Foodfight!

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Foodfight!
Foodfight! DVD cover.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Lawrence Kasanoff
Produced by Lawrence Kasanoff
Joshua Wexler
George Johnsen
Screenplay by Lawrence Kasanoff
Brent Friedman
Rebecca Swanson
Sean Catherine Derek
Story by Lawrence Kasanoff
Joshua Wexler
Starring Charlie Sheen
Wayne Brady
Hilary Duff
Eva Longoria
Larry Miller
Christopher Lloyd
Music by Walter Murphy
Editing by Ray Mupas
Craig Paulsen
Ann Hoyt
Sean Rourke
Studio Threshold Entertainment
Distributed by Viva Pictures (US)
Boulevard Entertainment (UK)
Release dates
  • June 15, 2012 (2012-06-15) (UK)[1]
  • May 7, 2013 (2013-05-07) (US)
Running time 91 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $45 million[2]
Box office $73,706[3]

Foodfight! is a 2012 American computer animated adventure comedy film produced by Threshold Entertainment and directed by Larry Kasanoff. The film features the voices of Charlie Sheen, Wayne Brady, Hilary Duff, and Eva Longoria. Originally planned for a Christmas 2003 release,[4] the film was pushed to late 2005.[5] The Fireman's Fund Insurance Company and International Film Guarantors were set to auction off the film and all associated rights in September 2011, to settle C47 Productions and Threshold Animation Studios defaulted loan for the film.[6][7]

Plot[edit]

Foodfight! takes place in the "Marketropolis" supermarket at night after everyone has left. The grocery store transforms into a city, and from every door of this city comes two types of characters: well-known marketing icons and new characters, including Dex Dogtective, Sunshine Goodness and Daredevil Dan. These icons are referred to in the story as "Ikes". The story opens with Dex escaping from a damaged hot air balloon. He then tells Daredevil Dan that he is about to ask Sunshine Goodness to marry him. However, when Dan attempts to draw a picture of Dex proposing to Sunshine in the sky, he crashes his plane into a tree and Sunshine volunteers to go assist Dan at the crash site before Dex can propose. Dan returns from the crash site, with no idea of what happened to Sunshine.

Six months later, Mr. Clipboard, a man with a giant head and severe problems, arrives at Marketropolis to persuade the owner to stock detergent and other products made by a large parent company known as Brand X. Upon being told there is no space for his products, he claims he can "make space" and knocks a bag of potato chips off of the shelf and crushes it with his foot, which becomes a large topic of discussion in the city that night. At the Copabanana, Dex talks to the Ike whose potato chips were stomped, before meeting the Brand X detergent Ike, Lady X. Many Ikes are seemingly mesmerized (and even angered) by Lady X's beauty, forcing Dex to order everybody to clear out of his club. Lady X, after being threatened by the Chip Ike, leaves with Daredevil Dan.

Later back in his home Dog Dex continues to lament the loss of Sunshine goodness when Madame X suddenly drops in on him. She attempts to seduce him to her side with the secret ingredient of X-brand which Dog Dex thinks smells familiar. They are interrupted by shouts from the street to find what appears to be a war between candy Ikes and salty Ikes, which will cause the respective snack foods in the store to go bad. Dex suspects fowl play but does not wish to get involved, until it is revealed that Dan is missing. Meanwhile brand X substitutes for the destroyed products start filling up the store and the X Ikes increase as well. Lady X takes over the law enforcement and startsframes other Ikes and eliminating "undesirable". Dog Dex begins searching for Dan which leads him to Lady X, who once again tries to bring him over to her side. When he refuses she knocks him out and locks him into a dryer with Dan to be melted. They escape the dryer and Dan manages to convince Dex to continue the case.

Dan and Dex then go to visit a nasal spray Ike that analysis a sample of brand X's secret ingredient. He is unable to identify the source, but reveals that the ingredient is both addictive and toxic and if they don't do something it could take over the store. Dex and Dan decide they must send for a recall using the Marketropolis owner's computer on the other side of the store, which is now populated with shoppers. They manage to cross the store and tell an icecream Ike to gather allies at the Copabanana. Before they make it to the computer they run into a chocolate vampire that was present during the supposed rot and states that the Ikes where actually poisoned. T

They get to the computer to send for a recall and in the computers history it states that Sunshine Goodness's brand was recalled as well as an ugly prune woman's brand. While sending the recall the brand X Ikes cut the power, causing the computer to shut off. Without knowing if the recall went through Dex figures the only way the other Ikes will not last the night unless they fight. The chocolate vampire flies them back to Copabanana where the other Ikes are waiting and the brand X officers are asking for their compliance and surrender. Dex rallies the Ikes and chases off the Brand X officers before devising a plan for the up coming fight. He has everyone put lighting rods made from tin foil on their buildings and sends Cheasel, the chocolate weasel into the sewers. The brand X officers come with more poison spray to get rid of the rebellious Ikes. They fight them off with their various products from atop the buildings while Cheasel surfaces near the brand X buildings where he cuts the wires providing electricity. The electricity is loose and creates a huge lighting storm that only damages Brand X buildings due to the lighting rods on the other buildings.

