Postmortem: Threshold Entertainment (Food Fight- The Movie): What really happened...


Since IP development seem to be hot topic right now, I think it is a good idea to first take a look at our recent past, to see if we can learn from what went right and what went wrong with other companies.

Back in the 90 a company named Threshold Entertainment, wanted to make an animated movie that takes place in a supermarket after the lights go down.

back them the company ha the rights to use animated versions of 80 name-brand products and their associated characters, including Charlie the Tuna and the Brawny paper towel man.


Sounds like Wreck it Ralph for the supermarket set right?

Well yeah, but it all went terribly wrong:

Quote from the Artilce:

"Foodfight! set out to do for supermarket brands what the Toy Story trilogydid for toys, what Who Framed Roger Rabbit? did for classic cartoon characters, and what Wreck-It Ralph has done for videogame characters: harness the intense nostalgia audiences feel for the pop icons of their youth, creating a vibrant comic universe populated by unforgettable characters driven by their all-too-human impulses and desires. "

" Thematically, these films have a lot in common. Artistically, they occupy different worlds. Toy Story, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and Wreck-It Ralph are Rhodes Scholars; Foodfight is still trying to figure out how to read without moving its lips. "

So guys, what lessons can take from this?

Looking forward to your comments and ideas.



Don’t make a film:

[ul][li]Without animators
[/li][li]That has a detective dog called ‘Dex Dogtective’
[/li][li]With the pitch “It’s the worlds most beloved brands against the forces of darkness!”
[/li][li]That is rendered with a shoe


Wow, that looks incredibly bad, where did the millions of dollars go to?


Some friends barely escaped with their lives and negative dollars from that project. I don’t know if it’s an example of how to fail at filmmaking or how to fail at being a human.

The entire thing is available online streaming if you search for it. I don’t recommend it even in an oh-my-god-look-at-that sort of way, but if you’re feeling masochistic, by all means.


It looks worse than a previs… I think the lessons are fairly obvious :argh:


Up somebody’s nose, probably.


Oh the things I would love to say…but they will probably end up with me in a lawsuit.
So I’ll keep it simple.
No matter how much money you have, no matter how much technology you have, no matter how much talent you crew of artists have, it only takes one moron with delusions of grandeur in the right position the screw everything up.


Here the trailer;

Amazing what they can do with Bryce and Poser these days.


Learned my animation can and should look better than this.
Who the heck gets this money to do this stuff and can I get some of that. Give me a 100,000 and I’ll get you something made that is 10xs better looking.


Wow, that’s amazing! Suddenly, “Plan 9 From Outer Space” actually looks like a good flick.


Oh my god …
I don’t exactly understand the story behind this tragedy though. How is it possible that it started in 2001 and was released in 2012? (correct me if I’m wrong)
And how did they manage to screw up every aspect of this film but get a huge list of well known voice actors?
This is mind-boggling, does someone have more info how they managed to drag this thing around for a decade? People must’ve realized that this can’t have any good outcome in the early stages of production, no?
And what did they render it with? A potato?

I really feel bad for the people that had to work on this film.

Oh … god! I just watched some parts of the actual film. It is 10 times worse than the trailer, the animation and especially the render managed to look like ingame graphics from the 90’s. Oh my god shiver


Conjures up the mental image of a young exec doing coke off his ipad and firing up Maya to show the animators how to REALLY do it.


What would you learn from this failure then? People who are forceful and can arrange funding are almost always difficult to work with. The same qualities that make them good at getting what they want make them bad at working with teams of specialists in areas they are unfamiliar with. I reckon this has nothing to do with the animation shown, but everything to do with how our system is structured and the way we work together.

The trailer was awful though,


Most of the people who worked on this are not head injury outpatients either, they know how to do things.

The man was insane, from all reports. There are plenty of people out there who can raise money and run a project and not screw it up this badly. I don’t see that correlation here.

The only thing worse than making this movie by accident is making it on purpose. Just that kind of guy.


With all that we know, how is it possible for something like this to see the light of day?
That is the correlation.


More details from Wikipedia

Foodfight! is a 2012 computer animatedfamily film produced by Threshold Entertainment and directed by Larry Kasanoff. The film features the voices of Charlie Sheen, Hilary Duff, Wayne Brady and Eva Longoria. It was originally planned for a Christmas 2003 release[2] and was pushed to late 2005.[3] Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company/International Film Guarantors were set to auction off the film and all associated rights in September 2011, to settle C47 Productions and Threshold Animation Studios defaulted loan for the film.[.

The film was created and produced by the digital effects shop at Threshold Entertainment. In late 2002-early 2003, Larry Kasanoff reported that hard drives containing film files had been stolen in what he called an act of “industrial espionage”. A release date in 2005 was later announced, but missed. Another distribution deal was struck in 2007, but again, nothing came of it. [color=darkorange]Finally, in 2011, the film was auctioned for $2.5 million.[" [/color]

"In June 2012, Foodfight! received a limited release in the United Kingdom, grossing £13,003 on its opening weekend,[1] and it was released on DVD in Europe that October. In February 2013, the film will be released on VOD.

The article stateds that the budget for the film was $65 million.!


And it gets worse…

Here is a WSJ article on the release of the film in 2013!

SANTA MONICA, CA, Nov 19, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) – Despite the sad loss of Hostess brands last Friday, its popular treat, Twinkie, will live on in the film Foodfight as Twinkie the Kid. Viva Pictures announced today the VOD premiere date of the animated film Foodfight featuring the voices of Charlie Sheen, Hilary Duff and Eva Longoria. On February 12, 2013, the beloved character, Twinkie the Kid, will be introduced.

“Prior to filing for liquidation, the Hostess family were very instrumental in helping us capture Twinkie the Kid in his iconic state for this upcoming movie debut featured alongside other classic American icons including Charlie the Tuna, Mrs. Butterworth, Chef Boyardee and the Vlasic Stork,” stated Victor Elizalde, president of Viva Pictures. “While it is sad that the delicious product may never be tasted again, Twinkie the Kid will live forever in Foodfight.”

Foodfight is a story of good vs. evil. When the lights are turned off and the doors are locked, chaos reigns supreme for the products in this grocery store as branded foods fight for shelf space against the less tasty generics. This animated full-length feature is voiced with a plethora of talented actors including Sheen, Duff, Longoria, Christopher Lloyd, Chris Kattan and Harvey Fierstein. With the recent news last week, it is ironic that in the film Twinkie the Kid battles alongside the world’s most recognizable brands to the bitter end to help save their existence from evil knockoffs. Hopefully, the life imitates art as Twinkie the Kid ends up on the winning side.


The files getting “stolen” in 2002 are no excuse for a movie to be that bad in 2011


You’re right - I had no idea Chris Kattan was “talented.”


See what happens when the lights go out in this Japanese Animation.
10xs better than brands coming to life. :slight_smile: