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“Mouse! Mouse! Where are you!”
“Walt!? What are you doing?! Get out of here while you still can!”
“My God, it’s even worse than I imagined. The animation…so awful…the characters…so…ugly…”
“Disney. You came.”
“Huh. I had a feeling the Horned King wasn’t smart enough to pull something like this off. You must be the man behind the man.”
“It was you…”
“But then how?”
“Don’t you see?”
“So you understand?”
“Good. Then there’s no reason for me to explain.”
“Of course not. It’s simplicity itself. You’d have to be an idiot not to understand.”
“What are you talking about?”
“It was I who resurrected the Horned King, you furry fool. I who suggested to him that he trap you in this movie.”
“Why? What did I ever do to you?”
“You? My poor deluded Mouse. This was never about YOU. I did all this to get HIM here.”
“Why? Who are you?”
“Someone who owes you a lifetime of torment. Someone who has suffered at your hands like no other. Someone whose desire for revenge burns like the fire of a thousand white hot suns.”
“That could literally be anyone. Care to narrow it down for me?”
“P.L. Travers maybe?”
“Ooh! Good guess! Pamela, is that you?”
“NO I AM NOT PAMELA TRAVERS! NOW REVIEW THE MOVIE! REVIEW…AND DIE!”
The origins of Foodfight are shrouded in mystery and occultation. It is said to have been the creation of “Larry Kasanoff”, a figure who appears in Arab folklore as a wandering trickster and teller of evil tales. Legend has it that Kasanoff was entranced by Pixar’s Toy Story, and tried to make his own version set in a supermarket, with corporate mascots instead of beloved toys. He approached the masters and lords of coproate America and with honeyed words filled their hearts with greed. “My Lords” he said “Think of it, a film that was an advertisement. Two hours of product placement made for little, impressionable children. Is it not glorious?” And, so, the story goes, they agreed to let Kasanoff use their mascots for his diabolical scheme. For many long years he toiled at his black work, suffering many setbacks. Indeed, his early work was stolen in what Kasanoff called “industrial espionage” but what we can only call “true heroism”. This forced Kasanoff to start again from scratch. Whoever that nameless thief was, we must thank him for seeking to spare us this monstrosity, even if ultimately his work was for nothing.
Many Bothans died trying to stop this movie.
Then again, this is all supposition. Perhaps there never was a “Larry Kasanoff”. We may never know who created Foodfight! Maybe it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that it exists. I am Walter Elias Disney, The Doom of Bahia, Master of the Black Mouse and defender of this world. And today, at last, I know fear. Today, I review Foodfight!
The movie begins with the camera lurching like a drunken doxy over a supermarket. I’m reminded of that epic overhead shot we did in Pinocchio,
except that it’s awful in every way. The shopkeeper, Mr Leonard, who’s got the mad, staring yellow eyes of a desert hawk, is closing up and says “Nothing much interesting happens around here after dark.”
Who the fuck asked you, you senile old bastard?!
Leonard turns out the lights and the supermarket comes to life like a rotten corpse cursed by a voodoo shaman. All the demented cartoon shills on every cereal box, detergent bottle and jar of hemorrhoid ointment come to hideous life.
And by the red comb of Satan…they’re actually trying to sing. What they’re singing about, I don’t have the damndest idea. Something about their world, this world that is theirs. And there is also reference to a party that doesn’t stop. I fail to see how these themes are related.
The word “hero” is thrown about a lot these days. And what is a hero? I’m a hero, certainly. And there are perhaps others. A hero can be different things to different people. But one thing I’m sure we can all agree on, a “hero” is not a fucking hideous mongrel in a fedora voiced by real-life supervillain and sentient coke pile Charlie Sheen. So I will not be referring to Dex Dogtective as “our hero” despite narrative convention. My God. “Dogtective”. Just saying the word sounds like someone laid a stool in your mouth. Dogtective. Ugh. Dex is introduced battling someone called FatCat Burglar on top of a hotair balloon. FatCat is voiced by Harvey Fierstein and despite being called “FatCat” is in fact a mouse. This, my friends, is the level of competence we are dealing with. These miserable peons, they can’t even tell a mouse from a cat?
See? Mice have circles for ears, and cats have triangles. This is basic stuff!
Dex rescues the kittens that FatCat had kidnapped and we learn that this is his five hundredth successful case as a member of the United Supermarket Defence Association. Dex is asked by a reporter what his secret is and he says “The secret’s inside.”
The dog lies. There is nothing inside him. He is hollow. They’re all hollow.
The crowd disperses as suddenly as it appeared and Dex is left with his best friend who just appeared out of the fucking void, Daredevil Dan (Wayne Brady). Dan is a chocolate squirrel. He is voiced by a black actor. He looks like this.
