Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is mouthwatering fun. I used to love the 1978 book when I was a kid. The concept of food raining from the sky was too delicious to ignore. Although I never made an effort to see Sony animated movies before, I was really curious to see how Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs could be adapted. Little did I know it would also be my introduction to the hilarious directing duo Phil Lord & Christopher Miller. The book is more like a bedtime story with a grandfather telling his grandkids about a town where it rained breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The movie gives everything an explanation by making it about an eccentric inventor who designs a machine that can turn water into food. The only specific references to the book are images like giant pancakes falling on a school, juice in an umbrella, or sandwhich boats. The animation is simple, but colorful with zany cartoon logic.
Swallow Falls is a drab little town stuck eating sardines until Flint Lockwood’s oddly named FLDSMDFR makes it rain cheeseburgers. Flint is easily one of the funniest computer animated inventors. He’s nerdy, relatable, and just wants to make his father proud. His failed inventions are a running gag throughout the movie. Including spray-on shoes, remote controlled television, hair unbalder, a flying car, and ratbirds. His monkey thought translator is used by his best friend Steve. Although spaghetti tornados and/or ice cream snow is the biggest draw, it’s the all star cast that brings it to life. Bill Hader is the perfect mad scientist and Neil Patrick Harris is a good helper monkey. Anna Faris voices cute aspiring weather girl Sam Sparks who’s a lot smarter than she seems. Flint falls for her and they try to save the town together.
Benjamin Bratt voices her cameraman Manny who gets a few unexpected laughs. Fellow SNL cast member Andy Samberg voices bizarre bully “Baby” Brent who experiences an identity crisis. Mr. T is a big scene stealer as athletic police officer Devereaux who loves his son Cal and doesn’t trust Flint. James Caan gives the movie heart playing another dad who doesn’t understand his son. Bruce Campbell is the villainous Mayor with inflated ambitions who utters a very out of nowhere swear word that made the movie PG for no reason. But the biggest threat is the food machine when food gets bigger and starts to gain sentience. Luckily clever foreshadowing is able to clear the storm clouds. Ending with the catchy song “Raining Sunshine” sung by my childhood icon Miranda Cosgrove. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a tasty treat for all the dreamers out there.
Followed by: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2