Foodfight!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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
Edited by Ray Mupas
Craig Paulsen
Ann Hoyt
Sean Rourke
Production
company
Distributed by Viva Pictures
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
Box office $73,706[1]

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. The film tells the story of brand mascots ("Ikes") who come to life in a supermarket after closing time, and their struggles against the villainous forces of "Brand X".

The film had a troubled and much delayed production. Foodfight! was originally scheduled for a Christmas 2003 release,[2] however this failed to materialize and later planned release dates were also missed.[3][4] Eventually, after the producers defaulted on a loan, in September 2011 the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company and International Film Guarantors auctioned off the film's assets and all associated rights.[5][6] In 2012 the film had a low-key release, being direct-to-DVD in most territories.

Foodfight! was a box office bomb, recouping only a fraction of its multi-million budget.

Plot[edit]

Foodfight! takes place in the "Marketropolis" supermarket after closing time. The supermarket transforms into a city, in which all the citizens are personified well-known marketing icons, A.K.A. "Ikes". The story opens with the protagonist Dex Dogtective saving kittens before he then tells his friend, Daredevil Dan, that he is about to ask his girlfriend Sunshine Goodness to marry him. However, when Dan attempts to draw a picture of Dex proposing but crashes and Sunshine goes to assist Dan before Dex can propose. Dan returns, but has no idea of what happened to Sunshine.

Six months later, Mr. Clipboard, the Brand X representative, arrives at Marketropolis to persuade the owner to stock products made by a large parent company known as Brand X. While there, he crushes some potato chips, which becomes a large topic of discussion with the Ikes. At the Copabanana, Dex's club, Dex talks to the Ike whose chips were stomped, before meeting the Brand X detergent Ike, Lady X. A fight breaks out, forcing Dex to order everybody out of his club. Lady X leaves with Daredevil Dan.

Later, back in Dex's home, Lady X drops in on Dex where she attempts to seduce him while using him as an alibi for when they find a group of Ikes dead in the street, which causes their respective products to expire. Dex is asked to investigate but doesn't want to get involved until he finds out Dan is missing. New Brand X products and Ikes quickly replace the destroyed products, which causes Dex to suspect Lady X, who tries to bring him over to her side. He refuses and gets locked into a dryer with Dan to be melted, but they escape. Dan and Dex find out that the secret ingredient in Brand X is addictive and toxic and decide to send for a recall with the owner's computer.

They get to the computer find out that Sunshine and the Ugly Prune brand was recalled and the computer gets shut off by a Brand X Ike before they can be sure their recall went through. They decide to fight, and Dex has a plan where everyone puts lightning rods on their buildings while one Ike goes to cut the power while the Brand X Ikes are distracted in a massive food fight. The cut power somehow causes a lighting storm that destroys Brand X buildings because they don't have lightning rods.

Dex goes inside a Brand X tower to find that they have Sunshine and are holding her hostage. They escape the building with the help of Dan to see that Mr. Clipboard has entered their world, but it's soon revealed that he was just a robot with Lady X inside (as it was hinted by his stiff and bizarre movements). Lady X reveals that she was the Ugly Prune Ike. She had grown jealous of Sunshine and had them both recalled. She got a make over and was able to make a new brand using Sunshine's essence. Lady X tries to kill Dex, but Sunshine fights Lady X and reverts her back to the Ugly Prune Ike and is taken to the expiration station. They find a cure for the poison, and then Dex and Sunshine get married.

Cast[edit]

Despite the presence of many licensed characters, the principal characters of this film are original characters.[4]

Production[edit]

Lawrence Kasanoff and a Threshold Entertainment employee named Joshua Wexler created the concept in 1999.[4] 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.[3]

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 film had been stolen in what he called an act of "industrial espionage".[9] The film was supposed be computer animated with an exaggerated use of "squash and stretch" to resemble the Looney Tunes shorts but after production resumed in 2004, Kasanoff changed it to a style more centered in motion capture, with the result being that "He and animators were speaking two different languages."[10]

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.[10] A release date in 2005 was later announced, but missed. Another distribution deal was struck in 2007, but again, nothing came of it.[9] 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.[10] Finally, in 2011, the film was auctioned for $2.5 million.[9] 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.[10]

Release[edit]

The insurance company received the copyright to the film in 2012 and began releasing it and its associated merchandise.[10] In June 2012, Foodfight! received a limited release in the United Kingdom, grossing approximately $20,000 of ticket sales on its opening weekend.[1] It was released on DVD in Europe that October.[11][12]

Home media[edit]

In February 2013, the film was released on VOD[13] and was released on DVD in the United States on May 7, 2013.[14] Jake Rossen of The New York Times described the film's United States release as "a muted debut".[4] 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. According to company president Victor Elizalde, Viva Pictures' modest investment of an unspecified sum had proved profitable.[10]

Beginning in 2012, Foodfight! merchandise was released. In-store appearances and eBay listings for storybooks and plush toys began at that time.[10]

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.[15] Kasanoff responded to the controversy by noting that they were not paid money for the brand inclusion and therefore the addition of known brands did not constitute product placement, though the brands were expected to provide $100 million worth of cross-promotion.[16]

As well as being a financial failure, Foodfight! was critically panned. The A.V. 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".[17] A New York Times article condemned the film saying: "The animation appears unfinished. The sexual innuendo is flagrant for a film ostensibly aimed at children. And the plot — grocery store mascots come alive at night to fight generic Brand X antagonists intent on taking over the shelves — is impenetrable and even offensive."[4] The New York Times article reported that Footfight! has been "seized upon by Internet purveyors of bad cinema";[4] these have included YouTube personalities The Nostalgia Critic and JonTron who recorded comically scathing reviews.[18][19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Foodfight! - International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  2. ^ Eisenberg, Daniel. Time, 2 September 2002, "It's an Ad, Ad, Ad World". Accessed 23 August 2011.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Rossen, Jake. "Placing Products? Try Casting Them." The New York Times. August 11, 2013. p. 1. Retrieved on March 24, 2014.
  5. ^ DeMott, Rick. Animation World Network, 23 September 2011. "Foodfight Animated Feature Up for Auction". Accessed November 24, 2011.
  6. ^ The Hollywood Reporter, 23 September 2011. "NOTICE OF PUBLIC SALE - ANIMATED FEATURE MOTION PICTURE: 'FOODFIGHT'".
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Official cast list. Accessed December 23, 2009.
  8. ^ a b c "Foodfight! Cast". Allrovi. Retrieved June 4, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c Mallory, Michael (May 31, 2012). "The Long, Strange Odyssey of 'Foodfight!'". Animation Magazine. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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." 
  12. ^ "Foodfight!". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "Twinkies Live On -- in Film! Foodfight Will Hit Screens in 2013 From Viva Pictures". Marketwire. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  14. ^ "Foodfight! (2012)". Amazon.com. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 
  15. ^ Commercial Alert Criticizes Movie-Length Ad Targeted at Kids
  16. ^ Eisenberg, Daniel. "It's an Ad, Ad, Ad World". Time. p. 3. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  17. ^ Rabin, Nathan (February 27, 2013) Supermarket Brands Sponsored Case File #34: Foodfight!, The A.V. Club, retrieved April 17, 2013
  18. ^ Doug Walker (2014). Food Fight - Nostalgia Critic. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  19. ^ Jon Jafari (2014). Foodfight! - JonTron. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 

External links[edit]