Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Going Under: 'Underdogs' Goes Straight to Video Next Month


You might be asking... What is Underdogs?

You might've seen a trailer for it not too long ago. A trailer that said the film would arrive this past spring...

But it didn't... Its distributor, the infamous Weinstein Company, pushed it back to August. But just a few days before its opening, it was pushed back. Pushed into the "to be determined" black hole, more like. This is actually the fourth time the film was pushed back. The Weinstein Company initially intended to release this film in August 2014, then they moved it to the following January, then they pushed it back to April, then to August, then to the undetermined pool.

Underdogs is a redub of an Argentinian animated film called Metegol (Foosball), which did very well in its home country and is said to be pretty decent. In the UK, a dub featuring British actors was made. This version of the film was released there as The Unbeatables, and it seemed to get mixed reception. Weinstein opted for an American cast with big names, many of which probably didn't even know why they were voicing for "some cartoon" in the first place, and they unsurprisingly mandated changes to the film's script.

The company has a history of doing this, they don't call Harvey Weinstein "Harvey Scissorhands" for nothing. Hayao Miyazaki, since Miramax was the distributor that would release his masterpiece Princess Mononoke in the US, sent the man a samurai sword with a note saying "No cuts." Miramax was the company that gave us the disastrous Arabian Knight, a complete butchering of The Princess and the Cobbler, which was already a butchering of Richard Williams' unfinished opus The Thief and the Cobbler. They also hacked up The Magic Roundabout, a British animated film based on the classic 60s stop-motion series of the same name, and completely Americanized it on top of really dumbing it down. That recut, titled Doogal, came and went some nine years ago.

Given all of those woes plus what has happened with several live-action films released under Harvey and his brother's company, it's shocking when a film goes through their hands unscathed. Films such as the electrifying sci-fi action epic Snowpiercer, and the incredibly charming and thankfully old-fashioned Paddington.

So... Underdogs is no longer coming to theaters here in the states. It's going straight to video instead, it'll be hitting the shelves on November 24th. It's hitting Blu-ray 3D, no less. The disc is apparently is carrying the original Spanish-language version, so I might pick it up! My question is, why couldn't they have just left it alone? I understand that the Weinsteins have done this in the past, but c'mon... They could've done what Pantellion did with Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos and could've made an okay amount off of it. It's not like the American dub was gonna tear up the box office to begin with, and look... The film isn't even coming to theaters anymore, but since there was only a trailer and a poster, I guess they didn't lose too much on the advertising.

In short, the Weinstein Company shouldn't really touch animated features...

3 comments:

  1. I've been wondering about this film. I think that is a shame about the dubbing job and totally agree they should leave it alone.

    But I really am growing weary of films where things come alive. Last year we had crayons in the atrocious Hero of Color City. Not everyone can be Toy Story but everyone sure is trying...

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    1. Not to mention the masterpiece about food icons coming to life when the supermarket closes ;)

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    2. You'd think that would have killed off the genre.

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