Jake Long, characters from Danny Phantom, characters from Drawn Together, characters from Total Drama Island and Total Drama Action, characters from Robin Hood, characters from The Wizard of Oz, characters from Alice in Wonderland, characters from The Wind in the Willows, and countless others sing one last reprise of "Rainbow Connection", ending the film.
After the end title appears, Jumbo tears through the screen "finally" having caught up with the others to the amusement of the audience who then talk amongst each other as the credits roll. After the credits finish rolling, Anthromorph tells the viewers to go home, then he says goodbye and passes out.
- Jim Ward as Fred the Ostrich
- Tara Strong as Julie Simpson
- Dee Bradley Baker as David the Duck, Anthropomorth, and Sneeker
- Jeff Bennett as The Amazing Donald and George the Rhino
- Tom Kenny as Wacky Barry, Fred's Nephew Alvin, and Lou Hampshire
- Greg Cipes as Peter Olsen
- Kevin Michael Richardson as Ralph the Bear and Dr. Tusks
- Carlos Alazraqui as Lloyd Zeppelin
- James Arnold Taylor as Janet
- Phil LaMarr as Scoot
- Jess Harnell as Professor Bunscombe
- Fred Tatasciore as Jumbo
- Drew Massey as Ramada
- Victor Yerrid as Hilton
- Nathan Lane as Doc Hopper
- Barry Williams as Max
- Vanessa Marshall as Ostrich Killer
- Daran Norris as Beauty Pageant Host
- Rob Paulsen as Mad Man Mooney
- Wayne Knight as Bernie the Agent
- Paul Williams as the El Sleezo Piano Player
- Susanne Blakeslee as woman in El Sleezo
- Laraine Newman as the myth
- Khary Payton as Balloon Vendor
- John DiMaggio as Dr. Krassman
- Steve Martin as Waiter
- Colleen O'Shaughnessey as Lew Lord's Secretary
- Nolan North as Ice Cream Vendor
- Terri Irwin as Herself
- Bindi Irwin as Herself
- Andre Stojka as Lew Lord
- Jeff Bergman as Bugs Bunny
- Charlie Adler
- Pamela Adlon
- Steven Blum
- Chris Edgerly
- Bill Faggerbakke
- Keith Ferguson
- Nika Futterman
- Richard Horvitz
- Tom Kane
- David Kaufman
- Rachael MacFarlane
- Jason Marsden
- Candi Milo
- Cree Summer
- Alanna Ubach
- Kari Wahlgren
- Patrick Warburton
- Mae Whitman
- Speaking Characters: Fred the Ostrich, Julie Simpson, David the Duck, Donald, Ralph, Peter Olsen, Dr. Tusks, Anthromorph, Lloyd, Janet, Scoot, Professor Bunscombe, Sneeker, Clara, Jumbo, Alvin, Hilton, Ramada, George the Rhino, Lou Hampshire, Italian Chef, Wacky Barry, Marlon Sluggs, Catbear
- Background Characters: Large Purple Bird, Ernie Monster, Killer Mom, Larry the Dairy Monster, Boogedy, Frank the Fox, Virgil, Hippo Potamus, a Pig, an Iguana, a Chicken
- The closing song, known as "The Magic Store/Rainbow Connection Reprise" featured a crowd of approximately 1350 animated characters -- with virtually every character that had been created up to that time (along with animated versions of famous people), with several exceptions (mainly Jumbo [absent for plot reasons], Monkey Fist, the Bebes, Gill, Motor Ed, Avarius, Adrena Lynn, Kim's cheerleading team, Hego, Wego, Mego, Warhok, Warmonga, Nana Possible, Synthodrone #901 (Eric), Stacey Wintergrin, Tracey, Lacey, the Oracle Twins, Brad Morton, Danika Hunnicutt, the Huntsman, Huntsboy #88, Huntsboy #89, Sun Park, the Gorgon Sisters, background Casper High boys and girls, Vulture Ghosts, Dairy King, Elliot/Gregor, Guys in White, Freakshow, Lydia, Dan Phantom, Femalien, Terminatra, Nightmerica, Download, Vid, Thrash, Harriet Chin, Ozma, Jack Pumpkinhead, Tik-Tok, Mombi, the Gump, the Wheelers, the Hungry Tiger, the Nomes, the Nome King, Walt Disney characters, Pixar characters, Fleischer characters including Betty Boop and Grampy, characters from The Replacements, characters from Phineas & Ferb, characters from The Simpsons, characters from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, characters from other Nicktoons shows besides Danny Phantom, characters from Cartoon Network shows such as Johnny Bravo and The Powerpuff Girls, all Pokémon creatures, Dr. Seuss characters, Archie characters, characters from Filmation shows such as Fat Albert and He-Man, the family from The Brady Bunch, the family from The Partridge Family, all Street Fighter fighters, all Mortal Kombat fighters, characters from 6teen, characters from Stoked, Muppets from Jim Henson's productions and Sesame Street, puppets from Sid & Marty Krofft shows, stop-motion characters like Gumby and Davey and Goliath, characters from Dreamworks movies such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and Madagascar, characters from the Ice Age franchise, DC and Marvel villains, characters from The Brave Little Toaster, and most of the cartoon characters from George and His Pals and other early Fred the Ostrich productions). All the characters are from The Fred the Ostrich Show, Hanna-Barbera shows, Looney Tunes, MGM cartoons, Walter Lantz cartoons, Popeye, Pink Panther, Bullwinkle, DC comics, Marvel comics, Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Country, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Kirby, Star Fox, F-Zero, other Nintendo games, Pac-Man, Megaman, Sonic the Hedgehog, monster movies, commercials and ads, Pound Puppies & The Legend of Big Paw, Inspector Gadget, Peanuts, Heathcliff, Garfield & Friends, Speed Racer, Kim Possible, American Dragon: Jake Long, Danny Phantom, Drawn Together, Total Drama, Robin Hood (not the Disney version), The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland (not the Disney version), The Wind in the Willows (not the Disney version), and others. The crowd sequence took a day to be drawn and produced.