Dog Dex chases Lady X into one of the towers to find that they have Sunshine Goodness and are holding her hostage. Dex disovers that the addictive properties of Brand X's secret ingredient where stolen from Sunshine's essence after he managed to disarm the Brand X Ike and get Sunshine out before the building collapsed. Outside they see the Mr. Clipboard has entered their world and attempts to crush the Ikes only to be tripped and have his face fall open, revealing that he was actually a robot with Lady X inside. Lady X reveals that she was the Ugly Prune Ike. She had grown jealous of people always purchasing Sunshine's Raisins over her and had them both recalled. She got a make over and became lady X. With the aid of humans she was able to move in and out of the store in order to make a new brand and try to take over. Lady X claims that even though Dex sent out a recall she can always come back as long as she has her secret ingredient. Lady X tries to kill Dex so he won't be able to stop her again. Dex refuses to fight even as she starts beating him up, so Sunshine comes in and fights instead. Once defeated Lady X reverts to the ugly prune Ike. Dan Is left to take Lady X to the expiration station and Dex finally proposes to Sunshine who says yes. The Nasal Spray Ike comes in with an antidote to restore the Ikes brand X poisoned and the film ends with everyone celebrating at the Copabanana.

Cast[edit]

Despite the presence of many licensed characters, the principal characters of this film are original characters.[8]

Production[edit]

Lawrence Kasanoff and a Threshold Entertainment employee named Joshua Wexler created the concept in 1999.[8] A $25 million joint investment into the project was made by Threshold and the Korean investment company Natural Image. The producers of the film expected that foreign pre-sales and loans against the sales would provide the remaining portion of the budget. The estimated remainder was $50 million.[5]

The film was created and produced by the digital effects shop at Threshold, located in Santa Monica, California in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. In late 2002-early 2003, Kasanoff reported that hard drives containing unfinished assets from the movie had been stolen in what he called an act of "industrial espionage".[11] The film was supposed to use a "squash and stretch" style but after production resumed in 2004, Kasanoff changed it to a computer graphics style, with the result being that "He and animators were speaking two different languages."[12]

Lions Gate Entertainment established a distribution deal and the financing company StoryArk represented investors who gave $20 million in funding to Threshold in 2005 due to the Lionsgate deal, the celebrity voice actors, and the product tie-ins.[12] A release date in 2005 was later announced, but missed. Another distribution deal was struck in 2007, but again, nothing came of it.[11] Lionsgate had a negative reaction to the delays. The investors had grown impatient due to the film production company defaulting on its secured promissory note and the release dates that were not met.[12] Finally, in 2011, the film was auctioned for $2.5 million.[11] StoryArk investors had ultimately invoked a clause in their contract that allowed the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, which had insured Foodfight!, to, as inexpensively and quickly as possible, complete and then release the film.[12]

Release[edit]

The insurance company received the copyright to the film in 2012 and began releasing it and its associated merchandise.[12] In June 2012, Foodfight! received a limited release in the United Kingdom, grossing £13,003 on its opening weekend,[1] and it was released on DVD in Europe that October.[13][14]

Home media[edit]

In February 2013, the film was released on VOD[15] and was released on DVD in the United States on May 7, 2013.[16] Jake Rossen of The New York Times described the film's U.S. release as "a muted debut".[8] The United States release was delayed because the American distributor, Viva Pictures, wanted to release it when Walmart could arrange for a satisfactory product display for the film. Victor Elizalde, the president of the company, stated that it had made a small investment and did not state how large the investment was; he stated that after the investment the film was "already profitable".[12]

Beginning in 2012, Foodfight! merchandise was released. In-store appearances and eBay listings for storybooks and plush toys began at that time.[12]

Reception[edit]

At the time Foodfight! was announced, the film was denounced for taking product placement to the extreme, and doing it in a film targeted at children.[17] The AV Club stated that "...the grotesque ugliness of the animation alone would be a deal-breaker even if the film weren’t also glaringly inappropriate in its sexuality, nightmare-inducing in its animation, and filled with Nazi overtones and iconography even more egregiously unfit for children than the script’s wall-to-wall gauntlet of crude double entendres and weird intimations of inter-species sex."[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "UK Box Office: 15-17 June 2012". UK Film Council. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Amidi, Amid (August 10, 2013). "Why "Foodfight!" Cost $45 Million And Was Still Unwatchable". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Foodfight! - International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  4. ^ Eisenberg, Daniel. Time, 2 September 2002, "It's an Ad, Ad, Ad World". Accessed 23 August 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d Taub, Eric A. "For This Animated Movie, a Cast of Household Names." The New York Times. May 17, 2004. Retrieved on August 23, 2011.
  6. ^ DeMott, Rick. Animation World Network, 23 September 2011. "Foodfight Animated Feature Up for Auction". As of today, it is said to be one of the worst films ever made. Accessed November 24, 2011.
  7. ^ The Hollywood Reporter, 23 September 2011. "NOTICE OF PUBLIC SALE - ANIMATED FEATURE MOTION PICTURE: 'FOODFIGHT'".
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Rossen, Jake. "Placing Products? Try Casting Them." The New York Times. August 11, 2013. p. 1. Retrieved on March 24, 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Official cast list. Accessed December 23, 2009.
  10. ^ a b c "Foodfight! Cast". Allrovi. Retrieved June 4, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c Mallory, Michael (May 31, 2012). "The Long, Strange Odyssey of 'Foodfight!'". Animation Magazine. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g "Placing Products? Try Casting Them." The New York Times. August 11, 2013. p. 2. Retrieved on March 24, 2014.
  13. ^ Beck, Jerry (7 May 2012). ""Foodfight!" Coming To DVD". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 15 May 2012. "The latest word is that England’s Boulevard Entertainment has picked up the rights for DVD – in Europe." 
  14. ^ "Foodfight!". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "Twinkies Live On -- in Film! Foodfight Will Hit Screens in 2013 From Viva Pictures". Marketwire. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "Foodfight! (2012)". Amazon.com. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 
  17. ^ Commercial Alert Criticizes Movie-Length Ad Targeted at Kids
  18. ^ Rabin, Nathan (February 27, 2013) Supermarket Brands Sponsored Case File #34: Foodfight!, The AV Club, retrieved April 17, 2013

External links[edit]