“Otto” Feature Film Script Treatment

Logline: Otto the Otter is a talking toy in a world full of humans… He thought he was the only one.

Genre: Live-action/animated comedy

Demographic: Rated PG/PG-13, suitable for ages 10+, all genders

Run time: approx. 90-100 mins

Synopsis

Otto the Otter lives his life as a sentient toy in the human world. He works a human job, has a human wife and adopted child, optimistically oblivious to how objectified he is by his friends and family. Otto thinks he’s unique until he meets Fluffy Bunny who hides in a toy store and throws parties with the toys every night as if they’re real. Thrilled to learn that he is not alone in his experience of the world, Otto coaxed Fluffy out of hiding and into a grand adventure to learn how they both came to be… and if there might be others.

It’s a “bunny-action comedy”!

Characters

Otto- A sentient toy otter living as a human, unaware that there could be more like him.

Fluffy- A sentient toy bunny who hides from humans due to a tragic past.

Tate- Otto’s best friend and creator, about to become a new dad!

Tina- Otto’s tall, blonde Barbie-doll-like wife. A hot-tempered human, she doesn’t always understand things from his perspective.

Nicky- Otto’s 3-year-old adopted son, a bit of a terror.

Sandy- Tate’s pregnant girlfriend, a sweetheart hippie who believes burning sage will clear all negativity for their impending baby.

Aleister Jode- A corpulent conspiracy theorist who mistrusts all forms of artificial intelligence, denies the existence of hurricanes and has it in for Otto.

Frank- A menacing biker following Fluffy around, linked to her tragic past.

Suzie- Girl genius, Fluffy’s creator, and the reason she hides.

Geraldine- Otto’s black female coworker, who takes Tae Kwan Do lessons and gives sage advice.

Outline

Set up: A saucepan hits a family portrait of Otto, Tina, and Nicky. Otto is in the middle of an argument with his wife Tina. His life appears plagued with the inherent struggles of being a talking toy living in the human world, yet he maintains steadfast optimism. Tina insists they’re too different, Otto insists she just needs a bubble bath, nudges her into the bathroom and takes Nicky out for a visit with Tate.

Otto and Tate commiserate over their various familial struggles at a local bar. Rambunctious Nicky makes a ruckus while duct-taped to a bar stool. Tate is anxious about being a father and Otto reassures him, offers to run an errand while Tate watches Nicky.

Inciting incident: At the store, Otto sees a mechanical bunny doing a trick for a pair of small boys where she mirrors their movements. He watches one of the boys pull the bunny’s ear in a mean way. The bunny rears back and kicks the boy while stealing his phone. Otto goes over to investigate, tries to get Fluffy to engage with him. He looks into her big, cartoon bunny eyes, searching for a sign of life and asks “Are you… like me? Are you real?”

She grabs him by the throat and threatens “GO AWAY!”.

Fluffy drops Otto and pretends like nothing happened. He runs out of the store, startled.

Rising Action #1: Otto runs out of the store and smacks into Tate, holding out-of-control Nicky. Tate has to get back to Sandy, so Otto takes Nicky home to Tina, who is in a much better mood and intrigued over this “rabbit” Otto mentions. Otto leaves her in the romantic evening she prepared to go back to the store for further investigation.

Otto sneaks into the store where he finds Fluffy has rigged a stage and synched up all of the animatronic toys to act as her audience. She performs pop songs in costumes with the karaoke track playing on the stolen phone, synced to the store’s blu-tooth speakers. Otto watches from the shadows as Fluffy performs her heart out for toys with blank stares. He starts to record her on his phone.

Otto interrupts her Lady Gaga performance because the Kermit the Frog head costume was starting to freak him out. She is startled by the intruder, starts to threaten him again until he plays the recording of her performance and threatens to post it to social media. Otto tries to alleviate her fears of humans, but Fluffy is resolute in her secrecy. He tries to coax her out of the store because “It’s better than hiding here all the time… pretending.”

