"rough, ready and brilliant"

I'm a huge fan of animation, I love all the nuances associated with it, be it Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks, Fox etc. you just can't beat the innocence of it all, and the same can be said for the latest offering from Threshold Entertainment.

While Foodfight! doesn't have the same polished feel to the animation like Pixar's Toy Story does for example, this almost works in its favour since a huge part of its charm is the rough and ready approach, and that it isn't trying to be something else, it is what it is, and it shows that proudly.

Originally set for release at Christmas 2003, Foodfight! pulls no punches, helped in no small part by the sheer powerhouse voice cast that has been assembled for the film, including the loveable rouge Charlie Sheen as the protagonist Dex Dogtective, Disney favourite Hilary Duff as his love interest Sunshine Goodness and the villains of the piece Eva Longoria as Lady X and the magnanimous Christopher Lloyd as Mr. Clipboard.

We are taken on a journey in a supermarket after dark, where Sheen's Dex is the head of the community, solving disputes between the various icons, (i.e. the brand products of the supermarket shelves, fictional characters that appear of cereal boxes, crisp packets etc.) until his Sunshine (Duff) mysteriously disappears, which prompts him to hang up his hat.

Fast forward six months, and a new brand comes to the store, and threatens their way of life, which forces Dex back into action, where he is tested in more ways than one, and makes some discoveries along the way. In a narrative that has certainly taken pointers from Toy Story and the situation concerning Buzz Lightyear and Woody.

While some parallels can be drawn with the premise of Foodfight! and the premise of the said animation, the whole supermarket after dark where icons come out to play and live, and the rule being that humans can't see them, Foodfight! stands tall and isn't trying to be something it isn't.

As I said, the animation isn't polished, but while that may put some people off, as soon as you realise that it isn't trying to copy anyone and remain a unique production of its own right, it is an enjoyable and well-made slice of cinema, with plenty of nods for the adults, who are bound to love this just as much as the kids.