Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is one of those books you can't help but fall in love with because it speaks directly to the ultimate kid fantasy: living in a town where awesome food literally falls from the sky. The first big-screen adaptation of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs added a whole lot to the original story, but it felt genuine and organic, and expanded upon the book in myriad creative ways. The animation popped with vibrant colors, and the movie itself was incredibly energetic. Not to mention soulful, too, as we followed Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader), the bumbling backyard inventor who believed in himself and his ideas even when they backfired. A sequel was all but certain, but Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 doesn't exactly follow the same path as the book's sequel Pickles to Pittsburgh. Instead it veers off in a pretty brilliant direction, one that may just lead to one of the most inventive monster movies of the year.
"It's a monster movie about friendship," codirectors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn said during an intimate preview of the animated sequel (due in theaters September 27) in New York City. The sequel picks up the story of Flint Lockwood after he lands a dream job at the Live Corp Company (think Apple meets Google times 10), but when he gets word that the town of Chewandswallow is being overrun by crazy food-animal hybrids, he must return to the scene of the crime with his friends to try to stop these creatures before they leave the island and destroy the world.
Basically this is Jurassic Park, but instead of dinosaurs we have creatures like Bananostrich, Buffaloaf, Cheespider, Mosquitoasts, PB & Jellyfish, and my personal favorite (as well as the movie's "T. rex"), the Tacodile Supreme (see image below).
We asked codirector Cody Cameron (who also voices Barry, the shy strawberry the gang befriends along the way) about the film's ties to Jurassic Park and he confirmed the Steven Spielberg movie was "definitely" a major inspiration throughout. "We even have some Jurassic Park parody moments in the film," Cameron told us. "When they come across the big watering hole where all the food animals are gathering (see top image). Also Sam's safari outfit is totally based on Laura Dern's, with the shirt that's tied and the khaki shorts. We also have a joke when they hear the Tacodile approaching, there's that thump and rumble, and we have Brent's belly ripple instead of water [like in Jurassic Park]."
We previewed a number of scenes throughout the film, and the ones on the island were simply infectious and chock-full of so many dorky food puns they must be breaking some kind of big-screen record. The foodimals are scary, adorable and scrumptious looking all at the same time, and the various ways they're used truly add a deliciously devilish spin to your standard monster movie. For those curious, here's a closer look at the foodimals courtesy of USA Today.
Great, now I'm hungry.