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CGIFeature FilmGenius



Click here to see the large size version of this promotional image, above, from Foodfight.

Can you spot the product placement? Foodfight is now scheduled for theatrical release this fall from Lions Gate Films (the same people who brought us Happily N’ever After). It’s a great idea for a film: after midnight all the packages in a local food store come alive, with the goodguy characters (including Mr. Clean, Cap’n Crunch, Charlie the Tuna, the Engergizer Bunny, et al) taking on a villainous band of Brand X characters for control of supermarket aisles. Of course this plot harkens back to several Merrie Melodies of yore (September In The Rain (1937), Goofy Groceries (1941), etc.). So far so good.

However, the real trouble begins with a visit to the Foodfight website. The character designs look awful. B-list celebrities are doing the voices. The film’s partners (read: producers) include Proctor and Gamble, Del Monte and Tootsie Roll, among others. We already get enough commercials at the movies as it is. I don’t know about you, but I predict a short shelf life for this flick.

Earlier coverage of Foodfight on Cartoon Brew here.

  • I can’t see how producers and film studios fund these pieces of crap. Loving the new design of the site by the way!

  • Gerit Vandenberg


    I doubt that the Merrie Melodies were motivated so much by modern the tactics of cross-promotional overkill that put this Frankenstein on the screen.

  • Gary Kavanagh

    Wow, after going to the site I’m quite confident this will be a terrible mess. The production notes really reveals just how fundamentally wrong their thinking is. They seem to think an alliance with IBM to render their images and do mo-cap will somehow allow them to “leapfrog” their competitors and produce animation “like no other computer animated film before it…”

    “This approach creates a new art form that builds on the best of live action and animated production… – in a remarkable and often breathtaking manner.” If by remarkable they mean something to curse at and by breathtaking they mean it sucks the air out of your lungs with you hoping for a quick death to make the hurting stop.

    Did they just steal images out of the lower rungs of deviant art for that concept art, or did they manage to find some poor souls on craigslist willing to do those for “free,” err.. I mean rewarding learning experience with the (slight) possibility of (maybe) getting a real job next time, (like the kind that pay money).

    I would think with the overabundance of corporate endorsements, they could at least afford to make a website that could convincingly pretend to the world that they knew something about producing an animated film. Oh well, another uninspired disaster eager to claim it’s fleeting 3 seconds of box office glory. Personally, I hope the ship sinks before it gets to open waters, where it might contaminate our collective unconscious.

    Didn’t mean to go on such a rant but it’s late, and this news made me both sad and frustrated.

  • I remember reading about this film roughly this time last year (it may of been here that I read of it, actually). The site hasn’t updated at all since.

    To quote myself when I first saw it: “Can someone please tell me this is either a hoax, or a bad nightmare?” I can’t see anything remotely good coming out of this project.

  • William

    I remember hearing about this since before 2000.

  • The Lurking Fear

    There used to be laws against this sort of thing. Product placement AS story?
    This looks like junk food to me.
    Incidentally the character designs are extremely amateurish. Looks like they went for cheap.

  • This looks hideous, like an art student’s final project. And the website is just as bad. The concept seems neat, but the execution… not so good.

  • There are certain things in life that you don’t do:

    1. lick electrical sockets
    2. poke your signifcant other while yawning
    3. make movies like this one.

    I believe the last time a mess like this graced the screen was when Shark Tale came out….it was full of everyone i didn’t want to hear and looked like a bag of Skittles threw up.

    This movie will bring nothing but negativity toward what we do.

  • A story like this could have potential.
    Those character designs were in production when they were put on the “ugly” website.
    But if the people behind the film have no idea what they’re doing, then I too see a short life for this film.

  • Jerry, where did you get the image used in the header of this article? The Foodfight site has a different version which does not have Lucky Charms on it.

    (I’m picky, eheh.)

  • jerry

    Dave, I should have credited that image to Film Ick. My bad.

  • The characters were designed by local high school students as part of a contest. The studio gleaned its computer hardware from thrift store shelves. Fortunately, there was animation software still on those computers, so that was a really lucky break that kept costs down. The studio executive salaries turned out to be the greatest expense on the project. Unfortunately, there is just no real way to reduce those costs.

  • This project has been in the works for quite some time. This article from AWN was posted in June of 2000.

    That same article also mentions: “As part of the promotion for the film, Threshold’s Web entertainment site will produce a 3D animated prequel series entitled FOODFIGHT!: THE ADVENTURES OF DEX DETECTIVE.”

  • This might’ve worked as a Mad Magazine article, or a TV Funhouse episode. But in this incarnation all these corporations have their thumbs in it. The project is way too compromised by corporate self interests to amount to anything of artistic value.

  • tom

    This reminds me of the Dreamworks CG parody on the Simpsons. It was a movie called “Cards”, with a bunch of showbiz B list voice talent and a one line pitch. It was sadly an exact template for the way this crap gets made.

  • Short shelf life! Zing!!

  • Meh. I’ll wait till they post it on iTunes.


  • jj

    I saw a clip at the AFM. It was by far some of the worst CG animation I have even seen. It looked like it was done by a student in the 80’s.

  • Hooper

    Ugh. Those character design look worse than ‘Hoodwinked’. And since I thought the ads for ‘Hookwinked’ (yes, I will admit to not actually seeing the film for the following reason) looked like a crappy video game, that’s saying something!

  • Wolphin

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but this looks like an uninterrupted 90-minute long *commercial*.

    I just threw up a little.

  • This looks like crap. I won’t deny that. But Toy Story had Mr. Potato Head and a Slinky as main characters. Product placement doesn’t necessarily mean awful.

  • “Product placement doesn’t necessarily mean awful.”

    Yeah, but in Toy Story it didn’t feel forced down your throat. It was there because it felt natural, but this simply looks like rubbish.

  • Dean M.

    Wow, what a bunch of whiners. I did a Google search because I heard about this movie and I thought that it was a pretty cool idea. I don’t like product placement any more than you do, but I thought that the product tie-ins were inspired. I mean, usually there is an allegedly serious movie going and some guy sips a coke and turns the logo towards the camera as he’s setting it down for a close-up. THAT is the kind of stuff that makes me mad.

    This film is supposed to be entertaining and the premise looks good. I don’t know anything about the software partnership with IBM, and I will admit that the concept art is not impressive, but the stills from the movie look good. As usual, it is all going to depend on how good the script is and how appropriate the voices are for the characters. Geez, I know Charlie Sheen is a “B” talent now – everyone becomes one of those someday, every year here is a new “talent” that is “hot,” and everyone is excited about, but c’mon, Charlie was a big star when “Platoon” was out and he has a great voice, AND he is going to be a cartoon. Personally, I don’t go see a film because the talent is new and popular. Why don’t you all get yourself a movie going and cast, say, Paris Hilton, as the lead female. She is really popular right now and I am sure she would be great.

  • Nibelilt

    Oh my god. Looking back at old articles about this film after it’s finally actually been completed and ended up so terrible is hilarious. XD

    Gotta love that Comics Sans font they used for the text “Foodfight!” On the promo image there.