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PuffRuff School: The Movie is a 2001 American animated comedy film based on the Fox animated television series PuffRuff School. Directed by series creator Trevor Jordan, the film stars the regular television cast of Kelsey Stern, Billy West, Tobey Maguire, and Michael Kastek, joined by Alicia Silverstone, Ashton Kutcher, Noah Emmerich, and Freddie Prinze Jr. Its story takes place in between the seventh and eighth seasons of the series, and follows MJ, Kirby, Pyro, and Andrew as they seek to take back PuffRuff Middle School from their friend-turned-rival students of RuffPuff Junior College. The film was produced by T.J. Entertainment and Imperium Entertainment, and was the first theatrical feature film based on a Fox animated series.

The writing team behind PuffRuff School – consisting of Trevor Jordan, Nicholas Pockes, and Sean Andrews – initially felt reluctant toward offers by 20th Century Fox for a film adaptation of the television series, but eventually agreed to the project in November 1999, with production beginning in February 2000. However, disagreements broke out among the team as they fought over the film's direction; Pockes and Andrews suggested the plot be more "epic" than expected of the series, while Jordan insisted it be more "down-to-earth". After they rewrote the screenplay four times, productivity improved after they decided to base it on Jordan's story, and the film was eventually completed with few difficulties in January 2001.

PuffRuff School: The Movie premiered at the Mann Village Theatre in Los Angeles on July 24, 2001, and was released in the United States on August 17, 2001. It received positive reviews from critics and fans, who praised its humor, writing, and story, and grossed over $97 million worldwide against its $24 million budget, making it the fifth highest-grossing animated film of 2001. It was later released on DVD and VHS on January 21, 2002, and on Blu-ray on August 16, 2011, nearly ten years after its original release.

PlotEdit

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Voice castEdit

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ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

20th Century Fox had offered to produce a feature film adaptation of PuffRuff School as early as 1997, when the series was well into its third season. The three principal writers for the series – Trevor Jordan, Nicholas Pockes, and Sean Andrews – initially declined the studio's offer, as they were already working on three feature film projects in addition to PuffRuff SchoolRevolt Squad for Warner Bros., Spitfire for Columbia Pictures, and Project Zero for Paramount Pictures. In addition to those projects, they said they did not yet feel confident in producing a PuffRuff School movie, even though the series' increase in ratings during its second and third seasons' had led it to become Fox's second highest-rated animated series after the network's own The Simpsons.

In September 1999, after production on Project Zero was completed, Jordan and Pockes met with 20th Century Fox executives to reconsider the possibility of a PuffRuff School film. Since they had completed other projects that were in development when Fox had first proposed the idea, they decided they were ready to produce a PuffRuff School movie, feeling that the series had achieved enough popularity. In order to ensure themselves more creative freedom, they agreed to the project on the condition that they would be allowed to produce it through Jordan's T.J. Entertainment and Andrews' Imperium Entertainment labels without any involvement from Fox's in-house animation unit Fox Animation Studios (which was later shuttered midway through the film's production in June 2000).

WritingEdit

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CastingEdit

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AnimationEdit

Animation for the film took place from July to November 2000.

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Post-productionEdit

Although some sites speculated that it would be rated PG-13, PuffRuff School: The Movie was rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for "rude humor and some mild language".

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MusicEdit

Main article: PuffRuff School: The Movie: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture

The film's soundtrack album was released on August 14, 2001 by Interscope Records, and features songs by artists such as the Chemical Brothers, Queens of the Stone Age, the Dismemberment Plan, No Doubt, Gorillaz, the Strokes, and Sum 41.

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MarketingEdit

The film's teaser trailer was released on December 16, 2000, and was attached to films such as The Emperor's New Groove, Dude, Where's My Car?, and What Women Want. The first theatrical trailer was released on March 16, 2001, and was attached to films such as Spy Kids, Josie and the Pussycats, and Pokémon 3: The Movie. The second theatrical trailer was released on May 13, 2001, and was attached to films such as Shrek, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. TV spots for the film were released from June to August 2001.

In support of the film's release, 20th Century Fox made promotional deals with companies such as Target, Hasbro, Taco Bell, Mastercard, Topps, and Verizon Wireless.

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ReleaseEdit

Box officeEdit

In the United States, PuffRuff School: The Movie was released alongside Rat Race, American Outlaws, and Captain Corelli's Mandolin, and grossed over $18.7 million from 2,301 theaters on its opening weekend. The film closed on November 9, 2001, having earned over $65.8 million in North America and over $31.4 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $97 million. It became the fifth highest-grossing animated film of 2001, as well as the fourty-first highest-grossing film of the year overall.

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Critical receptionEdit

PuffRuff School: The Movie received generally positive reviews from critics. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 74% approval rating based on 96 reviews, with an average rating of 7/10; the site's consensus reads, "PuffRuff School survives the dreaded TV-to-movie process by carrying over the humor and charm that made the series great in the first place." On Metacritic, it holds a score of 69 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

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Home mediaEdit

The film was released on DVD and VHS on January 21, 2002, with the DVD version containing widescreen and fullscreen versions of the film. The DVD release also includes an audio commentary track recorded by Jordan, Pockes, and Andrews, as well as the behind-the-scenes featurette "How We Made PuffRuff School: The Movie".

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