NYICFF 2014: Foosball

narutaki_icon_4040 Foosball broke all box offices records in its native country Argentina and lucky for us New York International Children’s Film Fest had a chance to show us what the fuss was about.

Big personalities are the star of this fast and funny foosball (and soccer) story. The movie’s CG animation alone is reason to see it, easily on par with what we have seen come out of a big studios in the U.S.

 

Our story begins in a small town with a young Amadeo, the best foosball player around. The town bully Grosso enters the local hang out to show off but ultimately gets trounced in foosball by Amadeo. Grosso swears revenge on the town and Amadeo.

Fast forward to many years later where Amadeo is somewhat adrift, nothing having caught his passion beyond foosball, when Grosso returns to the town as a rich and famous soccer player. Oh, and Grosso just bought the town which he plans to remake into his image because Grosso just loves himself (and winning) that much. He starts by demolishing the bar (which holds that special foosball table) where Amadeo first beat him.

But when things are looking bad, Amadeo’s desperate tears bring the tiny foosball players to life. This is of course where all of the best parts of the movie start. The foosball team is a hilarious bunch being led by Skipper who encourages Amadeo to locate the rest of the team which takes them to the dump, to a carnival, and eventually to Grosso’s estate. Things culminating in the town holding a soccer match, in the biggest stadium ever built, against Grosso.

Each foosball piece is lovingly crafted first by Amadeo, giving each a distinct personality, and then by the animation itself as they come to life. These toys are old, and they’ve been through a lot, so seeing the metal peeking through the paint; their joints having wear and tear; and the showing seams from the mold they were cast in are wonderful details.

And lets not forget a voice cast that really put their hearts into it. The banter between teammates and rivals is spot on and easily some of the most entertaining bits as they get carried away. This does lead to a slightly unsatisfying final sequence in the film, the actual soccer game, which only involves the foosball players briefly. However, it makes sense in the context of the film. Afterall, you can’t cheat against the big bad guy otherwise you’re no better than him, right?

Foosball has incredible animation and hilarious moments. It is a little thin on story, but still a good time was had by children and adults alike.

~ kate

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