Just forget the words and sing along

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Animated Film Catch-Up: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

For those just joining us, I'm in the middle of my Dr Pepper and Dortios fueled lost weekend which I call "Animated Film Catch-Up," in which I rent and watch all of the animated films I had a mild interest in seeing over the past year and a half.  We now come to the conclusion of this madcap weekend with....

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Animation Studio and Best Known Franchise:  Sony Pictures Animation, who brought us the Open Season films and Surf's Up.

Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

Starring the voices of Bill Hader, Anna Ferris, James Caan, Bruce Campbell, Mr. T, Andy Samburg, Neil Patrick Harris, Lauren Graham, and Will Forte.

The Source of my Mild Interest:  When this film hit theatres in the fall of 2009, I was ready to write it off and not give it a second look, until I read the fine print and saw that the directors were Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.  Lord and Miller were responsible for the cult-classic animated series Clone High, of which I am a fan.  So, I started growing curious as to what Lord and Miller would cook up for the big screen.

Plot:  The tiny Atlantic island of Swallow Falls has had a rough time.  The only available to eat on the island are sardines, and people are sick of it.  Enter young Flint Lockwood, the island's resident misfit with designs on being an inventor.  Flint decides to save the town from their sardine diet by developing a machine that turns water into food.  Of course, when he fires up the machine, things go comically wrong and it winds up launched high into the atmosphere.  Up here, the machine turns the clouds into food, and it starts raining food on Swallow Falls.  This soon gains Flint the recognition and fame as an inventor that he so craved.  But, before you know it, the machine goes haywire.  Can Flint shut down his invention before the world is smothered by giant food?

What I Liked:  Much like Despicable Me earlier this weekend, this is a film redeemed by some very genuine and very funny comedy.  Andy Samburg does a delightful turn as the comedic sidekick "Baby Brent."  Just about every line he says is funny.  Not gonna lie, I do have a bit of a crush on Anna Ferris, and I thought she was delightful as Sam Sparks; the love interest; a budding young meteorologist who attempts to repress her genius-level intellect in order to fit the stereotype of the blonde, bubblehead weather girl.  And unlike similar films, the love interest actually does have her own character arc to work through, which is nice to see.  And then, in the second half of the film, where things do grow giant, it does turn into a wonderful spoof of disaster films. 

What I Didn't Like:  OK, let's see here, we have a misfit who finally hits the big time with his special skills, but things didn't go exactly as planned, so he winds up having to maintain the deception in order to keep his fame and win the girl.  Where have we seen this before?  Oh, yeah...DAMN NEAR EVERY OTHER ANIMATED FILM.  

Final Verdict:  Very cliched, but still very funny.

3 Nibs

And that brings us to the end of another Animated Film Catch-Up.  I'll see you again next year!

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