|Directed by||Lawrence Kasanoff|
|Music by||Walter Murphy|
|Distributed by||Viva Pictures|
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, Eva Longoria, Larry Miller, and Christopher Lloyd. It 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".
Despite Kasanoff raising tens of millions in funding, Foodfight! had a troubled and much delayed production. The film was originally scheduled for a Christmas 2003 theatrical release, however this failed to materialize and later planned release dates were also missed. Eventually, after the producers defaulted on a loan, in September 2011 creditors auctioned off the film's assets and all associated rights. In 2012, the film had a low-key release, being direct-to-DVD in most territories.
Foodfight! takes place in the "Marketropolis" supermarket. After closing time, the supermarket transforms into a city in which all the citizens are "ikes", personified well-known marketing icons.
In the ikes' world, heroic cereal mascot Dex Dogtective is about to propose to his girlfriend, Sunshine Goodness, a raisin mascot, but she goes missing just before he is able to do so.
Six months later, in the 'real world', a Brand X representative called "Mr. Clipboard" arrives at Marketropolis and aggresively pushes Brand X's range of generic products. In the world of the ikes, the arrival of Lady X, the seductive Brand X detergent ike, causes a commotion at Dex's club, the Copabanana.
Brand X products begin to replace previous products, which is mirrored in the ike's world with the death of several ikes. After Dex's friend Daredevil Dan disappears, Dex begins to investigate. After rebuffing Lady X's attempts to bring him to Brand X's side, Dex is locked in a dryer with Dan to be melted but the two manage to escape. Dan and Dex find out that Brand X contains an addictive and toxic secret ingredient.
Dex and Dan attempt to initiate a product recall with the store owner's computer. A Brand X ike cuts power just as they send the message. Dex then rallies the citizens of Marketropolis to fight the armies of Brand X in a massive food fight. The citizens win the battle through cunning use of the supermarket's electricity and lightning rods to protect their own buildings.
Dan rescues Sunshine who had been held hostage in the Brand X tower and escapes with the help of Dan. Mr Clipboard then enters the Ike's world, and it is discovered that he is a robot controlled by Lady X. Lady X reveals that she had previously been the hideous ike of an unsuccessful brand of prunes, and had been stealing Sunshine's essence to create a new brand. Dex and Sunshine defeat her, reverting her to her original form. With Brand X defeated, and a cure found that revives the killed ikes, Dex and Sunshine finally marry.
Despite the presence of many licensed characters, the principal characters of this film are original characters.
- Charlie Sheen as Dex Dogtective, an anthropomorphic dog private investigator, as well as the owner of the Copabanana nightclub.
- Wayne Brady as Daredevil Dan, a squirrel pilot of a small aircraft. Dan is a chocolate squirrel and the story's comic relief.
- Hilary Duff as Sunshine Goodness, a cat-like mascot for a raisin brand.
- Eva Longoria as Lady X / Priscilla the Ugly Prune Ike, the main antagonist.
- Larry Miller as Vlad Chocool
- Christopher Lloyd as Mr. Clipboard
- Robert Costanzo as Maximillus Moose
- Chris Kattan as Polar Penguin
- Edward Asner as Mr. Leonard
- Jerry Stiller as General X
- Christine Baranski as Hedda Shopper
- Lawrence Kasanoff as Cheasel T. Weasel
- Harvey Fierstein as Fat Cat Burglar
- Cloris Leachman as Brand X Lunch Lady
- Haylie Duff as Sweetcakes
- Shelley Morrison as Lola Fruitola
- Edie McClurg as Mrs. Butterworth
- George Johnsen as Kaptain Krispy
- Greg Ellis as Hairy Hold
- James Arnold Taylor as Doctor Si Nustrix
- Jeff Bennett as Lieutenant X
- Stephen Stanton as Mr. Clean (deleted scene), Lord Flushington
- Jeff Bergman as Charlie Tuna
- Enn Reitel as Kung Tofu / François Fromage
- Daniel Franzese as Twinkleton
- Jason Ortenberg, Zachary Liebreich-Johnsen, Andrew Ortenberg and Jennifer Keith as the Ike Kids
- Joshua Wexler, George Johnsen, Jason Harris, and Greg Eagles as the Hairless Hamster Henchmen
Lawrence Kasanoff and a Threshold Entertainment employee named Joshua Wexler created the concept in 1999. A $25 million joint investment into the project was made by Threshold and the Korean investment company Natural Image. The producers expected that foreign pre-sales and loans against the sales would provide the remaining portion of the budget. The estimated remainder was $50 million.
