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Why “Foodfight!” Cost $45 Million And Was Still Unwatchable

The CGI trainwreck Foodfight!, which has been a perennial favorite on Cartoon Brew, finally hits the bigtime with this New York Times article. If there’s one lesson to take away from the production of the film, it’s that people without animation experience shouldn’t be trusted to produce or direct animated features.

The NY Times descibes how businessman/producer Larry Kasanoff (pictured below) raised $45 million to make Foodfight!, and then decided to direct the film himself, despite having no prior experience directing animation. Kasanoff declined to comment to the Times, citing legal reasons, but by other accounts, the production was a torturous experience for its crew:

[Kasanoff’s] approach, because he had gotten the money for it, and no one could say no to him, was very idiosyncratic,” said Kenneth Wiatrak, a layout artist on the project. “You didn’t know from day to day what would occur. Would there be a review? Would he suddenly want to change the whole thing?”

People who worked on the film said that Kasanoff’s notes were often along the lines of requesting a scene to be “more awesome” or “30 percent better.” When Kasanoff failed to deliver the film after years of delays, a completion bond company stepped in to salvage whatever pieces they could. The cobbled-together Foodfight!, which includes many shots that weren’t even completed, was released onto DVD last year.