- This movie is dedicated to the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin (1962-2006), whose wife Terri and daughter Bindi made their animated appearance in this movie.
- Dee Bradley Baker makes an animated cameo as a motorcyclist during the battle scenes at the El Sleezo. Cree Summer makes an animated cameo throughout practically the entire scene where everyone watches who wins the Bogen County Beauty Pageant.
- A running gag in the original screenplay featured Hilton and Ramada occasionally popping-up throughout the film to comment on the events as they transpired. Scenes included the pair riding a camel named Dromedary past Fred and the gang in the desert during the reprise of "Movin' Right Along".
- Shots of Fred and Julie on a romantic Hawaiian honeymoon were filmed for the "Never Before, Never Again" montage, but were not included in the final film.
- Ramada and Hilton appear again at The Terrace Restaurant to comment on the events of the film. Photographs from the scene were featured in the storybook of the film.
- Promotional pictures from the scene of the enlarged Anthromorph in the Ghost Town show Anthro's giant hands coming through the roof. A brief shot of Anthromorph (with his hands) appeared in the extended UK and Australia version.
- A DVD release of this film in the United Kingdom and Australia lasted a few minutes longer than in America. Some of the extra scenes included a slightly longer comedy club performance from David including a longer dance number with Fred, a short opening and closing speech from Doc Hopper on his French Fried Ostrich Legs commercial, a longer conversation between Doc Hopper and Max before they encountered Fred and David in the rainbow-painted Chevrolet, Dr. Tusks gives a more in-depth reading from the script, and an extra verse of "I Hope That Something Better Comes Along." Also in this version of the film, a different instrumental track is used for "Never Before", and the gang's conversations during the end credits can be heard more clearly over a quieter and different closing theme. These extra scenes were also available for the Japanese dub of the movie when it first aired on TV in 2012, but were later removed when the movie was released on DVD.
- "The Rainbow Connection"
- Hollywood agent
- Gone with the bicycle
- David the Duck
- Doc Hopper
- "Moving Right Along"
- A moral decision
- The Generation Society
- "Can You Picture That?"
- The Amazing Donald
- Mad Man Mooney
- Miss Bogen County
- "Never Before"
- Good Humor man
- "I'm flying!"
- Dinner for two
- "Something Better"
- Dr. Krassman
- Snake Walker
- "I'm Going Back There Someday"
- "We read the screenplay."
- Bunscombe and Sneeker
- Ghost town showdown
- World Wide Studios
- Lew Lord
- "The Magic Store"
- "The Rainbow Connection" (reprise)
- Fred: David, turn left!
- David: What?
- Fred: I said, turn left!
- David: Right, ostrich!
- Fred: What?
- David: Never mind.
- (During the bridge of "Moving Right Along")
- David: Ah! A duck in his natural setting... a station wagon.
- (Just then he and Fred spot someone walking by.)
- Fred: Look up ahead there.
- David: Who's that?
- Fred: Maybe we should give him a ride?
- David: I dunno, but we'll try. (He stops his car and turns to a familiar character) Excuse me, wanna lift?
- Rabbit (Bugs Bunny): Ehh, no thanks. I'm on my way to Atlanta, Georgia, to try to break back into Cartoon Network.
- (Fred and David shrug, speechless)
- David: Have fun.
- (They drive off, as Bugs keeps going.)
- (The movie starts with a spinning globe atop a statue of a director on a World Wide Studios entrance way. Then we cut to a limo where seated in the back is Ramada and Hilton. Ramada opens the window.)
- Ramada: Hi, my name is Ramada.
- Hilton: And my name is Hilton. We're here to heckle The Fred the Ostrich Movie please.
- Gate Guard: Gentlemen, straight ahead. Private screening room B.
- Ramada: Private screening?
- Hilton: Yeah, it means they won't be showing it in public.
- (They both laugh)
- Ramada: (Noticing actors and crew are walking in a movie lot) Ahh, look at this place. What a dump!
- Hilton: Yeah, a bunch of idiots around here. Just look at them.
- (Bunscombe attempts the sound equipment.)
- Bunscombe: Sound is ready; give me a level.
- (Anthromorph walks toward a boom microphone.)
- Anthromorph: (Shouting) TESTING!!!!!
- (His loud voice causes Bunscombe's headphones to rattle. Anthromorph laughs.)