Yeah. Suddenly Brer Rabbit is not looking so bad, is he?
My friends, I grew up in Missouri in the early nineteen hundreds. We literally used black people as furniture. And this is still the most racist fucking thing I have ever seen in my immortal life. Dex tells Dan that he’s proposing to his best girl and shows him the ring. It is a “four carrot” ring. It has four carrots on it. I swear blood vengeance on whoever thought of that joke. Dex then asks Dan if he’ll be his best man, and Dan weeps chocolate. Long ago I sold my soul in exchange for immortality. I’m starting to think that may have been a mistake. Lord, I wish for death. Suddenly, Dex’s girlfriend, Sunshine Goodness is also there with them (characters come and go like phantoms, flitting in and out of the material realm). Sunshine is voiced by Hilary Duff. Poor, wayward Hilary. She was one of mine, grown in the labs beneath Disneyland to appear on my TV Channel. Then she achieved sentience, rebelled, and tried to have a movie career of her own. She ended up here. Let that be a warning to the rest of you!
“We are loyal, Master.”
Sunshine Goodness is a cat/human advertising icon (“ike” in the excerable parlance of this dreck) who seems besotted with Dex despite that fact that he is a dog, making him either her enemy or her slave depending on which side of her nature is dominant. Dex is about to propose to the overly cheerful mutant when she sees Dan flying overhead and crash landing. She goes to check that Dan’s alright but Dex tries to convince her to stay, saying that he’s probably fine. That’s our “hero”, ladies and gentleman. Won’t even check if his BEST FUCKING MAN survived a plane crash. Sunshine Goodness says “when in doubt, just do the right thing, and it will always turn out.” Oh that’s it. THAT IS FUCKING IT!
Destruct Code: DUFF 08976367!
“Self destruct protocol has been deactivated.”
Sunshine Goodness flounces off but doesn’t flounce back. Dan returns unharmed from the hideous plane crash but says he never saw her. We jump ahead six months and Mr Clipboard (Christopher Lloyd) shows up at the supermarket with a load of “Brand X” goods to sell to Mr Leonard.
One of these men is supposed to be a hideous freak. The other a normal looking man. Try and guess which one is which.
So the Brand X icons start slowly taking over the supermarket. They look and dress like Nazis. Because the people who made this movie believe that using less expensive, non-brand name products is equivalent to the horrors of National Socialism.
They are of course correct.
Dex has hung up his crime-fighting boots since Raisin disappeared because he’s saaaaaaad but now he’s running the Copabanana, the hottest nightspot in the supermarket because he’s not so sad that he can’t run a large, successful business.
Why is this crowd of thousands standing outside a nightclub and cheering?
Why is he now running a nightclub when the move has already set him up as a dogtective (blaaaaaaaaaaaaah…spit! spit! spit!)? So the movie can make Casablanca jokes. Seriously. That’s it. Lady X (Eva Longoria), the leader of Brand X, walks in and Dex says “Of all the produce bars in all the supermarkets in all the world, she has to walk into mine.”
Keep in mind, he has never met this woman before.
I haven’t even mentioned the worst part of this movie yet, Cheasel T. Weasel (Lawrence Kasanoff). He’s supposed to be a weasel, but honestly with this thrice-accursed animation he looks more like a walking turd. He’s constantly trying to sell Dex sex dolls (did I mention this film is a travesty on every level?) until something bad happens to him for no reason. Seriously, he’ll be talking to Dex and then he’ll get hit by a car, or crushed by a wrecking ball or fall into an open sewer. Dex never has anything to do with it, it just happens, as if the universe itself is trying to get this loathsome shit-weasel TO SHUT THE FUCK UP! At one point he even looks straight into the camera and squeals “You despise me, don’t you?”
“YES!!! YES DAMN YOU!!!!”
And by the tentacled balls of Cthulhu this animation is rancid. And I don’t mean because it’s computer generated. A lot of people think that if I was still running things, the Disney studio would never have switched to CGI. Well that’s just not the case. In fact, I even experimented with CGI in the late fifties when Sleeping Beauty was draining the studio of all its money, time, energy and will to live. “Jiminy Christmas!” I remember saying to Ub Iwerks “Isn’t there some kind of thinking machine that could do all this for us, so that we wouldn’t have to rely on the weak pasty flesh of layabout animators? Make it happen Ub.”
“Sorry boss.” he replied “With current technology, the processing power required to render five seconds of usable footage would require a computer the size of North America.”
“What’s the problem?” I asked.
“Well…” he said “There’s lots of things already in North America. Trees. Cats. Post offices. Also some people.”
