is a CGI-animated film which tried to do Toy Story
or Wreck-It Ralph
with advertising mascots. Like Delgo
, it barely had a release at all. It is notorious for its long and Troubled Production
, which started way back in 2002, which entailed, among other things, the theft of the disks containing the animation, so that the production had to start again from scratch. The process of licensing and negotiating with rights-holders for the many mascots took years
. The film was completed in 2009. It had an unceremonious limited release in Europe in 2011, and a Video On Demand and DVD release in North America in 2013. With much of the budget being blown by the licensing, All-Star Cast
and the do-over, the film's animation uses a lot of poorly applied motion capture and questionable rendering.
The story concerns a grocery store that comes to life at night when people are not around. Dex Dogtective (Charlie Sheen
) is a top agent of the United Supermarket Defense Association
which keeps the aisles safe from crime as well as running a club called the Copa-Banana where fellow advertising icons ("Ikes" for short) can hang out such as Charlie the Tuna, Mr. Clean and the California Raisins. After his beloved Sunshine Goodness (Hilary Duff
) vanishes without a trace, he ends up stepping out of the game only to be brought back in when a mysterious "Brand-X" has emerged in the grocery store by the machinations of a Mr. Clipboard (Christopher Lloyd
) and Icons are disappearing or being murdered. With the help of his sidekick Daredevil Dan (Wayne Brady), Dex must uncover the truth behind Brand-X and its Femme Fatale
leader Lady X (Eva Longoria) and rally a resistance in order to prepare for well, a Food Fight
Tropes used in this film include:
- Ambiguously Gay: Actually a bit more than ambiguously in Vlad Chocul's case.
- Ambiguously Jewish: Dex's faith is revealed quickly at the ending (apparently, all kosher foods have Jewish ikes).
- Don't forget about the big-nosed nasal decongestant mascot Dr. Si Nustrix.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Strongly enforced. Because a name like Sunshine Goodness, in a kid's show no less, somehow doesn't evoke this trope.
- Big Bad: Lady X
- Bigger Bad: Mr. Clipboard, the guy who first sold Brand X to Marketropolis Market in the first place. Subverted, he's a robot piloted by Lady X.
- Brand Names Are Better: The core axiom of the movie.
- Brand X: The main villains, weirdly enough. Specifically, Brand X is a detergent.
- Butt Monkey: Cheasel T. Weasel
- Camp Gay: Lieutenant X.
- Captain Crash: Dan
- Cat Girl: Sunshine Goodness.
- Chekhov's Gun: Dan is a wannabe flyer, but there's some skills he just can't pull off...
- Chekhov's Gunman: Mr. Clipboard.
- Depraved Bisexual: Lieutenant X gives off this vibe.
- Depraved Homosexual: Vlad Chocool who is constantly trying to sexually harass Dan.
- Designated Girl Fight: Played annoyingly straight when Dex is explicitly forbidden from physically fighting Lady X due to their difference in sex, forcing Sunshine Goodness to take up the job.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: "Report the undesirables."
- Disney Death: A cure for Lady X's poison is found that revives the dead Icons.
- The Dragon: General X.
- Drunk on Milk/Frothy Mugs of Water: Dex drowns his sorrows with milk.
- Dull Surprise: Thanks to the poor animation, characters rarely change expression. Near the end of the movie Sunshine Goodness and Lady X get in a fight, and the latter doesn't even react when she's being repeatedly punched in the face.
- Evil Is Hammy: Mr. Clipboard, Lieutenant X, and Lady X as the story progresses.
- Excited Show Title!
- Expy: Lieutenant X is reminiscent of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, and General X brings to mind Napoleon Bonaparte.
- By sheer coincidence, Mr. Clipboard's design is almost identical to that of the character I. M. Meen, although his personality is completely different.
- Many other instances, such as Cheasel. T. Weasel and Vlad Chocul, due in part to multiple backers dropping their support of the film.
- The fact that a lot of said expies are unflattering caricatures makes one wonder if they doubled as a Take That as well.
- Faux Action Girl: Sunshine is built up to be one then spends all but the last ten minutes of the film being held hostage though we don't know she's still alive. Though she did give a pretty good beat down.
- Female Feline, Male Mutt: Sunshine and Dex
- Food Fight: Well obviously.
- Fun with Acronyms: The United Supermarket Defense Association (which shares an acronym with the United States Department of Agriculture).
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Several times, mostly by Daredevil Dan. A few examples:
: "You cold-farted itch!
Dan: "How 'bout some chocolate frosting!"
Dan: "Are those melons real?"
- Gonk: The absolutely hideous baby and mother Dex encounters when in the supermarket during the daytime.
- It wouldn't be too far from the truth to say that all the evil characters -save Lady X- fall into this. Even some good, like Dr. Si Nustrix, do too.
- Gratuitous Spanish : "Mi comprendo."
- Gory Discretion Shot: Before Brand X's higher ups kill a toothpaste mascot with a giant dentist's drill.
- Hammerspace: Dex pulls a large hunk of cheese out of his pocket in his first scene.
- Heel-Face Turn: The 4 Rodents
- Hurricane of Puns
- Informed Judaism: Dex is said to be Jewish at the end. Right before the credits.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Mr. Clipboard looks very much like his voice actor with the Uncanny Valley at play.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: Apparently, Lady X, who was a prune mascot, wanted Dex to love her. That, and she wanted to Take Over the World.
- Interspecies Romance: Dex is a Funny Animal dog while Sunshine is a Cat Girl who looks mostly human.
- It's Personal: This becomes the case when Dex discovers that Lady X is trying to unify all of the product companies and is the one responsible for Sunshine's disappearance.
- Just Following Orders: Given word for word by one of the Brand X commanders.
- Kick the Dog: Mr. Clipboard stomping on a bag of chips.
- La Résistance: Stated directly by the overtfly French character.
- Large Ham: Mr. Clipboard. Christopher Llyod leaves no piece of the scenery uneaten.
- Last-Second Word Swap: Frequent, often to make up for the fact that characters would otherwise be swearing.
- Missing Trailer Scene: The trailer has a Chester Cheetah cameo that's not in the final film.
- Arguably, all of the original trailer could count since it was made with the footage that got stolen, none of which made it into the finished movie.
- Ms. Fanservice: Lady X.
- Until it's revealed that she's an ugly, old prune mascot, of course.
- Massively Multiplayer Crossover: Charlie the Tuna, the California Raisins, Mrs. Buttersworth, Mr. Clean, and Twinkie the Kid among others.
- Mobile-Suit Human: Lady X used a suit of Mr. Clipboard to sell Brand X to the store.
- Mook Lieutenant: Lieutenant X.
- The Napoleon: General X.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: The parallel is taken anviliciously far with Brand X.
- Never Say "Die": Averted. For example:
Fat Cat Burglar: "I'm gonna kill you!"
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Sunshine Goodness delivers one to Lady X since the male Dex Dogtective is forbidden from doing so.
- Obviously Evil: Mr. Clipboard.
- Parental Bonus: Some of the most conspicuous and awkward in any film.
- Pietà Plagiarism: Leonard and the bag of chips.
- Precision F-Strike: The word "arse" is uttered at least once. In a film intended for small children.
- Product Placement: Perhaps the biggest example there is.
- JonTron hazards a guess in his review that this is the main reason why the film was ever completed, so that they could at least cash in on all the rampant Product Placement.
- Putting on the Reich: The Brand X army. Interestingly, though, the soldiers wear World War I style helmets with spikes with more World War II-themed SS-like uniforms.
- Record Needle Scratch: Generated by a CD player, no less.
- Recycled INSPACE: It's Casablanca IN A GROCERY STORE! complete with blatant ripoffs of some of Casablanca's most notable scenes such as the "La Marseillaise" sequence.
- Robotic Reveal: Mr. Clipboard is revealed to be a robot controlled by Lady X.
- Shout-Out: To practically everything, which pretty much hammers it to the audience.
- Stealth Pun: A potato chip mascot is shown going four sheets to the wind on Potato Juice.
- Stock Footage: The same clip of the store owner backing out and bumping into a shopping cart at closing time shows up three times.
- The One That Got Away: Dex losing Sunshine Goodness. Subverted at the end of the movie when, after Sunshine is found to be alive and the final battle is over, Dex finally gets to propose to her. She accepts.
- Redundancy Department of Redundancy: Marketopolis Market
- The Reveal: Mr. Clipboard is actually a mech controlled by Lady X... who is actually Priscilla Pusly, the prune mascot.
- Title Drop: In the way that you'd expect.
- Toilet Humor: There's a frog that cuts one at the beginning of the movie for no reason other than for this trope.
- Trailers Always Spoil:
- Sunshine Goodness is seen fighting Lady X
- Mr. Clipboard shows up in the supermarket at night.
- Even worse, the trailer spoiled the film's climax. Dex Dogtective and Sunshine Goodness jump from the crumbling building and land on the plane. Them safely on the plane is also shown prominently. Seriously?
- Used To Be More Social: Dex, after he loses Sunshine
- Wolverine Publicity: As mentioned above, the Product Placement characters are featured first and foremost on the film poster, even though the characters in question aren't featured prominently in the film.