The Fight for the FoxBox is a 2003 half-hour-long TV special produced by 4Kids Entertainment for its flagship FoxBox (later known as 4KidsTV) block on Fox. An Intercontinuity Crossover, it aired on August 31 as a prime-time special to promote the block's programming slate for the 2003-04 season. Fox stations that passed on the block preempted the special for syndicated or local programming in its place, which may explain why 4Kids released a promotional DVD of the special distributed through various magazines.
It's basically one long Enforced Plug for FoxBox shows that were returning for that season or were to premiere on the block by then. Basically, the story is that a mysterious voice informs the bad guys of five TV shows (Shredder, King Dedede & Escargoon, Dr. Eggman, Dial Bolic, and Dr. K) that he has stolen the "FoxBox broadcast codes," and that the network can't go back on the air without the codes. He gives the codes, in pieces, to each of the five villains, and tells them to guard it well. Ace Anderson and Jack Kowalski, the Funky Cops, overhear this tirade on their car's CB radio. The heroes of each TV show also get wind of what's happening, and they set out to take the codes back.
Relying mostly on recycled clips and animation from the TV shows it features, about the only thing new about it is the way the clips are edited together and the audio/dubbing by the original actors. (That is, assuming that it is mostly footage ripped and edited from the TV shows.) There is one scene with less-than-stellar animation where Funky Cops Ace and Jack question Meat on what he knows about the disappeared codes. He then proceeds to fill them in on what's been happening on Ultimate Muscle up to that point.
When the characters of each show re-obtain the code their antagonist is carrying, it is displayed on the screen in some way (mostly for real, but on one occasion a character only says it and the code appears on screen).
The TV special ends with the villains reporting how they failed to keep their code safe. The Voice says "You fools!" and informs them that Donatello has set up a website (now defunct) called Savethefoxbox.com, where viewers can enter in the codes to get the network back on the air. During his evil laughter, the sound visualization for his voice fades away to reveal his real identity - Wayne Cramp. The half-hour ends with a non-conclusive ending of him pushing his brother Lucien down the stairs, with an appearance of the show's logo.
Shows included for crossover (alphabetical, not chronological, order; the ones listed in bold are the main four) include:
- The Cramp Twins
- Cubix: Robots for Everyone
- Funky Cops
- Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
- Shaman King ("Hey Mikey! Do you have that Shaman King promo we taped?") - meaning, it doesn't directly relate at all to the plot.
- Sonic X
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Ultimate Muscle
It has an IMDb page and can now be viewed on YouTube. There's also an article that details a press release by 4Kids that explains other details about the release and broadcast of this special. In addition to its promotional DVD release it was also included as a bonus feature on the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! DVD "Kirby's "Egg-Cellent Adventure".
One last note: If you'd like to re-experience some of what the original "SaveTheFoxBox" website was like, look here: http://web.archive.org/web/20040828191731/http://savethefoxbox.com/ The five codes are: 9HT6A (from Dr. Eggman), B7Z51 (From King Dedede), MM881 (from Dialbolic), L1415G (from Dr. K), and 5E3KZ (from Shredder). Go wild.
Tropes used in this half-hour special include:
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Ace and Jack believed everything Meat had said to them about being from the future and flew in starships, yet they have a hard time accepting Meat's name.
- As You Know: Used by King Dedede talking about "The Kirby Show".
- The Bad Guy Wins: As of the FoxBox/4Kids TV's eventual dissolution, you could consider this a retroactive example of the bad guy getting what they wanted in the end.
- Big Bad: The Voice a.k.a Wayne Cramp.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: All of the properties acknowledging the FoxBox, Dr. K referencing the Channel Hop for his show, and Dedede denying about mailing out DVD's about their scheme.
- Canon Discontinuity: Possibly inverted, at least in the case of the Ninja Turtles. Thanks to Turtles Forever, this seems to be part of the franchise's Multiverse.
- Description Cut: "The next thing you'll be telling us is that there are a bunch of mutant turtles running loose in New York City." Cut to the turtles' side of the special.
- Disco Sucks!: Invoked. Kilobot states that the Funky Cops must be stopped because their victory will mean the return of disco, which he hates with a passion.
- Enforced Plug: For the many shows it's promoting. The plot even stopped in its tracks by having the Turtles watch the pilot for Shaman King.
- Fake Crossover:
- It's a "crossover" between 4Kids programming that mainly consists of footage edited and recycled from the shows crossing over.
- Somewhat averted when the Funky Cops questioned Meat, as they actually did appear in the same place together.
- Gainax Ending: It turns out that the one trying to end the FoxBox was Wayne Cramp.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Eggman lost his code to Sonic after he mentioned that only he can give the order for the code from a robot (namely Decoe). Sonic asked him to give the order, however Eggman refused. He accidentally blurted out the order, then Decoe gave the code to Sonic.
- Hostile Show Takeover: The plot revolves around villains trying to take over the FoxBox.
- Hurricane of Puns: All the jokes surrounding the names of DMP's fighters and what they do are puns on their themes.
- I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!: Played straight by Dr. Eggman. When Sonic goads him into asking Decoe what his part of the FoxBox code is, he can't help but keep yammering his mouth.Dr. Eggman: You're not getting me to ask 'What's the code, Decoe?'Decoe: The code is: 9HT6A.Sonic: Ha! Thanks, Decoe.
- Let Me Get This Straight...: Meat says this word-for-word when Ace and Jack interrogate him and he questions why they find his name being Meat the only aspect of his life that's unbelievable.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Eggman's I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You! moment above.
- Only Sane Man: Of all the villains, Shredder shows the most competence. He breaks up a quarrel between Escargoon and Dr. K, seems suspicious of who their mysterious leader is, and comes out with the most success in the end (he loses the code, but comes pretty close to killing the Turtles.)
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: This gem:Dr. Eggman: What if your plan is discovered?King Dedede: Don't be so hard-boiled, Eggman! It ain't like we gonna go mailin' out a whole heap of DVD's telling folks about the whole dang scheme.
- Take That!: In reference to Cubix Channel Hopping to the FoxBox from Kids' WB!...Dr. K: My luck has really changed, Killobot! First I switch from that dull and boring network to the FoxBox...