“When’s the last time you pretended?” Fluffy challenges.

Fun and Games: Otto and Fluffy have a fun montage, playing with toys to “Take on Me” by A-ha. Examples from the montage:

Fishbowls on their heads, they sneak up on toy aliens, Otto gets ready to fire a Nerf gun at them, but Fluffy puts her hand on his arm and shakes her head, goes over to the aliens and shakes their hands, starts diplomatic relations.

Otto rides a bouncy horse while wearing a cowboy hat over the spaceman fishbowl, Fluffy swings by on a rope dressed as a pirate, swinging a green lightsaber.

They set all the animatronic frogs in a chorus line, going down the line, pressing each button to start them. Otto and Fluffy dance hand-in-hand down the aisle.

Music fades as they dance.

Rising action #2: In the morning, Fluffy still refuses to leave the store and resets to neutral when humans are around. Otto goes home, dejected. The voice of Aleister Jode sets ominous tones on the radio as an impending hurricane seeps into the background chatter.

Later on at the post office, Otto’s coworker Geraldine encourages him to investigate what’s bothering him. He goes back to the store, determined to expose Fluffy’s sentience so he doesn’t feel so alone in the world.

In a montage much to Fluffy’s chagrin, Otto thwarts her pick-pocketing trickery. Examples from montage:

Fluffy starts with the mirror trick to lure customers. Otto imitates her, then he “comes to life” and shakes the customer’s hands, they recognize him as a celebrity and take selfies together. Fluffy watches with angry eyebrows.

Fluffy is about to snatch a dude’s smartphone from his back pocket, Otto rolls by on a skateboard, lying on his side, wearing a backward hat and sunglasses, doing finger-guns. The customer laughs, takes out his phone to take pictures. Fluffy shakes a tiny mechanical fist at Otto.

First setback: When the store closes, Fluffy punches Otto for “ruining her life!” Otto gently tries to find out why she is so afraid of humans. Fluffy is about to tell him when Tina shows up looking for Otto. He lets Tina into the store to show her Fluffy is real, but Fluffy pretends to be a regular toy. Tina thinks Otto is going crazy and she’s mad at him for ignoring her texts, so she storms out. Fluffy tells Otto to leave her alone, Otto leaves, once again dejected.

Later, at the bar with Tate, Otto is having another existential crisis as Tate stares down the barrel of parenthood. Aleister Jode’s followers are protesting the hurricane coverage on the news. A drunken bar patron gets rough with Otto, trying to make him dance like a wind-up toy. Otto snaps, threatens the drunk with a broken bottle, gives an intense bar-top speech, venting his frustrations. Everyone backs away from Otto except Tate, who wants to know what’s wrong.

Tate goes with Otto to the toy store where Fluffy is in the middle of her nightly performance for the non-sentient toys. Otto and Tate try to convince Fluffy to leave the store, but she is still mistrustful of humans. She implies that there could be more sentient toys out there and she has proof, but she refuses to help any further.

Otto insists Tate grab fluffy and drag her out of the store “for her own good.”

Breaking point: Otto and Tate drag Fluffy out of the store kicking and screaming. A biker with long white hair rides by on a black Harley, staring at Fluffy menacingly. Fluffy freaks out and kicks so hard her legs detach. Otto and Tate watch in horror as Fluffy re-attaches her legs. She agrees to take them to Montauk, where she has proof of other sentient toys.

Rising action #3: Otto and Fluffy ride in Tate’s car to Montauk as the biker follows. Fluffy insists they play a game:

FLUFFY

Geez, you guys need to lighten the fluff up!

OTTO AND TATE

Meh.

FLUFFY

(brightly)

Let’s play a game! How many ears am I holding up?

Fluffy puts both ears over her eyes.

OTTO

That’s not how that wor…

TATE

Zero?

FLUFFY

You win, Tate!

TATE

Yay!

Otto looks at Tate, confused. Tate shrugs.

FLUFFY

Okay, now how many tails am I holding up?

