Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
– Revenge of the Leftovers.
Synopsis: Flint Lockwood now works at The Live Corp Company for his idol Chester V. But he’s forced to leave his post when he learns that his most infamous machine is still operational and is churning out menacing food-animal hybrids.
The new movie starts right where the last film left off, and it’s not long before Flint learns he has to go back to their evacuated town to solve the problem of stampeding herds of Foodimals.
Cloudy 2 is not a comedy. Don’t go in expecting hilarity to ensue. This is a science fiction adventure, geared towards children. More time is spent setting up the story than usual, so it takes a while for things to really switch into high gear, but the colors are bright, and the characters so full of energy, most kids will likely be engaged from the opening credits.
The story is familiar to adults who’ve seen other sci-fi adventures – Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Goonies, maybe even a little Star Wars. Alliances are formed, tables turned, true faces revealed. It will be interesting to see how quickly small children will pick up on these plot lines, or if the story holds true surprise for them.
What the movie does contain for adults is a lot of interesting satire and homage. There are two extremely popular films that are riffed on incessantly in this film’s visual style, staging and story line. The first is incredibly obvious early on – herds of stampeding, genetically engineered creatures after all, and at a certain point the riffs become outright hijacking of the older film. The second film creeps up slowly over time, blending with the first. You might not see the elements right away, but at some point you realize what your watching. You should get the joke early enough so that when the energizing speech rallying the troops unfolds, you’re already on board.
Cloudy seems to honor, adore even, older drawing styles, like Hanna Barbera’s Squiddly Diddly, and The Pink Panther, among others, which should also interest older viewers. Take a look at the cameraman, Manny (to the left), and compare him to the inspector to the right (all images click to enlarge).
The small rounded cap with brim over the eyes, the long rounded nose, petite moustache, oversized chin, boxy torso and spindly legs all compliment each other. Even the camera here parallels the inspector’s trusty magnifying glass. Then we have Chester V (see above, with the white goatee and orange jacket). He seems much more an amalgam of several characters, though the white chin, small rounded ears on the corner of his head, and being a sort of nemesis to Manny all parallel the Pink Panther. He even walks with a chin up, effortlessly chill smile on his face like the Pink Panther often does. Chester V also mimics Squiddly’s orange top, long slim legs, and mesmerizing, slippery body mechanics which subtly belie Chester’s intentions. And while he’s ultimately a Steve Jobs parody, one can’t help but feel a slight undercurrent of South Park’s Mr. Mackey in there somewhere. There’s a wealth of styles and history on the screen, and clearly the animators love not just animating but animation as an art as well.
While kids might not get those references, they’ll be in sync with adults adoring the foodimals, like the Toastquitos, Bananostriches, and Shrimpanzees, who are sometimes hilariously creative and the biggest treat in the film. And though children might not get the “big rock candy mountain” reference, it looks absolutely spectacular anyway.
Is Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 a good film, or just cold leftovers? Does it matter? Ask your child, and I think you’ll find our opinions are irrelevant.
Here’s the trailer:
Also, check out this cool introduction from professional football legend,Terry Crews:
Video and images are copyright there respective owners. Cloudy 2 copyright 2013 Sony Pictures Animation.