Awfully Good: FoodFight!
Pixar's latest may not be their best movie, but it could be much, much worse…
After the supermarket closes, the food comes to life! Which somehow leads to a story where a dog detective (Charlie Sheen) must defeat a generic brand Nazi (Eva Longoria) in order to save the store and rescue his half cat-half human girlfriend (Hillary Duff).
I didn't think any bad kids' movie could ever top THE OOGIELOVES, but here we are: the hands-down winner for worst animated film AND worst children's movie ever. It's that bad.
Despite being released in May of this year, production on FOODFIGHT! (that's the actual title, random italics and all) began at the turn of the millennium with a theatrical debut originally slated for 2003. To give you some perspective, this film was supposed to be released the same year as LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING, FINDING NEMO and the first PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movie. However, it kept missing release date after release date, until finally the insurance company wisely cut their losses sold the rights to LionsGate in 2011. The results seen here are as legendarily horrific as you'd imagine.
Before we even touch on the ridiculous inanity of the "story," let's discuss how embarrassing the animation is. You know those laughably crude "pre-viz" animated storyboards you see on DVD special features? This is a movie comprised entirely of that. Even if it was released a decade ago, the CGI in FOODFIGHT! would still be outdated by about eight years. The characters are rough 3D sketches that barely exist in their environment, yet the designs are so boring or offensively ugly you're almost glad they're not properly animated. They never make eye contact with each other because their eyes never look at exactly the right spot. The animators also never really nailed the concept of "touching," so the characters hug by standing next to each other with their arms outstretched. Needless to say, watching 90 minutes of this bizarro universe is really disconcerting. (And don't get me started on the audio. You can tell half the cast recorded their parts over a bad cell phone connection.)
"Are we embracing? I can't tell."
So, the supermarket comes to life at night, creating a thriving city called Marketropolis. It's similar to TOY STORY—if TOY STORY was awful and horrible and existed solely to give its young target audience nightmares. You see, it's not the food itself that's alive, but rather the brand mascots or marketing icons ("ikes" as they refer to themselves). As a result, the movie is populated with random characters that have nothing to do with anything edible. The film also never explains the location of the actual foodstuffs they represent, but it does reveal that the icons are the "souls of their products," so when they get murdered (as many of them gruesomely do), all of their food dies too. Imagine if TOY STORY ended, not only with Andy's Buzz Lightyear dying, but ALL the Buzz Lightyears around the globe simultaneously going to a fiery infinity and beyond.
Seriously, what the hell is this?
Even worse that the plot, is the cast. FOODFIGHT!'s "celebrity" voices would've been embarrassing 10 years ago; now it's just sad. Charlie Sheen stars as Dex Dogtective, a literal canine version of Indiana Jones and Humphrey Bogart from CASABLANCA. He can solve every case, except for the most important one—the disappearance of his girlfriend Sunshine Goodness, voiced by Hillary Duff. (With her human body and cat ears/tail, Duff's character is a furry fetishist's wet dream.) Wayne Brady plays a squirrel named Daredevil Dan, Dex's "chocolate" best friend who of course loves voluptuous ladies. And Eva Longoria lends her pipes to Lady X, the human villain who uses her wanton sexuality to continually seduce a dog and a squirrel. The rest of the supporting cast is comprised of names like Chris Kattan, Ed Asner, Jerry Stiller, Cloris Leachman and Christopher Lloyd. Interestingly enough, Leachman and Lloyd were both in this andthe OOGIELOVES movie. Perhaps they have the same children-hating agent.
WHAT IS THIS???
Other FOODFIGHT! highlights:
Nazis. And I don't mean Nazis in the "Oh, they're just really mean villains" way. No, the bad guys in this kids movie are actual pro-genocide fascists that goosestep all over the other characters. Lady X constantly speaks about "exterminating" the "undesirables" and yells slogans like "One brand, one market!" while leading her army of robot drones to kill the non-generic grocery items.
Pervert Nazi Lizard. One of Lady X's hemchmen is a sadomasochistic man with lizard skin, who says things like, "Violators will be punished. I do hope there will be violators!" (He's like South Park's Mr. Slave… but for kids!) I can say with a straight face that this movie has a scene where a Nazi reptile man threatens to kill a weasel, saying "It'd be even better than a spanking!"
Appropriate for children? I refuse to believe that this movie was made with kids in mind. Aside from the villains listed above, there's a nonstop-barrage of sexual innuendo ("I'll butter her muffin!" "I never even got to lick that icing!") and animated women wearing disturbingly sexy outfits. Plus, the threat of interspecies grocery sex looms dreadful over this film.
OH GOD, KILL IT WITH FIRE!
Name Brands. I have no idea why so many real-life food products agreed to let their brand mascots be used in this movie, from Charlie Tuna to the California Raisins to the Hawaiian Punch dude. For God's sake, the movie opens with a mentally challenged frog farting on Mr. Clean. (And in case you're wondering, the known icons featured on the DVD cover are barely in the movie. The real stars are the ones way down in the bottom left corner.)
Movie References. Lots of films make nods to other films, but only FOODFIGHT! can turn classic lines in to edible puns like "Frankly my dear, I don't give a Spam."
Racism. You may be able to spot some subtle stereotypes, like the Jewish doctor who's just a giant nose or Kung Tofu the dragon who gets his L's and R's confused.
"Why yes, this is a swarm of robotic drones flying out of my crotch. Why do you ask?"
Miscellaneous.The IBM computer who comes to life as a literal piece of electronic data. The good brands defeat the Nazis by singing their theme song comparatively louder. The fact that our heroes free themselves from the laundry by grabbing on to a sock because socks "always escape the dryer."
The End. The final third of the movie is an unending literal food fight where the good food icons take on the Nazis. Mrs. Buttersworth throws exploding pancakes, Mr. Clean hurls giant watermelons and the Jewish guy blows snot bombs out of his giant nose. Not only is it agonizingly repetitive, but it features every bad war movie clichés imaginable.
The Message. Don't worry. It's not all for nothing. FOODFIGHT!'s final moral to its young audience is summed up in this actual line of dialogue: "It's okay, Maximillius. Being able to do fun things like eating donuts is what we're fighting for!"
Still looks more human than the kids in POLAR EXPRESS.
Bad puns, eye rolling dialogue and the best of Pervert Lizard Man.
This random sampling should give you a taste of what to expect.
Why would you animate this?!
This movie is best summed up by these two images:
Take a shot or drink every time:
- You spot a recognizable brand or character
- There's racism
- There's sexual innuendo
- Someone ruins a line or scene from another movie
- Whenever you want. You deserve it.
Thanks to A.J. Hakari for suggesting this week's movie!