Fluffy puts her chin on her hands, elbows on the console between the front seats and lifts her butt up so her fluffy cottontail can be seen between her ears. Tate and Fluffy look at Otto expectant, hopeful, encouraging. Otto glances in the back seat and sees her tail.

OTTO

Oh, uh… one?

FLUFFY

You got it!

TATE

(genuinely happy for him)

Yeah! Go Otto!

OTTO

(pleased)

Thanks, guys…

Second set-back: Tate’s phone starts blowing up with messages from Sandy and he crashes the car into a grain silo. Otto and Fluffy are unharmed, but Tate gets a head injury. They can’t find their way to the road in the dark so Otto and Fluffy build a campfire and duct-tape Tate to a tree so he stays awake.

Fluffy finds a mechanical puppy and starts treating it like it’s real. Otto is unamused and tries to get her to realize the difference between them and regular toys. Fluffy insists “He could be special… We could make him special!” Otto remains cynical while he tends to the hilariously concussed Tate.

In the morning, the mechanical puppy has been pup-napped by the biker and that becomes Fluffy’s priority. Otto talks to a local farmer and gets them a ride into town.

In town, Otto puts Tate in a rideshare car while Fluffy tries to report the mechanical puppy missing to a 911 operator to no avail. They hop in a conveniently idling pickup truck full of chickens which takes them to a ramshackle cabin in Montauk. Fluffy shows Otto a VHS tape labeled “Suzie”.

Flashback montage: Otto watches the tape, which is a VHS home movie montage from the late 1970’s set to “Kodachrome” by Paul Simon. The montage consists of clips of Suzie, a girl genius with a leg brace, Frank- her comic-book artist father and Pam- her ukulele-playing mother.

Suzie invents powerful devices that improve the mechanics of her leg brace and eventually give sentience to her toys. She creates Fluffy and they perform on a boardwalk for spare change, Fluffy picking the pockets of tourists while Frank laughs.

Frank copies the blueprints for her “magic wand” device in his comic book with Suzie’s approval. The family comes into money from the latest issue and Suzie buys plutonium for her next experiment, a generator, which catches fire as the tape cuts out.

Otto wipes the dust off of a picture frame above the TV. In the picture, Suzie is in a hospital bed with no hair, Frank on one side smiling bravely, Fluffy on the other giving Suzie “bunny ears”. Otto finds divorce papers on top of the tv, dated a year after the picture.

Catharsis: Otto finds Fluffy on the beach outside the cabin, tells her he understands why she hides. She says she would rather be alone than go through that again. Otto consoles her:

OTTO

Fluffy, you can’t be afraid to love humans because they… all go away one day. They grow up, get jobs, get married, have babies… and if they’re lucky… they grow old. They all expire. It’s our job to help them have fun, make it worth the ride…

Fluffy decides to have a Viking funeral for Suzie. Otto sets the tape adrift in the ocean and Fluffy uses Suzie’s “magic wand” device on another setting to send a laser fireball spiraling at the tape, which disintegrates in a puff of smoke. Otto is flabbergasted. Fluffy sees the mechanical puppy barking in the tire swing by the cabin and runs toward him. Otto senses a trap.

All is lost: The biker grabs Fluffy from behind the tree and takes her away on his motorcycle. Otto runs after to try to rescue Fluffy, but it’s too late. The mechanical puppy barks at Otto’s side, he found the biker’s wallet! Otto celebrates Fluffy’s thieving tendencies as he sets off to rescue her with the puppy.

Storming the castle: Otto and the puppy sneak into the biker’s trailer to rescue Fluffy, who is locked in a cage as the biker sleeps in a recliner. They precariously lift the biker’s keys as he sleeps. Just as they’re about to sneak out the front door, the puppy barks and wakes up the biker, who attacks Otto. Fluffy hits the biker over the head with the ukulele, he passes out. Otto, Fluffy and the puppy make their escape on another conveniently placed chicken-truck as the hurricane is starting to pick up around them.

