Foodfight! (partially lost sizzle reel for CGI animated film; 2000-2003)

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The original title card.

Status: Partially Lost

Foodfight! is a CGI-animated movie from Threshold Animation Studios, considered by many to be one of the worst animated films of all time. Originally beginning animation in 2000, the initial production and crew were scrapped and redone entirely around 2004 when it was claimed that the entire movie was stolen in an act of "industrial espionage."[1] A 7-minute showreel that was produced before this, however, which was used in early publicity stills and shown to investors, has yet to be located.

The movie was restarted entirely and after a three-year production period from 2005-2008, the movie was completed.[2] Though it would not be released until 2012 due to unknown reasons, possibly due to the difficulty in finding a distributor or buyer.


Larry Kasanoff, the film's director, with concept art and stills of the original version of the film.
Promotional image from Foodfight!. Dex is notably depicted as a human.

Conception for the first version of Foodfight! materialized in 1997, from Lawrence Kasanoff and Joshua Wexler, the founders of Threshold Entertainment. In late 1997, Threshold applied for two trademarks for the "Foodfight!" name related to merchandising as well as a copyright registration for a 22-page treatment for the film. A $25 million grant was issued on behalf of a Korean capital firm, Natural Image, at the request of Wexler, and an additional $50 million was expected through various product placements and pre-sale market hype of the film. With cash in hand, development of the film began in 1999. CGI and voice-over work took place at Threshold's Santa Monica, California studio. Kasanoff had planned to showcase the uniqueness and ability of their studio by showing a 7-minute reel of finished animation that had been created by the film's first team.

However, the film reached an impasse in development around 2004. Kasanoff had told the New York Times that hard drives containing the film's progress were stolen.[1] However crew working there at the time have no recollection of this occurring, some even hinting at the fact that the theft was a lie in order for the film to continue missing deadlines without much consequence. Kasanoff was not experienced in directing an animated film, and the theft may have been an excuse to restart production with motion capture instead, which he was more comfortable using as he considered it adjacent to directing a live-action film.[2] Mona Weiss, a texture artist and animator, was also tasked with opening the same files reported to have been stolen three years beforehand on every computer to impress investors at Kasanoff's request. In 2006, digital artist Loressa Clisby found those same assets that were reported to have been stolen.[3] Between 2004-2006, the old crew was being let go as new crew members were being hired while the production was changing to motion capture. Every asset created beforehand was abandoned. Attempts were made to release Foodfight! by 2005. In 2007, a distribution deal was struck but soon fell through as no one knew when the movie could be released. In 2008, a promissory note that Threshold had signed in 2006 had defaulted, and the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company repossessed the film and hired crew from a company named Digiscope to complete it as fast as possible, which concluded later that year.[2] In 2011, the assets and rights to the film were put up for auction at a starting bid of $2.5 million.[4] The rights and assets were never sold, and the film was distributed by Boulevard Entertainment in the UK and Viva Pictures in the United States. The finished product was released on June 15th, 2012, but was met with negative reception.[5]


Foodfight! is stylized as a "Toy Story in a supermarket," as it was about products in a supermarket that come to life when the store is closed. The film includes many legendary food mascots, representing a large portion of the budget that came from the product placement. The film follows the original main character Dex, who is a detective in "Marketropolis". Dex then proposes to his girlfriend, Sunshine Goodness. Before Dex proposes to his girlfriend, she vanishes. Six months later while Dex is partying Brand X then appears. Brand X attempts to destroy "Marketropolis" but is stopped by Dex. The film stars actors and actresses such as Charlie Sheen and Hillary Duff, who played and voiced original mascots Dex Dogtective and Sunshine Goodness respectively.


The original sizzle reel had not been seen in at least 20 years. Its last documented location was a 35mm print shown to the press in 2003.[6] Clips from the reel can be seen in the initial trailer from 2011, some crew member's demo reels, and the original sequence as it was planned in 2000 can be seen in the storyboards.[7]

In January 2024, Tiffany Amber found a copy of the novelization of the film and uploaded a complete scan of it online. Stills from the reel can be seen on a few pages.[8]

In May of 2024, Ziggy Cashmere shared a complete workprint of the film on YouTube and the Internet Archive. [9] Along with the workprint, assets from the early version of the film, as well as concept art, a behind-the-scenes video, and other material, were also shared.[10]

Despite many rumors, production never started on the film before it switched to motion capture. All that was completed was preproduction work, like visual development and storyboarding, with around 7 minutes of finished animation. Some additional work, used to shop the film to investors, was also created.



The original trailer for the film.

A compilation of surviving clips from the original animation.

Animation tests using the Q-Tip crowd system from 2001.

Jeremy Yates animation showreel featuring some early animation.

A documentary on the production with interviews from crew members.

See Also

External Links


  1. 1.0 1.1 For This Animated Movie, A Cast of Household Names Retrieved 4 May '24
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 ROTTEN: Behind the Foodfight Retrieved 4 May '24
  3. Statement for Empire Magazine regarding Foodfight! Retrieved 4 May '24
  4. The Hollywood Reporter, September 23rd, 2011. Retrieved 5 Mar '24
  5. The Long, Strange Odyssey of Foodfight! Retrieved 27 Jun '18
  6. Next Generation Digital Studio: TDRL Pursues Paradigm Shift With Foodfight! Retrieved 4 May '24
  7. Foodfight! Storyboard Archive. Retrieved 4 May '24
  8. Foodfight! The Junior Novelization. Retrieved 4 May '24
  9. Foodfight! Workprint/Animatic. Retrieved 4 May '24
  10. Foodfight! Archive Retrieved 4 May '24