Underdogs (2013 Argentine film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Underdogs 2013 animated film poster.png
Original Argentine release poster
Directed byJuan José Campanella
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Eduardo Sacheri
  • Gastón Gorali
  • Axel Kuschevatzky
  • Juan José Campanella
Based onMemoirs of a Right Winger
by Roberto Fontanarrosa
Produced by
CinematographyFélix Monti
Edited by
  • Juan José Campanella
Music byEmilio Kauderer
  • 100 Bares
  • Antena 3 Films
  • Catmandu Branded Entertainment
  • Telefe
  • Canal Plus
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • July 18, 2013 (2013-07-18) (Argentina)
Running time
85 minutes (USA) 106 minutes[2] (Argentina/Spain)
97 minutes[3] (UK)
Budget$21 million[4]
Box office$34 million[5]

Underdogs (known as Foosball in Argentina and The Unbeatables in the United Kingdom) is a 2013 Argentine 3D computer-animated comedy co-written, produced, directed and edited by Oscar-winning director Juan J. Campanella. The film is loosely based on the short story Memorias de un wing derecho (Memoirs of a Right Winger) by Argentine writer Roberto Fontanarrosa.[6] Gaston Gorali, co-writer and producer of the film, and Eduardo Sacheri (who had previously worked with Campanella for the classic film The Secret in Their Eyes) developed the screenplay with Campanella.

The film is an Argentine production, and was released by Universal Pictures International in Argentina on 18 July 2013, setting an all-time record for an Argentine film opening at the box-office.[4] Costing $21 million, the film is the most expensive Argentine film of all time, and the most expensive Latin American animated feature ever.[4] In 2014, The Weinstein Company acquired the rights to distribute the film in North America. After numerous delays, including an August 2015 theatrical release that was scrapped last minute, the North American English-language version was released on DVD in July 2016.[7] The film was available on Netflix in the United States in June 2016.[8]

The film received mixed reviews upon its international release; it has a 67% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 14 reviews, while scoring a 38% weighted average score on Metacritic, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".

In the American version, the film features the voices of Ariana Grande, Nicholas Hoult, Matthew Morrison, Eugenio Derbez, Taran Killam, Shawn Mendes, Katie Holmes, Brooklyn Beckham, Bobby Moynihan, Bella Thorne, John Leguizamo, and Mel Brooks. Whereas, the UK version features the voices of Rupert Grint, Ralf Little, Anthony Head, Rob Brydon, Peter Serafinowicz and Darren Boyd.


A father who is putting his son Matty to sleep narrates him a story, beginning by telling Matty to use his imagination while listening.

Many years ago, Jake, a timid boy and the best foosball player around, was working in a bar in a small and quiet town. He loved Laura, a girl he met in the bar, but she did not know. While showing Laura the foosball table, a bully named Ace arrives and challenges Jake to a game in front of Laura. Although Jake refuses to play at first, he is victorious, and everyone at the bar applauds. Outside of the bar, Ace encounters a manager who offers to take him on.

Seven years later, Jake's simple routine falls apart when Ace becomes the best football player in the world, and returns to the small town to avenge the only defeat in his life. Now that he is famous, Ace announces that he has purchased the whole village (as the town's mayor escapes in a helicopter), and builds a gigantic football stadium, although he is more interested in owning the foosball table where he lost to Jake and destroying the bar where he was defeated. He also wants to win the affection of Laura.

With football, the bar and even his soul destroyed, Jake discovers something magical: in the face of adversity, the town's foosball players talk and plan. Together they embark on a journey full of adventures to save Laura. Along the way, they become a real team, and while Ace turns the town into a giant stadium and forms a soccer team, Jake recruits members of Ace's foosball team along with those of his own, and also forms a soccer team to challenge Ace for their town.

At the game, Ace's team takes the early lead, but the foosball players help Jake's team to tie the game. However, with seconds to go, Ace deliberately injures Jake, who is unable to stop him from scoring the winning goal. As Ace gloats and celebrates his victory, the crowd instead praises Jake's good sportsmanship, and Ace is rejected by his fans for his selfishness and his manager abandons him while his teammates also congratulate Jake, who reunites with Laura in the end. Jake, Laura, and their friends build a new town in honor of them.

The father, Jake, finishes his story and leaves Matty's bedroom, but Matty remains awake and hears voices well into the night. Going outside to the shed to investigate, he finds Jake and the foosball players conversing at the foosball table. Heartened by this, he joins them.


Character Original Spanish dub UK dub US dub
Amadeo (Jake in the US) David Masajnik (adult)
Luciana Falcón (young)
Rupert Grint (adult)
Darren Boyd (older)
Oscar Leonard (young)
Matthew Morrison (adult)
Shawn Mendes (young)
Capi (Captain Skip in the UK and US) Pablo Rago Ralf Little Taran Killam
Loco (Ziggy in the US) Horacio Fontova Peter Serafinowicz John Leguizamo
Beto (Rico in the UK and US) Fabián Gianola Rob Brydon Eugenio Derbez
Capitán Liso (Gregor in the UK and Captain Rip in the US) Miguel Ángel Rodríguez Alex Norton Bobby Moynihan
Laura (Lara in the UK) Lucía Maciel Eve Ponsonby (adult)
Fern Deacon (young)
Ariana Grande (adult)
Katie Holmes (older)
Bella Thorne (young)
Grosso (Flash in the UK and Ace in the US) Diego Ramos (adult)
Mariana Otero (young)
Anthony Head (adult)
Jack Maison-Hayman (young)
Nicholas Hoult (adult)
Brooklyn Beckham (young)


The film was announced on 27 November 2009.[9] The voices of the main characters of the cast are Pablo Rago, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, Fabian Gianola, Horacio Fontova and David Masajnik.[10]

Sergio Pablos, executive producer and creator of the original idea and story for Despicable Me, acted as animation director for 20 minutes of the film, and advised Campanella on direction.[11] The rest of the film was animated under the directions of Federico Radero and Mario Serie.[12]

Puerto Rican band Calle 13 composed and performed the original song of the movie.


An English-language version of the film was produced in the United Kingdom by 369 Productions with Vertigo Films handling the distribution rights and was released under the name The Unbeatables on 15 August 2014. The UK dub features stars such as Rupert Grint, Rob Brydon, Anthony Head, Ralf Little, Alistair McGowan, Peter Serafinowicz, and Eve Ponsonby.[13][14]

In March 2014, The Weinstein Company acquired distribution rights for the film in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and France, with plans to release their own English-language version of the film under the title Underdogs.[15] The US dub features Ariana Grande, Nicholas Hoult, Matthew Morrison, Katie Holmes, John Leguizamo, Eugenio Derbez, Taran Killam, Bobby Moynihan, Chazz Palminteri, and Mel Brooks.[16] The film was originally going to be released in 2014[15] but was pushed back several times.[17][18] A week before a planned August 14, 2015 release, the film was pulled from the schedule.[19] It was released direct-to-video on 19 July 2016.[20][7]


Critical reception[edit]

Based on 15 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a positive rating of 67%, with an average rating of 5.64/10.[21] On Metacritic, the film currently has a rating of 38 out of 100, based on 5 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[22]

Conversely, reception in Argentina was far more positive, with review aggregator Todas las Críticas marking an average score of 71 out of 100.[23]

Box office[edit]

The film opened #1 at the Argentine box-office, earning 16,622,178 pesos on its opening weekend, outperforming other animated blockbusters such as Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University.[24]


  1. ^ a b Weissberg, Jay (25 September 2013). "San Sebastian Film Review: 'Foosball'". Variety. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Calificaciones". INCAA. Comisión Asesora de Exhibiciones Cinematográficas. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  3. ^ "UNDERDOGS (U)". British Board of Film Classification. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Hopewell, John (19 July 2013). "Universal's 'Foosball' Smashes Argentine Records". Variety. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Underdogs (2015) - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  6. ^ "FOOSBALL 3D". Film Factory Entertainment. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  7. ^ a b Milligan, Mercedes. "Underdogs Starring Ariana Grande Arrives July 19", Animation Magazine, July 11, 2016
  8. ^ Figueroa, Jesus (18 June 2016). "UNDERDOGS Features the Voice Talent of Eugenio Derbez, John Leguizamo in the Animated Family Comedy". This Funktional. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  9. ^ Newbery, Charles (27 November 2009). "Campanella lines up animated feature". Variety. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  10. ^ Gallagher, Brian (18 October 2010). "Juan Jose Campanella Directing Metegol". MovieWeb. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  11. ^ Hopwell, John (1 December 2012). "Argentine helmer looks to animation". Variety. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Metegol (2013)". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 1 October 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  13. ^ Taylor, Matthew (20 May 2016). "Film of the week: The Unbeatables". Sight & Sound. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Metegol (2015)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  15. ^ a b McNary, Dave (17 March 2014). "Weinstein Co. Buys Animated 'Foosball,' Re-Titled as 'Underdogs'". Variety. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  16. ^ Gallagher, Brian (14 October 2014). "'Underdogs' Animated Comedy Adds Ariana Grande and Nicholas Hoult". MovieWeb. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  17. ^ Lang, Brent (10 June 2014). "'Paddington' Shifts to Christmas Release, Underdogs Decamps for 2015". Variety. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  18. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (6 February 2015). "Animated Soccer Pic 'Underdogs' Gets August 14 Berth From TWC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  19. ^ Lowe, Kinsey (7 August 2015). "'Ice Age 5′ Gets Title, Date Change; Weinstein Co. Adjusts 'About Ray'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  20. ^ "June 2016: Volume 1" (PDF). Rentrak. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  21. ^ "Underdogs". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  22. ^ "Underdogs Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  23. ^ "Metegol - Críticas - Todas Las Críticas".
  24. ^ "Argentina Box Office July 18–21, 2013". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved 19 April 2014.

External links[edit]