The Chase: Otto and Fluffy are in the bed of a pickup truck full of chicken cages, racing down a rain-slicked highway with the biker following in close pursuit. They throw chickens at him to make him crash. He dodges the chickens, swaying dangerously, thunder and lightning rages around them. Fluffy throws the last chicken as the puppy flips off the back of the truck. She dives to save the puppy, Otto dives to save Fluffy. He sees the “magic wand” device in her pocket and grabs it.

Fluffy flips off the back of the truck, the biker grabs her leg in mid-air as lightning crashes. She flips off of the biker’s helmet, her leg detaching in his hand as Otto shoots a fireball at the Harley, making it crash as Fluffy launches herself back into the pickup truck with the puppy.

Falling action: Otto, Fluffy and the puppy go to the hospital, Fluffy only has one leg. Folks are cleaning up from the hurricane and being harassed by hurricane-denying protesters. Otto visits Tate, Sandy and their new baby. Tate has recovered and Otto suggests the name Suzie.

Otto brings Fluffy back to his apartment to live. She has a mechanical transformer-like leg in place of the one she lost. Tina is incensed at first but sees how well Fluffy helps Nicky channel his aggressive tendencies into playing the drums and they become friends.

Fluffy is hesitant to go out into the world, so Tina records Fluffy and Nicky playing music together on the fireplace, the video goes viral fast. Using her poker-hustling skills, Tina gets Fluffy a spot at a hurricane relief concert that night.

Set Piece: At the concert venue that night, Tina helps Fluffy get ready for the show and asks Otto to go down the hall to the vending machine to get a soda for Fluffy, as they are now best friends, much to Otto’s delight. Otto struggles with the vending machine, trying to get it to accept his dollar when Aleister Jode shows up and kidnaps him.

Fluffy performs “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen as Otto is held captive above the stage by Aleister Jode. There is a thin wire around Otto’s neck and he is positioned above a trap door which opens to a vat of acid underneath the stage. Otto tries to talk Aleister Jode out of killing him, Aleister says he must prove that artificial life forms can die. Tate shows up and fights with Aleister while wearing the baby. Aleister falls over the railing of the catwalk, pulling Otto’s body down.

Climax: Aleister’s scream stops Fluffy’s performance. She has the “magic wand” set to “bubble blast”, which catapults Aleister outside of the venue into a conveniently placed chicken truck. Otto’s head separates from his body, which falls into the acid and dissolves. His head rolls around the edge of the vat, precariously almost falling in before the mechanical puppy barks and pushes Otto’s head towards Fluffy. The audience breathes a sigh of relief.

Fluffy picks up Otto’s head and Otto says “I’ve head better days” which makes Fluffy laugh hysterically until she’s rolling on the stage. Otto’s head rolls several feet to the left of her. Aleister Jode jumps out of the shadows covered in feathers, tries to kick Otto’s head into the vat of acid. Fluffy uses her mechanical leg to kick Aleister in the head, which flies off in a shower of electrical sparks and falls into the acid, his lifeless robot body falling to the stage.

OTTO’S HEAD

Oh, so he was a robot the whole time?

FLUFFY

Makes perfect sense.

Otto wants fluffy to throw his head into the acid so he doesn’t have to live without a body. Fluffy refuses, looks him in the eyes and says “I can make you better!” She turns to the audience and dances off the stage.

A millennial audience member applauds “That was the best puppet show I’ve ever seen!”

Culmination: Fluffy breaks into a Build-A-Bear workshop with Otto’s head, attaches it to a new body with duct tape.

Epilogue: 500 years in the future, Fred the mechanical puppy has been upgraded to sentience and shows a group of interns around an international space station laboratory. He finds Fluffy floating around a room full of sentient space toys and she baby talks to him like her furry son. Otto is in his office, the pictures on his desk depict his five centuries of life, a sentient paper clip says “Thank you!” as he places it back in the holder. Otto says “I sure do love the future!”

Fluffy rides a unicorn down the hallway as we fade to black.

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