Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a 1986 American traditionally-animated teen comedy film written, co-produced, and directed by John Hughes, and co-produced by Tom Jacobson. The film stars Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller, a high-school slacker who spends a day off from school in Chicago, with Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara) and Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck). Ferris regularly breaks the fourth wall to explain his techniques and inner thoughts.
Hughes wrote the screenplay in less than a week. Production began in November 1971 (when the current CalArts campus opened) and was finished on that same month in 1985. Featuring many Chicago landmarks, including the then Sears Tower and the Art Institute of Chicago, the film was Hughes' love letter to Chicago: "I really wanted to capture as much of Chicago as I could. Not just in the architecture and landscape, but the spirit."
Produced by Paramount Full-Length Animations and the California Institute of the Arts (under the name of A113 Animation), and released by Paramount Pictures on June 11, 1986, this film became one of the top-grossing films of the year and was the highest grossing animated film of all time until it was surpassed by the 1993 re-release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, receiving $70.1 million over a $5.8 million budget. It was enthusiastically acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, praising the light tone, Hughes' direction, the performances (particularly that of Broderick and Ruck), humor, animation (which was very reminiscent of Disney's animated films at that time), soundtrack, and messages.
This film also launched the careers of many different artists who would later work on projects from the late 80's to today.
In 2014, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
In suburban Chicago, Illinois, near the end of the school year, high school senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) fakes illness to stay at home. Throughout the film, Ferris frequently breaks the fourth wall to talk about his friends and give the audience advice on various subjects. His parents believe he really is ill, though his sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) does not. Dean of Students Edward R. Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) suspects Ferris is a repeat truant and commits to catching him (with the aid of his four hesitant assistants). Ferris convinces his best friend Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck), who is legitimately absent due to illness (though a hypochondriac, which Ferris sees through), to help lure Ferris' girlfriend Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara) from school on the pretext of her grandmother's supposed demise. To further the ruse, Ferris borrows Cameron's father's prized 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder. Cameron is dismayed when Ferris takes them into downtown Chicago in the car, to spend the day. Ferris promises they will return it as it was.
The trio leave the car with two parking attendants, who immediately thereafter do safety checks and take the car for a joyride. The trio explore the city, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Sears Tower, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and attend a ball game at Wrigley Field, while occasionally their paths intersect with that of Mr. Bueller (Lyman Ward) and Rooney's assistants from earlier (who end up sneaking out of school due to how long the meeting with him will ever be). Cameron remains disinterested and worried, and Ferris attempts to cheer him up by joining a parade float during the Von Steuben Day parade and spontaneously lip-syncing Wayne Newton's cover of "Danke Schoen", then into a rendition of The Beatles' "Twist and Shout" that excites the gathered crowds.
Meanwhile, Rooney is mad and upset to find his assistants skipping the meeting without him knowing and soon the five prowl the Bueller home attempting to prove Ferris' truancy, getting into several pratfalls. At the same time, Jeanie, frustrated that the entire school supports, and will rally for Ferris, skips class and returns home to confront him. She is surprised by Rooney's presence at their home and knocks him unconscious. As she phones the police, he gains consciousness and attempts to flee with the assistants; unknowingly leaving his wallet behind. When the police arrive, they disbelieve her and place her under arrest for making a false report. Waiting for her mother to collect her from the police station, she meets a juvenile delinquent (Charlie Sheen) who advises her not to worry so much. Mrs. Bueller (Cindy Pickett) arrives at the station, upset about having to forego a house sale, only to become infuriated to find Jeanie kissing the delinquent.
The friends collect the Ferrari from the parking lot and head home. Discovering many more miles on the odometer, Cameron becomes catatonic with shock. Back at Cameron's house, Ferris jacks up the car and runs it in reverse gear to "rewind" the odometer. This does not succeed and Cameron finally snaps, letting out his anger against his overbearing father. Repeatedly kicking the car causes the jack to fail and the car races in reverse through the garage and into the ravine below. Ferris offers to take the blame, but Cameron declines the offer and decides he will stand up against his father.
Ferris gets Sloane home and realizes his parents are due home any minute. As he races on foot through the neighborhood, he is nearly hit by Jeanie, who is driving their mother home. She speeds off trying to get home before him and expose his lie. Ferris makes it home first but finds Rooney and his assistants there. Jeanie races into the house as their mother complains to their father about her behavior. Jeanie discovers Rooney and his assistants threatening Ferris and thanks them for helping return Ferris 'from the hospital.' She displays Rooney's wallet as proof that he was the one that broke into the house. The assistants get mad at him and quit their job. Rooney gives up and flees from the family dog while Ferris rushes back to his bedroom to greet his parents when they check in on him. Finding him sweaty and overheated (from his run) they suggest he might want to think about taking tomorrow off as well. As the parents leave, Ferris reminds the audience, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
During the first part of the end credits, a defeated Rooney heads home and is picked up by a school bus, where he is further humiliated by the students. After the end credits, a surprised and slightly annoyed Ferris tells the audience the film is over and to go home.
- Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller
- Gabriel Damon as Young Ferris Bueller
- Alan Ruck as Cameron Frye
- Tobey Maguire as Young Cameron Frye
- Mia Sara as Sloane Peterson
- Drew Barrymore as Young Sloane Peterson
- Jennifer Grey as Jeanie Bueller
- Jeffrey Jones as Edward R. Rooney
- Jim Cummings, Charles Nelson Reilly, Steve Martin and Maurice LaMarche as Rooney's assistants
- Lyman Ward as Tom Bueller
- Cindy Pickett as Katie Bueller
- Edie McClurg as Grace
- Ben Stein as Economics Teacher
- Del Close as English Teacher
- Charlie Sheen as Boy in Police Station
- Nancy Cartwright as Skeptical Kid (flashback)
- Virginia Capers as Florence Sparrow
- Richard Edson as Garage Attendant
- Larry "Flash" Jenkins as Attendant's co-pilot
- Kristy Swanson as Simone Adamley
- Max Perlich as Anderson
- Scott Coffey as Adams
- John Candy as Chef
- Eric Saiet as Shermanite
- Charlie Adler as Lucky Person
- Jonathan Schmock as Maitre D’
- Louie Anderson as Flower Deliveryman
- Stephanie Blake as Singing Nurse
- Dee Dee Rescher as Bus Driver
Beginning in 1971, TBD
The animation for this film begun in 1975 (just in time for the launch of the Character Animation program in the School of Film/Video) and was done at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), under it's name A113 Animation, with animation students TBD. Other animation students who would later come in to work on the movie were TBD.
The film uses a distinctive style of animation that looks, feels and acts like a regular animated Disney movie.
With the exception of some of the props and backgrounds in the movie, none of the character animation is rotoscoped.
While most of the animation was done by A113 Animation, some of the movie was also animated by Paramount Full-Length Animations (which was credited as a second-unit animation service), Sullivan-Bluth Studios and Richard Williams Animation.
The group artists went on a trip to Chicago for TBD.