The Worst Anthropomorphic Movie of the Decade – by Fred Patten.
by Patch O'Furr
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
Let’s have a poll.
What is the worst anthropomorphic movie of the 2011 to 2020 decade? Theatrical or on DVD? Animation or live-action?
Let me start off by listing my choices for the five worst so far… and the decade isn’t even half over yet.
Food Fight! ([U.S.] Threshold Entertainment, May 7, 2013)
Food Fight! had a clever idea: license rights to several well-known anthropomorphic food logos like Chester Cheetah and Charlie the Tuna, and bring them to life in an animated supermarket mystery/comedy. Dex Dogtective, a fictional logo, investigates with everyone else as a supporting character. But the result, shall we say, lacked something. Like an interesting story. Like in-depth characterizations and attractive character designs. Like good CGI art. The producer spent almost a decade trying to get a theatrical release before giving up and going direct-to-DVD.
The Last Flight of the Champion. ([U.S.] Omnipulse Entertainment, August 31, 2013)
Nobody ever heard of this until three days before its theatrical release “in select theaters”. Hardly anybody ever heard of it after that, either. A quick summary: Star Wars (the original one) with funny animals and bugs as the Rebel Alliance. But Neddie Nerfhopper, the green cricket(?), is no Luke Skywalker. Vy does Otto der pig haff a Cherman agzent, ja?
Life’s a Jungle: Africa’s Most Wanted. ([U.S.] Prevalent Entertainment, May 15, 2012)
Most reviewers thought that this was an attempt to cash in on the titles of both DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. The plot was different, though. Pip the pampered pup gets lost on an African safari. But he comes to like life in the wild (shown as not very wild, with animal dance clubs), and when he gets a chance to go back home, he has to think about it. How about that voice acting? “Oh no. Don’t leave me out here all alone.” Talk about phoning in your lines.
Pups United. ([U.S.] Parkside Pictures, September 15, 2015)
Here’s Home Alone with a team of soccer-mascot talking dogs standing in for Macaulay Culkin. Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor in the 1978 Superman movie asks why the most brilliant villains always have the most inept assistants, but Terrance and Louie here carry “comedy-relief dumb crooks” to a new low. Pups United was live-action, not animation, demonstrating why you shouldn’t try to match voice dubbing to real happily-panting dogs.
Sir Billi; a.k.a. Guardian of the Highlands. ([Scotland] Billi Productions, September 13, 2013)
This was the most notorious of the five. WHY, almost all the reviewers asked, did Sir Sean Connery provide the voice and character-model for Sir Billi, the champion skate-boarding veterinary grandpa who rescues Bessie Boo the beaver? Why is his assistant, Gordon the goat, specified as a skydiving homosexual with a bladder problem? Sir Billi premiered at the 2012 Sonoma [Calif.] International Film Festival, and the producers immediately sent out press releases claiming that the audience praised it, despite unanimous killer reviews and a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 0%. The producers also claimed that this was a theatrical movie, not a direct-to-DVD release; the reviewers pointed out that, yes, it played in three theaters in Scotland for a week before the DVD was released.
Now you list yours. These don’t have to be movies you’ve seen, but you have to have seen at least the trailers to get a fair idea of how horrible they are. (And the trailers are supposed to make you want to see the movie!) The decade still has 5+ years to go, so either add your recommendations as comments to this, or send them to Patch. At the end of 2020 (assuming that we remember), we’ll list all of the recommendations for Worst Anthropomorphic Movie of the Decade and have a poll to select the worst of all.
– by Fred Patten