a critiQal film review Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)

  • DVD
  • Blu-Ray

Plot: Flint Lockwood (Hader) is a young inventor who has dreamed of creating something that will improve everyone's life. When one of his inventions works correctly for a change, and causes food to fall from the sky like rain, Sam Sparks (Farris), an aspiring weathergirl, covers the phenomenon. But when Flint's invention starts to go awry, and begins to drop larger and larger portions, the two must team up to save the town.

498 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 29s)

We had seen previews for the new animated film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs last September, and had been interested in seeing if the film could live up to the interest garnered from those, but decided to wait for the DVD to find out for sure.

This week, we received the film in the mail, thanks to our Blockbuster® subscription, and were happy to give it a chance. Since we hadn’t read the children’s book by Judi Barrett since we were kids, we weren’t quite sure what to expect, but hoped the hilarious previews were a good example of things to come.

The voice cast, while full of recognizable names, actually fit into their roles quite well, their voices mostly non-recognizable. That turned out to be a positive for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, since with all the action going on, the viewers would find trying to match a face with a voice to be an unnecessary distraction. The only immediately recognizable voice was that of Mr. T, but his tough cop with a penchant for (literally) leaping into action actually seemed to fit Mr. T’s gruff exclamations to a, well, T.

The plot was downright silly at times, but kept the viewer’s attention throughout. As the name implies, it centered around food that fell from the sky, thanks to an invention from a bumbling scientist who almost never got things right. Naturally, something goes wrong with the machine during the course of the film, and heroes must be made from ordinary citizens. Aside from this rather inventive – yet simplistic – setup, the film tosses in a lot more depth, in the form of sub-plots, that gives the audience a reason to keep watching not just to see the next animation of food falling from the sky, but to find out what happens next. Thankfully, the film was able to give it’s plot depth while still maintaining a childlike wonder, so adults and kids alike benefited.

The animation, as is par for the course these days in animated films, was top-notch. Whether a hamburger with all the trimmings was dropping from the sky, or it was a gigantic pancake with butter and maple syrup, the animation was able to maintain a good semblance of the item while still giving it a bit of a cartoonish look – which just reinforced both the rather silly aspects of the storyline and the solid backbone to the film at the same time.

With some delightfully entertaining characters, a solid storyline, and enough silliness to keep the kids entertained, this fast-paced animated film is an enjoyable experience for the entire family. The kids will enjoy the crazy antics and the food rain, while the adults will be able to also appreciate the gluttony theme running throughout, and the communication difficulties the father has with his odd son.

Whether or not you have kids, you should definitely give Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs a try. It’s well worth it.

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