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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. The film follows MJ, Kirby, Pyro, and Andrew as they seek to take back their school from their friend-turned-rival students of RuffPuff Junior High. Produced by T.J. Entertainment and Imperium Entertainment, it was the first theatrical feature film based on a Fox animated television series.

The developing team behind PuffRuff School – Trevor Jordan, Nicholas Pockes and Sean Andrews – initially felt reluctant towards offers by 20th Century Fox for a film adaptation of the series, but eventually agreed to the project in September 1999, following the completion of the first season of Jordan and Pockes' other series Tj's World. Pockes and Andrews originally 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 three times, productivity improved after they decided to base it on Jordan's story, and the film was eventually completed with few difficulties by February 2001. To promote its release, Fox made tie-in deals with Target, Mattel, Taco Bell, Mastercard, Topps, and Verizon Wireless.

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 $18 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.

Plot

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Voice cast

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Production

Development

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 on the series – Trevor Jordan, Nicholas Pockes and Sean Andrews – initially declined the studio's offer, as 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 the second highest-rated primetime animated series on the Fox network, right behind The Simpsons.

In August 1999, Jordan and Pockes met with Fox executives to reconsider the possibility of a PuffRuff School movie after they decided they were ready to undertake production on the film adaptation, feeling that the series had achieved enough popularity (around this time, it had become Fox's highest-rated series on Friday nights after the network moved the show from its original Sunday timeslot to make room for its newer series Family Guy and Futurama). In order to ensure themselves creative freedom, they agreed to the project on the condition that they would be allowed to produce it through Jordan and Andrews' respective T.J. Entertainment and 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).

Writing

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Casting

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Animation

Animation for the film took place concurrently with production on the show's eighth season from May to November 2000.

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Post-production

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Music

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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Marketing

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 tie-in deals with Target, Mattel, Taco Bell, Mastercard, Topps, and Verizon Wireless.

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Release

Box office

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 December 7, 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 forty-first highest-grossing film of the year overall.

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Critical reception

PuffRuff School: The Movie received generally positive reviews from critics. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 73% "Fresh" approval rating based on 86 reviews, with an average rating of 7/10 and the critical consensus reading, "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, the film holds a score of 69 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

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Home media

PuffRuff School: The Movie 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". On August 16, 2011, the film was re-released on Blu-ray for its tenth anniversary.

It is currently unknown if the film will be re-released on Ultra HD Blu-ray, due to T.J. and Imperium Entertainment choosing to split the rights to the PuffRuff School franchise between Fox Entertainment and the Walt Disney Company after the latter's acquisition of 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios) in 2019. However, as part of an agreement between Fox and Disney, the film and all episodes of the series are available on the streaming services Hulu (partly owned by Disney) and Tubi (wholly owned by Fox).

Gallery

Main article: PuffRuff School: The Movie/Gallery


v - e - d
Puffruffschoollogo.png
Main characters
MJKirbyPyroAndrew
Supporting characters
Mr. WayneMr. ConstancePrincipal MichaelMrs. JordanMarcusMr. AblemanMrs. AblemanMr. RextonMr. AndersonMrs. Anderson
Recurring characters
MikeWestleyChristianHughRachelChloeAmyDarrenDennisJonathanBrittneyPhilWadeCindyStevenJimmyTravisFrancisEricDr. LightmanMr. EldoradoMrs. OpheliaLeigh ReaderMaxwell MarksonMrs. PetersonMr. ArtmanMr. GoodmanMr. SowseedMr. WilliamsMr. OaksMindyRex DangerfieldDonald ShmartanoggerDoormat DonnyBennyStacySister LeeSallyJohn Saint MartinWilliam J. JamesonLanaKellyKatieJeff HannemanIT-1
Locations
PuffRuff Middle SchoolAquarius DinerSan Francisco SupermallSan Francisco MegaplexThe Belt StoreSuper Land Amusement ParkSamCoMilkshake PalaceFlipTopStarlite ArcadeCorn KingdomRuffPuff Junior HighCoolCo Toy Company
Film
PuffRuff School: The Movie (2001)
Video games
PuffRuff School: Class Wars (1998) • PuffRuff School: Super Mega City Mania (2002)
Seasons
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