Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs: The Movie

by Donne Davis on February 18, 2010

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Last year I wrote a post about the book, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. This 1978 classic by Judi and Ron Barrett holds up well for a new generation of readers. My son loved it when he was growing up and now my six year old granddaughter is a fan. When I first read it in the 80s, I never dreamed it would be a full-length feature film. And now it is.

The 3-D film was released September 2009 and now the Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs DVD is  available with a PG rating. I loved it! This 90-minute computer-generated animated film is LOL funny with sophisticated references to earlier classics, and several good messages. Although it’s listed as a children’s movie, it’s a surprisingly clever and highly entertaining comedy that is equally appealing to adults.

The book’s short plot has been expanded to include a nerdy inventor, Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) and brainy weather girl Sam Sparks (voiced by Anna Faris.) There’s plenty of verbal wit as well as visual gags with the voice cast succeeding in making their charmingly oddball characters alive and fun. Two of my favorites were Flint’s dad (voiced by James Caan) whose face is mostly heavy eyebrows and a large moustache, and the sheriff (voiced by Mr. T) who is so over-the-top you can’t help but laugh hysterically.

Flint grows up trying unsuccessfully to earn his father’s respect as an inventor until he creates a machine that can turn water into any kind of imaginable food. This time Flint’s gizmo works and soon cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and ice cream rain down on the residents of Swallow Falls. Flint goes from outcast to local hero and community savior.

When the machine goes awry and wreaks havoc on the town, Flint and Sam must try to set things right. There are ice cream snowball fights, giant gummy bears, and a colossal spaghetti tornado that engulfs the town. When an avalanche of food threatens to destroy everything in its path, the residents are forced to set sail on giant sailboats made from slices of bread. Some of the action may be a bit scary for young children, but I’d recommend this movie for all generations, especially if you can watch it in 3-D.

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