Foodfight! (Early Version) is a lost CGI-animated movie from Threshold Animation Studios, having been originally slated for a Christmas 2003 release. However, the hard drives that contained the film were stolen, and production was delayed for a decade.
Conception for the lost early version of the film first materialized in 1999, from Lawrence Kasanoff and Joshua Wexler, at the time, an employee of Threshold. A $25 million grant was issued on behalf of a Korean capital firm, at the request of Wexler, and an additional $50 million was expected through various product placement and pre-sale market hype of the film. With cash in hand, development of the film began in 2002. CGI and voiceover work took place at Threshold's Santa Monica, California studio.
However, the film reached an impasse in development in December 2002. Hard drives containing the film's progress were reportedly stolen, leading to the entire film having to be made over again from scratch. As the majority of the budget was already spent on licensing products, mascots, actors, and production, it was given a new "live-action" take, and was produced on a very restricted budget, using insufficient software. On its heavily delayed release in 2012, the movie received negative reviews, with most criticism directed towards the abysmal CGI animation. Critics described the movie as "stiff, jerky, lifeless and unfinished", in addition to noting other problems, like uncomfortable sexualization, Nazi overtones, and a terrible script.
The pre-theft version was a hopeful production that was expected to showcase the uniqueness and ability of Threshold Animation Studios. Critics and investors were initially so confident in the film that some of them actually called Threshold "the next-generation PIXAR."
Foodfight! is stylized as "Toy Story in a supermarket," as it was about a supermarket that came to life when the store closed. The film includes many legendary food mascots, representing the large portion of the budget that came from product placement. The film stars actors and actresses such as Charlie Sheen and Hillary Duff, playing original mascots Dex Dogtective and Sunshine Goodness, respectively.
It's unknown whether Foodfight! could have somewhat lived up to the hype surrounding its original production. The early progress on the film that may have been salvageable currently resides on the hard drives that, to this day, are still lost. It's estimated that there may be around 60% of the completed film in existence. The few things that are available from the early version of Foodfight! include an early trailer with significantly better animation, displaying the various merchandise made to promote the film.