Woody Woodpecker is an American–Canadian 3D live-action/computer-animated family comedy film produced by Mike Elliott and directed by Alex Zamm and based on the cartoon character of the same name created by Walter Lantz and Ben Hardaway. The film stars Eric Bauza as the voice of Woody Woodpecker.
In the Pine Grove forest in Pennsylvania, Woody Woodpecker (voiced by Eric Bauza) is awoken by gunshots from outside. Meanwhile, two sneaky taxidermist poachers, brothers Nate and Ottis Grimes, are hunting for birds in the forest. Woody toys with the Grimes Brothers, as they try to tranquilize him; but in doing so, they inadvertently shoot each other, and fall to the ground. Hundreds of miles away, in Seattle, Lance Walters (Tim Omundson) is a lawyer who believes that big projects are the next big thing. Unfortunately, he suddenly gets fired after an insulting video of him claiming that wildlife conservation isn't profitable goes viral. He tells his girlfriend that his late grandfather left him a big piece of property near the Canadian border. His aim is to build an investment home and "flip it". But his ex-wife Linda (Emily Holmes) tells him that he needs to start spending time with his son Tommy (Graham Verchere), as her father is in the hospital in Philadelphia. To their dismay, Lance and Vanessa bring Tommy along regardless of the fact that Tommy still isn't comfortable with his dad's job.
As soon as they arrive, park ranger Samantha Bartlett informs them to be careful when they are building their property, as there have been complaints of bird poaching in the past year. Lance and Vanessa dismiss the warning, and as they start to unpack, Tommy begins to go for a walk in the woods. Whilst listening to music, he has rhythmic tapping around him. Suddenly, Woody (who witnessed the group's arrival) pops out from a trashcan and is befriended by Tommy after he gives him peanut butter crackers. The mischievous bird visits the family at lunchtime and eats almost all the food. Lance tries to shoo Woody away, but accidentally wrecks the table and hits Vanessa in the face with a brush.
The next morning, builders and construction workers arrive on the site, rudely awaking Woody. Realizing that the tourists are apparently moving in on his turf, Woody finally has had enough and begins to invade their business. As for Vanessa, Woody poops on her head. Later, in a nearby town, Tommy meets a young musician named Jill and they immediately become friends after she makes a deal with him – Tommy gets to play the guitar, as long as he joins Jill's band in the annual Firefly Festival. On his way home, he is met by two bullies who are about to beat him up, when suddenly, their clothes are shredded by Woody, who comes to Tommy's aid.
As days pass, Lance grows more agitated by the minute because of Woody's intrusion whilst he is busy with his project. So he goes to meet Samantha at the ranger station and she reveals that the woodpecker is an endangered species known as a pileated woodpecker with a red crown. She also tells Lance that long ago, Native Americans saw the birds as a "God of mischief and chaos"; as a result, the tribe fled the area. Lance disbelieves the story and continues with his work, no matter what the cost. Elsewhere, the Grimes' continue to search for Woody after their previous encounter. After seeing Woody vandalize his car by pooping from the trees, Nate finally sees red and decides to go find him at all costs. Meanwhile, during construction of the building, Vanessa is in the RV making coffee. Woody decides to blow out the active gas and flees to a safe distance. Seconds later, the camper explodes due to exposed odourless gas, leaving Vanessa's hair scorched and ripped off, with her screaming in horror. Therefore, this leads to her leaving Lance all because of the pesky bird's invading boundaries.
A couple of weeks before the festival, Samantha gives Lance some very interesting advice; instead of fighting with the bird, he could try to get along. The following day, Lance reluctantly attempts to surrendering to Woody by giving him crackers. And so, Woody agrees to let Lance and the builders continue with the work, as long as he is given crackers every day. Eventually, the home is finally completed despite excessive payment and extended scheduling. After dinner, the boys and Woody head to the town's Firefly Festival, where Tommy's band are due to perform. Although, due to indigestion from a hotdog-eating contest, Lyle (their drummer) forfeits the performance without Tommy and Jill. Regretfully, the two remaining band members decide to play on without Lyle. Early into the show, Woody finds that they have no back-beat, and gives them a helping hand by creating his own drum kit with garbage. The performance is a hit, and Lance is surprised to hear that Woody gave Tommy some friendly support. Ranger Bartlett, however, is shocked to find out that the father/son duo have actually been neighbors with the supposedly-endangered woodpecker that was due to be extinct in the last century.
Realizing that having humans around again isn't a bad idea, Woody heads back to the investment home and carves a mural above the fireplace. However, as he signs his name into the carving, exposed wiring sparks Woody, knocking him out. As he comes to, he finds to his horror that the whole house has inadvertently burst into flames. Ashamed of his accidental mistake, he flies back to his tree. The next morning, the boys are appalled by the devastation caused overnight. When Lance glances back, he accuses Woody of this catastrophe, just when he was starting to like him. The Grimes Brothers are called over by the infuriated dad, who tase him unconscious. As they leave, Tommy reprimands his father for not understanding why it wasn't Woody's fault, and therefore runs away.
Later, Tommy, Jill and Lyle head to the Grimes' shack in the woods to rescue Woody. Meanwhile, Nate and Ottis begin to sell Woody at an online black market auction, with a final bid for close to $1 million. Elsewhere, whilst longingly looking through the wreckage, Lance is stunned to see a singed mural that Woody had created. Feeling guilty for his rash accusation on the woodpecker, he enlists the help from Samantha and they set out to find both Tommy and Woody, who are now caged inside the conniving poachers' cabin after getting caught.
As they arrive at the scene, they too are immediately locked up, and Lance apologises to his son for not believing him at first about the truth of the thieves. And as Nate grabs a tranquilizing dart filled with deadly poison and loads it in his gun, Lance tilts his cage towards Woody's so he can free him. After a beatdown on the brothers, Woody gives them chase as they at first flee the approaching cops. When they make a run for the border connecting to Canada, Woody blocks their way, but Nate grabs a knife and Woody flies off, scared. But then, the mischievous woodpecker carves a hole in the middle of the bridge, and the pair fall into the river below.
Soon after, the thieves come ashore, and insanely beg to be arrested as they claim the woodpecker to be crazily responsible. Later, Lance, Tommy and Samantha reconcile and Lance apologises to Woody for not knowing that the previous home he burnt was an accident, and therefore replaces Woody's cut-down tree with a high birdhouse. The woodpecker accepts both the gift and the group to be called his new family, much to their generosity.
That night, as father and son fall asleep, Woody carves the words "Home Sweet Home" into the new birdhouse, only to accidentally make it topple onto the boys' tent. He flies away with his trademark laugh, thus indicating the end of the film.
- The second Universal direct-to-video animated film to be rated PG by the MPAA, after Hercules and Xena: The Battle For Mount Olympus.
- This is the first Universal's live-action/animated hybrid direct-to-video film.
- This is the first Woody Woodpecker film to be rated PG by the MPAA.
- Due to the running time of 91 minutes, this film is accompanied by the classic 6-minute Woody Woodpecker short film Niagara Fools as a post-credits segment. Technically, the film itself would actually run 85 minutes long without the short.
- Due to it mainly being live-action, this film is not associated with Universal Animation Studios, which previously produced The New Woody Woodpecker Show.