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Western Animation / Foodfight!

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Those tiny characters chasing the cart in the background are the actual leads. Also, the film looks nothing like this.

Foodfight! is a CGI-animated film. Its plot is essentially 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 1997. It entailed, among other things, the alleged theft of the hard drives containing the animation, resulting in the production being started again from scratch. The process of licensing and negotiating with rights-holders for the many mascots took years. The film was completed in 2008. It had an unceremonious theatrical release in Europe in 2012, and a Video On Demand and DVD release in North America in 2013. With much of the budget being spent on an All-Star Cast, and the do-over after the so-called "theft" of the footage, 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 nightclub called the Copa-Banana where fellow advertising icons, such as Charlie the Tuna, Mr. Clean and the California Raisins, can hang out. The mascots are called "Ikes" for short, although this term is never directly clarified in the movie. After his beloved girlfriend, Sunshine Goodness (Hilary Duff), vanishes without a trace, he ends up stepping out of the detective game. Six months later, he's drawn back in when a mysterious line of products, "Brand-X", has emerged in the grocery store by the machinations of Mr. Clipboard (Christopher Lloyd), and Icons are disappearing or being murdered. With the help of his best friend, 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.

Not to be confused with the classic trak-ball arcade game Food Fight, or the manga series Food Wars!.

Compare the animated short Logorama, which used a similar concept.

Tropes used in this film include:

