Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 follows on directly from where the first film finished up. We tag along with struggling inventor Flint Lockwood and his friends on their next adventure. And when their first outing involved giant hotdogs raining from the sky and ice cream snow – and a gradually fattened up mayor voiced by Bruce Campbell – you know they have to go even bigger or go home. Well, they delivered.
After being visited by his idol, Chester V, who has some of the most interesting mannerisms and animation I’ve seen yet, he asks Flint to come and work for him at Live Corp and one day become a Thinkonaut – a dream come true! But after the evacuation and attempted clean up of Swallow Falls by Live Corp doesn’t go to plan, he has to return and stop his machine which has been creating food-animal hybrids. And this is when the real fun begins.
Their return trip to the island is sprinkled lovingly with pun after pun – shouting “nuts!” in a panic, “easy as pie” and there floats a giant slice of cherry pie. There was even a few Jurassic Park references thrown in, which just made me feel all fuzzy. The infamous ‘ripples in the glass of water’ scene is spoofed here. The stampede of Gallimimus scene is very reminiscent of a scene here with, um, banana-ostriches… The zoology of this island is marvellous! You can tell the animator had a great time with this film, coming up with strange new creatures. We have potato hippos, Shrimpanzees, Jelly(sandwich)-fish, Susheep and what appears to be scallion Brachiosaurus – more Jurassic Park!
The creatures that really steal your heart are the fruit, though. That strawberry – who sounds oddly like Cartman now and again – is just adorable. And the marshmallows. Basically, this movie could make back all of its money by selling plushies of these creatures.
The animation was superb and I found that the 3D really added to my enjoyment of the movie. The story was simple and allowed for the characters and dialogue to run the show. The writing was incredibly witty and they didn’t miss an opportunity for a food related pun. Nothing seemed too forced though, just good silly fun. I enjoyed all of the characters, especially some of the choices made with voice actors – Neil Patrick Harris is Steeeeve, I didn’t know this until after seeing it. Terry Crewes as Earl is brilliant, his character is just great fun. The usual comedy crowd heads up the rest of the cast; Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Andy Samberg, Will Forte. A very well chosen cast for this whacky adventure.
There was no point I found myself bored or waiting for the scene to be over, which can sometimes be an issue with children’s movies. I pretty much knew I would love this after I watched the trailer and laughed hysterically at the “leek in the boat” line. They have jokes for everyone without being heavy handed about it. Cloudy 2 was a great all rounder – visuals, character, script and imagination. It was a treat to watch and some of the jokes still give me a guilty-pleasure giggle when I think of them. Take your kids, take your date, hell, take your grandmother! Just make sure to take a snack, you will get hungry.