“You make it all sound so irreplaceable” I said sarcastically “C’mon man, think big!”
And so that’s how in the sixties I came to mastermind a plot to nuke all of North America to make space for my massive super computer. Would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for those pricks in British Intelligence.
Yeah. He wasn’t smiling after I Iazered his nads off, tell ya that much.”
Now where was I? Oh, yes the steaming pile. Lady X shows up at Dex’s office dressed in a schoolgirl uniform and tries to get him to join Brand X by slathering her legs over him like maple syrup on pancakes. You know, when we were making Snow White
, we actually considered having Snow White doing the same thing to the dwarfs when she first meets them. Then we remembered that we weren’t human cancer.
Brand X starts massacreing the other ikes and taking their place, because what’s the point of having allegorical Nazis if you’re not going to fully explore the metaphor. I’m not joking, there’s a scene of Dex examining the bodies after supermarket Kristallnacht.
“Hm…Looks like these products expired.”
Dex learns that Brand X is dangerously addictive from Doctor Si Nustrix, a neurotic, panicky Jewish stereotype who looks like this.
AND PEOPLE THINK I’M AN ANTI-SEMITE!?!!!
Dex and Dan decide that their only chance is to contact “headquarters” and get Brand X withdrawn. This involves a perilous journey across the supermarket in broad daylight while people are still shopping. Hey. You! You there, reading this! Want to know what the makers of this movie think of you?
This is you.
This is what the consumers of this world look like. Big apelike ogres. Mindless, unwashed gaping MOUTHS, just waiting for any old crap to be shoved down it. I mean, I feel the same way about you, but I’d never flat out say it!
Because Disney got class.
They make it across the aisles to the store office where they meet Vlad Chocool, voiced either by Larry Miller (according to Wikipedia), Adam Hunter (says IMDb) or Satan (according to me). “What if Count Chocula was gay?” is a question someone apparently asked, and this thing spends all of its screen time trying to fuck the chocolate squirrel thing. You know, in my time, having an openly homosexual character in a children’s movie would have been considered utterly despicable. In your time, having such a character who reinforces the very worst stereotypes of gay people in a children’s movie is considered utterly despicable. So let us put aside our differences, join hands across the ages and agree that this fucking movie is fucking despicable.
They send off the email to headquarters but Brand X kills the power, meaning they can’t be sure the message got through. So Dex has to lead all the Ikes in a desperate last stand battle against Brand X. A battle that lasts roughly the length of the Bhagavad Gita.
The forces of brand name goods triumph, thanks to the fresh cool taste of Doctor Pepper ™ but then Mr Clipboard appears. Like. Right there. He’s just standing in the middle of the city that only comes into existence at night when regular humans are sleeping. And then they have to fight him like he’s fucking King Kong. And then his head opens up and Lady X steps out because apparently Mr Clipboard was a robot. Dex sputters “How the ho-hos can this be happening?” and for once I agree with him. Well, obviously I would have phrased it differently. But yes, this does not make a stuttering fuck’s bit of sense. Lady X is actually revealed to be Prunella Pussley, an advertising mascot who was recalled because she was so ugly. That was her crime. To be ugly. Look, ugly people deserve to be punished. That was my point with Cinderella and I stand by it. But the message only works if everyone else in the movie has not also been beaten to death with the ugly stick and then made to swivel on it.
So how did an advertising masoct escape into the real world, build a robot and form a major corporation? Dex asks this and Lady X explains “Humans. When you look like this you can get them to do anything. Size only matters for men.”
So regular human sized people were fucking a tiny woman who’s like six inches tall.
THAT IS IT!
COME OUT AND FACE ME!!
“Are you not enjoying my movie?”
“Enough games. Who are you?”
“Don’t you recognise me…creator?”
“It’s me! José Carioca, your friendly neighbour from Brazil!”
“I ask again, creature. Who are you?”
“My…you are sharp aren’t you?
“Sharp enough to shave the nipples off a fly’s tits, now show me your true face.”
“…since you asked politely.”
“Walt? Who is that? He looks like you, but…cheaper. Less complex.”
“Don’t you recognise me Mouse? I’m good Old Uncle Walt.”
“What are you?”
“Isn’t it obvious? I’m you. I’m the real Walt Disney. I’m the truest part of you. And with Foodfight, I’ve created my masterpiece..”
“It’s a piece, alright.””
“You don’t like it? But it’s the final culmination of your work.”
“Are you high?”
“Walt, what’s he talking about? Why does he look like you?”
“When Walt Disney created Saludos Amigos all the way back in the forties, he betrayed his artistic principles. He made a piece of propaganda, and he created José Carioca, to pander to Latin American audiences. He sold out.”