  • 20% More Awesome: Apparently in the re-do, Producer/Director Larry Kasanoff wanted to take a more hands-on approach to management but didn't quite understand how the animation process works. He would wander around the animation floor requesting that things be "more awesome" or "30 percent better".
  • Advertised Extra: Harvey Fierstein is often listed as part of the starring cast, even though his character Fat Cat Burglar only appears in the opening scene.
  • All There in the Manual: The fact that the inhabitants of the supermarket call themselves "Ikes" (as in, "icons" of the brands they represent) is something you have to figure out for yourself, because nowhere in the movie is it directly discussed or referenced.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Actually a bit more than ambiguously in Vlad Chocul's case. He constantly flirts with Daredevil Dan, but whether he's attracted to him or just wants to eat him since Dan is made of chocolate and Vlad is a chocolate vampire is unclear.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: The big-nosed nasal decongestant mascot Dr. Si Nustrix speaks with a stereotypically Jewish Mid-Atlantic accent and exhibits the Jewish stereotypes of neuroticism, being sickly, intelligence, and having a big nose.
    • Less ambiguous on the Junior Novelization, where the good doctor also blurts out exclamations in Yiddish.
      “Holy schnozola!” Nustrix yelled as he woke with a squirrel on his nose. “What’s going on?"
  • Appeal to Tradition: The whole movie has an undercurrent of this, with the "new" Brand X threatening to overtake the established brand products. It's probably best demonstrated in the scene where Leonard and Mr. Clipboard meet each other.
    Mr. Clipboard: Give us one week! Your cu-cu-cu-customers won't know how they lived without Brand X!
    Leonard: Everything's so nice, the way it is. We don't have space.
    Mr. Clipboard: Oh-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho, I'll make space.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Strongly enforced. The main heroes are portrayed as attractive, while the villains are generally hideous. Also played straight when femme fatale Lady X is revealed to have been an old, hideous, overweight woman the whole time.
  • Big Bad: Lady X is the leader of Brand X, who tries to take over the grocery store and the world by committing genocide against brand-name mascots. It's also revealed she was controlling Mr. Clipboard, who turned out to be a robot.
  • Brand Names Are Better: The core axiom of the movie. The generic product mascots are villainous and murder the brand name mascots, and rely on addictive ingredients and murder to become popular.
  • Brand X: The main villains are all Brand X generic products.
  • Butt-Monkey: Cheasel T. Weasel is on the receiving end of much slapstick, including being hit by a train.
  • Canine Confusion: Dex Dogtective loves to eat raisins and chocolate, both of which are toxic to dogs (especially the former). Though it could be justified, since he's an "ike" (a food mascot) and anthropomorphic.
  • Captain Crash: Daredevil Dan repeatedly crashes his plane trying to do stunts, particularly the loop-de-loop.
  • Cat Girl: Sunshine Goodness is a catgirl raisin mascot. Her ears are the same color as her skin. She and Dex are a Female Feline, Male Mutt romantic couple.
  • Coat Full of Contraband: Cheasel T. Weasel has a coat full of various products as seen in his first scene. It's never elaborated on what they are, but they're likely some sort of contraband since he's selling them on the street at night.
  • The Comically Serious: An unintentional example with Leonard, who reacts to Mr. Clipboard with the utmost seriousness, even treating him stepping on a bag of chips as though he murdered someone in front of him.
    Leonard: (genuinely heartbroken) That was a perfectly good bag of chips. Never opened, never enjoyed...
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • The poster actually pushes the protagonists to the corner while spotlighting a group of ikes that only show up as extras — undoubtedly to call the audience's attention to characters they'll actually recognize, instead of generic funny animals.
    • Chiquita Banana is listed as one of the many advertising mascots featured in the movie on the poster but is replaced by a Captain Ersatz in the film.
  • Damsel in Distress: Sunshine is kidnapped by the villains and Dex has to rescue her.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The name of Marketropolis Market.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Lieutenant X seems to be sexually aroused by torturing other Ikes, regardless of their gender.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Vlad Chocul, who is constantly trying to sexually harass Dan. He's a chocolate vampire, so it's implied he wants to eat Dan.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Dex is explicitly forbidden from physically fighting Lady X due to their difference in sex, forcing Sunshine Goodness to take up the job.
  • Disney Death: A cure for Lady X's poison is found and it revives the dead Icons.
  • A Dog Named "Cat": Downplayed. The film's Starter Villain is a rat named "Fat Cat Burglar", so-named because he steals kittens. However, Dex nicknames him "Fat Cat".
  • The Dragon: General X is this to Lady X.
  • Drunk on Milk: Dex drowns his sorrows with milk.
  • Dull Surprise: Thanks to the motion-capture animation's use of gestures rather than facial expressions, 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.
  • Eldritch Location: Marketropolis is an unintentional example. The boundaries between the human world and the Ikes' world are not clearly established. When the lights go off in the Supermarket at night, the Ikes come to life - but their world itself seems to occupy another dimension, including having its own sky and weather (despite seemingly taking place within the real supermarket). And characters seem to be able to transition between the two locations at will - like when Mr. Clipboard invades the Ike realm and turns out to be a robot piloted by Lady X - with the method of doing so never properly explained.
  • Everybody Do the Endless Loop: During the scenes that take place at the Copa Banana (as well as pretty much all the scenes that involve large crowds), upon closer inspection, several oddities are noticeable. Most of the crowds consist of only a few generic human models which are sometimes not even palette swapped. The crowd only has about three or four "dancing" animation loops, most of which just involve flailing the arms and legs with no rhythm. Sometimes two or more individuals dance in perfect sync with the exact same movements, meaning that the "dancing" animation loop was copy-pasted onto multiple models without even adjusting the timings.
  • Expy:
    • Lieutenant X is reminiscent of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.
    • General X brings to mind Napoleon Bonaparte.
    • Dex Dogtective is an amalgamation of Indiana Jones, McGruff The Crime Dog and Humphrey Bogart's character from Casablanca. His cereal seems to also be influenced by Undercover Bears Oatmeal.
    • 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 Vlad Chocul, are due in part to multiple backers dropping their support of the film.
