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Western Animation / Metegol

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Metegol (Futbolín in Spain, The Unbeatables in the UK, and Underdogs in the USA) is an Argentine animated 3D sports film co-written and directed by Juan Campanella, inspired by Memorias de un wing derecho (Memories of a right winger) by Roberto Fontanarrosa.

The film begins with the narrator, telling his son a story before going to sleep. In this story, Amadeo, the best foosball player in his town, is challenged by a boy called Grosso to a foosball game. Although Grosso initially wins, Amadeo ends up victorious, earning himself the wrath of Grosso, who swears he will get revenge for this defeat.

Years later, just after Laura (the girl Amadeo likes) tells him she is planning to go to Europe and study there, Grosso returns, having become the best football player in the world, and announces he has bought the entire town and plans to destroy it to build a gigantic football stadium in there, but his actual interest is to take the foosball table where he suffered his only defeat, to destroy the bar where the table is and to gain Laura's affection.

With his entire life destroyed in one night, Amadeo discovers that his tears have awakened the foosball players, and after Amadeo manages to rescue them, he challenges El Grosso to a rematch, but El Grosso changes it to a football game, and Laura raises the bet: if Amadeo's team wins, Grosso will give the town back to its people.

But, sometimes, football is no place for miracles...

In 2015, Discovery Kids Latin America announced it will be getting a TV series that will air on their channel, under the Working Title of Underdogs: The Animated Series. The series would retain the movie's 3D animation, would be aimed at a younger audience, would feature two new Foosball players, Emma and Gigi, both of which are female, as well as a Team Dad named Guru, and would take place in the world of Sportsville, where everything and everyone is based around sports; this would include a new Big Bad whose goal is to get rid of sports once and for all, which the Underdogs must stop. Nothing came out of it aside from an animated promo in 2018 until it was Saved from Development Hell in 2022, where it was turned into a 2D-animated, anime-inspiried Denser and Wackier Edutainment Show under the new title of Underdogs United, following DK's rebranding back in 2021.

Metegol has examples of:

  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The original Spanish version has Me Vieron Cruzar by Calle 13, the UK English dub has Ole Ole Ole Ole by Tika-Taka, and the US English dub has I Need You by Gary Barlow.
  • …And That Little Girl Was Me: Amadeo is implied to be narrating the movie's story to his son. His face is never shown until the end, acknowledging that indeed he was the young man in the story.
  • Association Football: The football played in this story is the one known in the USA as soccer.
  • Babies Ever After: Strongly implied when the movie opens up with Amadeo and Laura's son.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Amadeo and Laura both kiss after the football game ends.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Amadeo's team loses the game, but not only does the crowd still cheer for our underdogs: even Laura emphatically lamp shades "It doesn't matter". Yes, this means they will lose the town, but it's later revealed in the ending they built a new town, meaning El Grosso's revenge ultimately doesn't stick. Amadeo and Laura even married, started a new life and had a son there. Also, Amadeo's foosball players are on good terms with each other.
  • Bland-Name Product: While the Deportivo Absoluto players are introduced before the game, the sponsors of the team are shown, clearly being parodies of famous companies (some obvious examples are Werner Sisters and Noentendo)
  • Boob-Based Gag: Hormone Dominguez has a massive pair that practically hit her in the face at one point during the football match. And thank God the opposing team was quick to cover her up after she took her shirt off.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Some of the characters that Amadeo summons for the final match previously had appeared as mere extras in some scenes
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The game's first half is this, with "Los Absolutos" scoring twice in the first few minutes. The rest of the first half, and part of the second, they take to humilliate their opponents by "dancing" around the field.
  • Darkest Hour: Happens twice. The first time after the bar and the foosball table are destroyed, and the second time when Amadeo (and later, Laura) realizes that there is little to no chance of his Ragtag Bunch of Misfits team winning against "Los Absolutos".
  • Disproportionate Retribution: El Grosso loses a foosball game and holds it as a motive to not only destroy the foosball table and the bar where the game took place but also his home town. Let's look at the scope of it all: it's one thing for El Grosso to narrow in on personally retaliating Amadeo by destroying all he held dear; it's another thing when he takes away the homes and livelihoods of many innocent strangers who had nothing to do with the foosball game.
  • Down to the Last Play: Amadeo nearly scores a winning goal in the last minute, but it hits the crossbar and El Grosso manages to score in the last second.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • Everyone gets their name changed in the US dub. This also applies to the UK dub, though some characters had their names left intact. The most notable ones are: Amadeo to Jake, Ezekial Remancho El Grosso to Ace (Flash in the UK), Laura to Lara, Capi to Captain Skip, Loco to Ziggy, Beto to Rico (UK as well), and Capitán Liso to Rip (Gregor in the UK).
    • In the Brazilian dub, Ezekial Remancho El Grosso to Ezequiel Ribeiro o Colosso.
  • Enemy Mine: The two foosball teams, once enemies on the table, join forces to save their partners and then help the townspeople to get their town back.
  • Gag Dub: Like most of Weinstein's dubs, the film is heavily cut and is 20 minutes shorter, and Americanises the script.
  • Groin Attack: Happens twice. The first one is when Amadeo kicks El Grosso in the rods during his rescue of Laura. The second one is when El Grosso kicks the ball, during the big match, and it lands right between Dual Axis's legs.
  • Hate at First Sight: Downplayed as "Dislike at first sight". There's a lingering shot of young Laura glaring at young El Grosso, as though establishing she doesn't like him.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: The Emo cracks a smile when Doble Eje skies a ball that causes a dirigible to explode.
  • It's All About Me: El Grosso, who buys an entire town and destroys it to put a large football stadium there, just because it was the scenario of his only defeat. During the game, he insults his team mates when they fail to act at their best. When the spectators begin to applaud Amadeo's team at the end of the game, he only wonders why they are not applauding him.
  • Karma Houdini: The Manager, as one of the driving forces behind El Grosso's actions, never faces any punishment for his actions.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: El Grosso's egocentrism and inability to accept defeat end up costing him his fans and his manager.
  • Market-Based Title: The film is named Underdogs in the US, The Unbeatables in the UK, and Futbolín in Spain.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Is the manager just an ordinary man, or could he perhaps be the Devil? It may explain why he sadistically derides El Grosso about why the crowd isn't cheering for him.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Except for Amadeo, Laura, Grosso and Carminio, no other character aged after the jump in time of several years at the beginning of the film.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: El Grosso's real name (Ezekial Remancho) is only mentioned once.
  • Opposing Sports Team: El Grosso's team, "Los Absolutos".
  • Our Founder: The new town has a statue that honors the full team, with Amadeo taking point. The old town had a statue to honor its founder before El Grosso destroyed it. The "Gratias Fundator" sign that used to be near the old statue was changed to "Gratias Fundatores", with the additional letters shaped in a way that makes it clear to anyone they weren't originally there, and placed next to the new statue.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: El Grosso manages to take revenge years after being defeated at foosball, but he loses the respect of his fans, his manager drops him like a hot potato and his revenge doesn't even stick, as the townspeople simply rebuild their town elsewhere.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The townspeople's team. Formed by two old men, the town's priest, an Emo Kid, a thief, a policeman, the destroyed bar's owner, a hermit, a fat guy, an old woman and Amadeo.
  • Recursive Translation: The film was originally written in Spanish, and then dubbed to American English courtesy of The Weinstein Company. The American English dub was then translated back to Spanish and redubbed in Los Angeles for the US DVD release.
  • Related in the Adaptation: The narration in the UK dub implies that Dual Axis and Amadeo are father and son.
  • Revenge Before Reason: El Grosso is more concerned about his revenge over a foosball game he lost back when he was a kid than his career as a soccer player.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: El Grosso is a rich and famous soccer player, Amadeo isn't rich, and both love Laura.
  • The Rival: El Grosso, who comes to the town to get revenge for his only defeat.
  • Sore Loser: El Grosso never got over the fact he lost a foosball game back when he was a kid.
  • Start My Own: Unable to prevent El Grosso from destroying their town, the townspeople merely start another town elsewhere.
  • Stunned Silence: The entire stadium after El Grosso scores a goal in the last second.
  • Swiss-Army Tears: After the foosball table and the bar are destroyed, Amadeo's tears fall on Capi (the only foosball player he managed to save from being taken), giving him and his companions life.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Subverted. After letting in two goals, the townspeople (with a little aid from the foosball players) manage to tie the game and nearly win, but El Grosso manages to score the victory goal in the last second. However, the spectators applaud the townspeople for their spirit and unwillingness to give up, and "Los Absolutos" exchange T-shirts with them, considering them Worthy Opponents. Even more ironic in the US, where the team and film are literally called Underdogs.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: El Grosso, after scoring the victory goal. Unfortunately for him, the stadium has fallen into total silence and everyone hears him.
  • V-Formation Team Shot: from the point of view of Amadeo and Capi. It is the moment from which the townspeople begin to play well enough to put "Los Absolutos" in a vice.
  • Victorious Loser: Amadeo and his team barely lose the soccer game against Los Absolutos, but it's due to El Grosso's dirty playing and abusiveness towards his own teammates that cause him, the winner, to lose his popularity and to be dropped by his manager, while Amadeo and his team are celebrated and cheered for by the crowd, and even the respect of the rest of the opposing team. Amadeo's town got lost to El Grosso as were the stakes of the game, but the townspeople simply relocate and Amadeo happily lives in his new home and starts a family with Laura.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: Amadeo has put all of his free time into his foosball games and being the greatest foosball player in his hometown. But when Laura comes along and talks about her future enrolling in schools and traveling abroad, Amadeo finds himself with awkwardly little to talk of his future except maintaining the bar and playing foosball.
  • When He Smiles: A rather... morbid example: the Emo Kid, who has been a Perpetual Frowner throughout the entire film, smiles for the first time... after seeing Doble Eje kick a ball so high that it causes the dirigible to catch on fire.
  • You Need a Breath Mint: El Roña manages to win a header by blowing his bad breath on his opponent.

Alternative Title(s): The Unbeatables, Underdogs