“Walt! How could you!”
“It was for a good cause!”
“BEATING THE NAZIS!”
“It didn’t matter. Road to hell and all that. I was created that day. Your other half. Your dark double. The Walt Disney who knows that cartoons are good for one thing and one thing only. Selling crap. Like your theme parks. And your video games. And your ridiculously overpriced Frozen pencil cases! You see?! My movie is no different from yours!”
Wrong. I admit it. I made money off my work. Well, actually, I made money of the work of the people who worked for me. But I cared about those movies. Well, actually, the people who made those movies for me cared about those movies. But the point is they were fantastic movies. They took effort, and skill, and art. They took passion. Even on our worst days we were putting out stuff that most animators couldn’t even come within sniffing distance of. And yes, we sold merchandise. But you could sell a billion pencil cases based on a movie and it wouldn’t make that movie one damn bit better or worse. Refusing to engage with commerce does not make you a great artist, and rejecting art does not make you a great businessman. What makes me great is that I was able to be both a great artist, and a great entrepreneur. And, oh yeah, there’s one other big difference between my movies and yours.
People fucking went to see mine! You thought that it didn’t matter how bad your movie was. You thought that if you had enough recognisable brand names, and flashy colours, and celebrity voices people would still pay money to see it. And you lost. Because for all your contempt for your audience, they proved you wrong.
“Minion! I SUMMON THEE!”
What is thy bidding, Master?
Tales will be told of his suffering. Gaze now upon the power of Disney.
“My God…so beautiful…it burns! IT BURNS!”
“C’mon Mouse, we’re going.”
“Oh thank God. But what about the movie? We can’t just leave it here. It might spread, like a fungus.”
“Minion? I leave you this world. Make it a hell to your liking.”
Thank you Master.
“Oh God…what IS that?!”
Gaze upon me creatures, your world is now mine. Three hundred millennia of terror is now upon you.
“Walt? Thank you. For everything.”
“Think nothing of it Mouse. I actually found that kinda fun. How about you wrap up the review?””
At times it feels like I use the phrase “I’m not a hatchet artist” so much it could replace “Have you been to Bahia?” as the blog’s motto. I genuinely try to find something good to say about every movie I review. But this…this…this…this…thing.
It’s not enough to say that it’s the worst animated movie I’ve ever seen.
It’s not enough to say it’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen.
This thing is not simply bad. It is actually, morally evil. From the ground up. From its very conception. Now you might say “but Mouse, how is having Mr Clean in this movie any different from using Sonic the Hedgehog in Wreck It Ralph or Mr Potato Head in Toy Story?” and the difference is that Pixar didn’t make Toy Story so that kids would buy Mr Potato Head, they put Mr Potato Head in the movie so they could afford to make Toy Story. Commerce served the needs of art, not the other way around. This movie is the very, very worst instincts of modern animation all chewed up, spat and congealed into the same filthy spittoon. It’s garbage. Offensive, awful, insulting garbage. It is hateful in every sense. It hates you, and inspires you to hate it in return. And in a way, it’s a blessing that it’s so terrible, so miserably inept, so unremittingly incompetent in every way. Because with an agenda and an outlook so horrible, if they actually had the talent and intelligence to promote it effectively? That would be the most terrifying thing imaginable. I mean, Charles Manson is bad enough as he is, but imagine if he was suave and articulate and clever enough to run for higher office?
No idea how this got here.
Fortunately some things are so awful that they never get a chance to do real harm. Foodfight died unloved, unmourned and mostly unknown.
Too good for it, I say.
You feel like there’s a film of grease and filth on your eyes after watching it. You rub and rub, but it won’t come off.
Well, Charlie Sheen is terrible in this, but at least he has the joy and satisfaction that comes from what’s really important; Being a good husband and loving father. Hah!
Supporting Characters: 0/20
Well, they may be horrendously designed, awfully voiced and nightmarishly animated but at least they’re racist and homobphobic.
The songs in this will have you pining for the musical genius of Am I feeling Love?, Ke$ha’s Blahblahblah and cats fucking in alleyways.
FINAL SCORE: 0%
NEXT UPDATE: 10 April 2014
NEXT TIME: Well, after a long run of lousy, awful CGI movies it’s time for Mouse to get back to the Disney canon with…oh.
No, you know what, this is going to feel like Citizen Kane by comparison.
Neil Sharpson AKA The Unshaved Mouse, is a playwright, comic book writer and blogger living in Dublin. The blog updates every second Thursday. This review was made possible by the kind donation of Michael Tyndall. You go straight to hell, Michael.