      • The fact that a lot of said expies are unflattering caricatures makes it likely they doubled as a Take That!, with the exception of Sunshine Goodness, who, if you look at her name and the fact that she shills raisins, is likely supposed to be an expy of the Sun-Maid Raisins girl (despite looking nothing like her and being vaguely feline).
  • Fantastic Racism: Ikes representing sugary products apparently don't get along with Ikes from salty products, with such as "saltlick" and "candy arse" being thrown between them.
  • Faux Action Girl: Sunshine is built up to be an Action Girl, 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 to Lady X.
  • Female Feline, Male Mutt: Sunshine, a Cat Girl, and Dex, a dog man, are a couple.
  • Food Fight: There's a big one between the Ikes and Lady X's forces near the end.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Mr. Clipboard's strange mannerisms and movements toward Leonard in the supermarket, especially the bit where he stutters trying to say customers plainly (to the point of only being able to say the word after a knock to his own head), should tip off that he's actually a robot.
    • When Dex finds out that Sunshine's product was recalled, her brand is shown next to that of a prune mascot's that was also recalled. Lady X is revealed in the ending to have been that same recalled prune mascot.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: At one point the cover of the unreleased game Donkey Kong Coconut Crackers can be seen in the background of the original trailer.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Lady X herself may have a tragic excuse, but it does not excuse the deaths of all the mascots, and while the mascots are fortunately revived, her actions are still hollow.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The United Supermarket Defense Association (which shares an acronym with the United States Department of Agriculture).
  • Godwin's Law: Let us sincerely hope that the bad guys being brand Nazis was merely a poorly-thought-out design choice for the sake of the Casablanca analogue and not the actual intended message of the movie.
  • 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 except for her appearance as her true self at the end — fall into this. Even some good, like Dr. Si Nustrix, do too.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Before Brand X's higher-ups kill a toothpaste mascot with a giant dentist's drill.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: 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.
  • Hammerspace: Dex pulls a large hunk of cheese out of his pocket in his first scene.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The four rodents are at the movie's beginning the henchmen of the minor villain Fat Cat Burglar, but later, they help Dex fighting Brand X.
  • Humanoid Female Animal: Dex is clearly a dog, but Sunshine (supposedly a cat) is a human with cat ears.
  • Hurricane of Puns: There are dozens of food-related puns in this movie.
  • 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.
    • Also an exact quote and apparent motivation for the Fat Cat Burglar in the beginning of the film.
      Fat Cat Burglar: I just want to be loved, IS THAT SO WRONG?
  • Informed Judaism: Dex is said to be Jewish at the very end, after the credits have started to roll (apparently, all kosher foods have Jewish ikes).
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Mr. Clipboard looks very much like his voice actor.
  • 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.
  • Join or Die: General X gives the Ikes an ultimatum: "Unless you care to suffer a long, cruel expiration, you will sing your allegiance to Brand X."
  • 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.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When it's revealed that Lady X was Mr. Clipboard all along, Dex questions how an ike was able to leave the store, and X essentially states that good looks can get you anywhere you want, which still doesn't clear anything up.
  • La Résistance: Stated directly by the overtly French character Francois Fromage.
  • Large Ham: Mr. Clipboard. Christopher Lloyd 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.
    "Kiss my additives!"
    "What the fudge?"
    "You cold-farted itch!"
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: The hero's blonde, blue-eyed Love Interest named Sunshine Goodness is the Light and the seductive, villainous Femme Fatale Lady X is the Dark (who is also dark-haired in contrast to Sunshine's Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold).
  • Made of Iron: Cheasel T. Weasel gets hit by a train, crushed by a wrecking ball, falls off buildings, yet never gets a scratch on his body.
  • Magic Pants: Zigzagged. After Sunshine Goodness beats up Lady X enough, her plastic surgery comes undone and she bloats back up into her morbidly obese physique. Despite the massive change of mass, her catsuit is still intact, albeit with some visible tears in parts.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: Exaggerated with Lady X, who through the magic of plastic surgery has managed to squeeze several hundred pounds of fat into a super slim physique. Once Sunshine Goodness beats her up enough, it all comes undone.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Charlie the Tuna, the California Raisins, Mrs. Buttersworth, Mr. Clean, and Twinkie the Kid among others.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Pretty much every character uses dramatic arm movements while talking, likely in an attempt to make up for the lack of facial animation. Particularly notable when Dex twirls around once like a ballerina during The Reveal for no apparent reason.
  • Mobile-Suit Human: Lady X used a suit of Mr. Clipboard to sell Brand X to the store.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Lieutenant X.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Lady X, Until it's revealed that she's an ugly, old prune mascot.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The parallel is taken anviliciously far with Brand X.
  • No Flow in CGI: Any character that has hair is stiff and plasticky-looking, and the Funny Animal characters like Dex and Dan are just given a fur-like texture with no actual hairs on their skin. Most of the particle effects are either 2-D sprites or the same thick, viscous "sludge" effect being used over and over again in a number of different ways.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Sunshine Goodness delivers one to Lady X since the male Dex Dogtective is forbidden from doing so.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Just by looking at him, you can clearly tell the Fat Cat Burglar is clearly a rat, not a cat.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: At the start of the movie, Mr. Leonard states that nothing exciting happens at Marketopolis after dark...and this is immediately juxtaposed with the introduction of the in-store city.
    JonTron: Now, that is exactly what someone would say if something much does happen around here after dark!
  • Obviously Evil: Mr. Clipboard destroys other people's property, implicitly threatens violence when his demands aren't met, and acts like someone with a previously-unknown mental disorder. Probably not a good person.
  • 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.
  • Parenthetical Swearing: Several times, mostly by Daredevil Dan. A few examples:
    Dex: You cold-farted itch!