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". The film was supposed to 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".
Lionsgate 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. A release date in 2005 was later announced, but missed. Another distribution deal was struck in 2007, but again, nothing came of it. 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. Finally, in 2011, the film was auctioned for $2.5 million. StoryArk investors had ultimately invoked a clause in their contract that allowed the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, which had insured Foodfight!, to complete and release the film as inexpensively and quickly as possible.
The insurance company received the copyright to the film in 2012 and began releasing it and its associated merchandise. In June 2012, Foodfight! received a limited release in the United Kingdom, grossing approximately $20,000 of ticket sales on its opening weekend. It was released on DVD in Europe that October.
At the time the film was announced, it was denounced for taking product placement to the extreme, and doing it in a film targeted at children. 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.
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". The A.V. Club additionally stated that "Foodfight! doesn't just represent one of the entertainment world's most appalling lapses of taste, restraint, and judgment in recent memory; it's one of those fall-of-civilization moments". A New York Times article condemned the film, saying: "The animation appears unfinished ... And the plot ... is impenetrable and even offensive." The article also reported that Foodfight! has been "seized upon by Internet purveyors of bad cinema". Indiewire called it "one of the worst animated movies ever made", while Hollywood News called it "by far the crappiest piece of crap I have ever had the misfortune to watch". Tim Brayton of Antagony & Ecstasy described it as "the absolute ugliest animated feature that has ever been released by something resembling an actual animation studio". Brayton concluded by stating: "This is, in all sincerity, one of the very worst movies I have ever seen".
In February 2013, the film was released on VOD and was released on DVD in the United States on May 7, 2013. Jake Rossen of The New York Times described the film's United States release as "a muted debut". 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.
- "Foodfight! - International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- "FOODFIGHT! (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. May 24, 2012. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
- "Why Foodfight! Cost $45 Million and was Still Unwatchable". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
- Taub, Eric A. "For This Animated Movie, a Cast of Household Names." The New York Times. May 17, 2004. Retrieved on August 23, 2011.
- Eisenberg, Daniel. Time, 2 September 2002, "It's an Ad, Ad, Ad World". Accessed 23 August 2011.
- Rossen, Jake. "Placing Products? Try Casting Them." The New York Times. August 11, 2013. p. 1. Retrieved on March 24, 2014.
- DeMott, Rick. Animation World Network, 23 September 2011. "Foodfight Animated Feature Up for Auction". Accessed November 24, 2011.
- The Hollywood Reporter, 23 September 2011. "NOTICE OF PUBLIC SALE - ANIMATED FEATURE MOTION PICTURE: 'FOODFIGHT'".
- Official cast list. Accessed December 23, 2009.
- "Foodfight! Cast". Allrovi. Retrieved June 4, 2011.
- Mallory, Michael (May 31, 2012). "The Long, Strange Odyssey of 'Foodfight!'". Animation Magazine. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
- "Placing Products? Try Casting Them." The New York Times. August 11, 2013. p. 2. Retrieved on March 24, 2014.
- 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.
- "Foodfight!". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
- "Commercial Alert Criticizes Movie-Length Ad Targeted at Kids".
- Eisenberg, Daniel. "It's an Ad, Ad, Ad World". Time. p. 3. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- Rabin, Nathan (February 27, 2013) Supermarket Brands Sponsored Case File #34: Foodfight!, The A.V. Club, retrieved April 17, 2013
- Greg Ehrbar (May 8, 2013). "DVD REVIEW: "FoodFight!"". Indiewire. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
- "Foodfight! Review". Hollywood News. October 25, 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
- "Foodfight! (2012)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
- "Foodfight! Review". Antagony & Ecstasy. October 25, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
- "Twinkies Live On -- in Film! Foodfight Will Hit Screens in 2013 From Viva Pictures". Marketwire. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
- "Foodfight! (2012)". Amazon.com. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
- For example the Foodfight!: Deluxe Sound Storybook was published in 2008: Don Curry (February 2008). Foodfight!: Deluxe Sound Storybook. Meredith Books. ISBN 978-0-696-23424-8.
- Beck, Jerry (13 January 2010). "Whatever Happened to Foodfight?". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
- Foodfight! at the Internet Movie Database
- Foodfight! at Box Office Mojo
- Foodfight! at Rotten Tomatoes
- Archive of Official website. Original url http://www.thresholdanimationstudios.com/foodfight.html
- Information at Threshold Entertainment website at the Wayback Machine (archived January 22, 2009). Original url http://www.thethreshold.com/Threshold_foodfight.html
- Foodfight! at Behind the Voice Actors