It is near universally agreed that Foodfight! was one of the worst movies of all time, animated or not. Still, I have enjoyed watching it several times over the years because it is just so hilariously bad. The problem is that it’s also unsettlingly accurate in terms of several modern day developments.
How could a practically unfinished children’s movie about a dog detective in a grocery store that comes to life at night be anything like real life, you might ask? And I might answer. To start with, look no further than the atrocious cynicism that the film represents. Millions of dollars went into that movie to hire celebrity voice actors like Charlie Sheen who clearly did not give a rat’s anything about their role. At one point, it sounds like Hillary Duff is literally phoning in her lines because the sound quality is so bad. But what’s more, the whole movie was based on brand recognition; though many companies pulled out when they saw how bad the movie was going to be, others kept their mascots in the movie, resulting in Punchy the Hawaiian Punch Guy, Charlie Tuna, and Mr. Clean among others walking around simply doing nearly nothing but being blatant product placement. The only difference between this and the recent Emoji movie is that Foodfight! was at least funny, albeit unintentionally.
That's real footage, by the way. Seriously.
Worse yet, the movie was also ahead of its time politically. It features several horrendous stereotypes including a racist caricature of a black person, a vampire bat who is every flaming homosexual trope ever, a sexualized villainess who wears a schoolgirl outfit, and an honest-to-god big-nosed vaguely Jewish character. In 2017, those people would be called “what a lot of people actually see those general groups of people as being like even if they won’t admit it”.
If you think this is bad, the black stereotype is literally made of chocolate.
But it gets better! Worse? Anyways, in this ostensibly child-friendly movie, the main villain is someone who loudly pretends to have the best interests of those in the film at heart while denouncing those who really do as evil liars, only to turn around and empower fascism in part through the facilitation of a police state where innocents are killed by officers without due process. At one point, the main villainess even ends up in Nazi fetish gear. It’s like someone took the recent Charlottesville Nazi riots, went back in time, then put them in a kid’s movie but with added cartoon erotica for good measure. One character even spouts social Darwinist catch phrases, just to drive the point home.
Foodfight! really was a movie far ahead of its time. Whether by a stroke of societally woke genius that went unrecognized for years or more likely than not by complete freaking accident, that flaming sack of turd did a better job predicting what 2017 would be like than half of the voting population did.
And for that, I am grateful. I guess? Not really?