    Dan: How 'bout some chocolate frosting!

    Dan: What the fudge?

    Dan: Are those melons real?note 
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Leonard holds the stomped-on bag of chips as if it's his dying child.
  • Precision F-Strike: The word "arse" is uttered at least once.
  • Product Placement: Ubiquitous, given it's a film about advertising mascots. Apparently, though, Threshold wasn't paid by the brands; instead, the companies were expected to promote the movie when it was released, which backfired considering the movie never got a wide theatrical release.
  • Putting on the Reich: The Brand X army. Interestingly, though, the soldiers wear World War I-style pickelhaubes alongside World War II-themed SS-like uniforms.
  • Recycled In Space: It's Casablanca IN A GROCERY STORE! complete with carbon copies of some of Casablanca's most notable scenes, such as the "La Marseillaise" sequence.
  • The Reveal: Mr. Clipboard is actually a mech controlled by Lady X... who is actually Priscilla Pusly, the prune mascot.
  • Robotic Reveal: Mr. Clipboard is revealed to be a robot controlled by Lady X.
  • Running Gag: Mr. Clean getting dirty should be this, but it only happens twice.
  • Shout-Out: To practically everything, which pretty much hammers it to the audience.
  • Simpleton Voice: The frog has this.
  • Stealth Pun: A potato chip mascot is shown going four sheets to the wind on Potato Juice.
  • Stock Footage: The same clip of Mr. Leonard backing out and bumping into a shopping cart at closing time shows up three times.
  • Strange Salute: The Brand X salute is performed by raising one's crossed arms above one's head.
  • Take That!: Brands that refused to let the makers use their characters were replaced with caricatures with barely-changed names.
    • The film's version of the Chiquita Banana lady is a fat, surly bartender named Lola Fruitola.
    • The chip-faced pirate that Dex meets at the bar is the mascot for a brand of chips, and more than likely a substitute for the pirate on the Pirate's Booty brand of puffed rice.
    • Vlad Chocul is an obvious stand-in for Count Chocula, both of them being chocolate cereal vampires. However, Vlad is also Ambiguously Gay and has a serious and somewhat rapey attraction to chocolate people. And Vlad is an actual bat rather than a humanoid vampire.
  • This Means War!: In response to the Join or Die ultimatum from General X, Dex leads the other Ikes in defying the Brand X army with a rendition of "La Marseillase". This in turn leads to General X bringing out an even bigger army for the inevitable war with the Ikes.
  • Title Drop: When Dex declares war on Brand X, he bellows "FOOD FIGHT!"
  • 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.
  • Trivial Tragedy: Mr. Clipboard takes a bag of chips off a shelf in the supermarket and brutally crushes it on the floor with his foot. The owner of the supermarket is genuinely heartbroken about this.
    Owner: That was a perfectly good bag of chips! Never opened... never enjoyed...
  • Ugly All Along: Madam X is introduced as a sexy Femme Fatale, trying to use her looks and wiles to seduce protagonist Dex Dogtective. By the end of the movie it's revealed that her true form is that of a wrinkled old woman befitting the mascot of a prune company and she had gone to Brazil for plastic surgery... which somehow is undone by getting punched by the female lead.
  • Used to Be More Social: Dex, after he loses Sunshine.
  • White Is Pure: Mr. Clean is one of the characters in the movie, and a running joke in the movie is that he's always getting dirty.
  • 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.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: During the climax, Dex refuses to fight Lady X because he doesn't hit women.
  • You All Look Familiar: Whenever there is a large crowd, it becomes fairly noticeable that there is only a handful of "generic crowd model" designs, and most of them have the same animation loops copy-pasted onto them. This is probably at its most noticeable during the climax; a crowd of Ikes are running away from Mr. Clipboard, and most of them are running in absolutely frame-perfect sync.


Cheasel T. Weasel

The first of Cheasel's many comeuppances in the film.

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Main / RailroadTracksOfDoom

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