TITLE: Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2
STARS: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Will Forte, Neil Patrick Harris, Benjamin Bratt, Kristen Schaal
DIRECTORS: Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn
RELEASED: October 25th 2013
Luckily for me, I have a friend who recently began working at my local cinema and therefore I managed to get myself a free ticket to the biggest kids’ film of the season. I’ve said before that an animated film always lifts my spirits and on a gloomy autumn evening, it’s the best therapy.
The prequel to this film was released in 2009 and since then, the life of Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) has moved on somewhat. Having invented the amazing food replicator, he has landed himself a job with his idol, super-inventor Chester V (Will Forte) at the prestigious company Live Corp. It’s here that young inventors come up with exciting new ventures and pitch them to their bosses.
Together with his faithful sidekick, the adorable monkey Steve (Neil Patrick Harris), Flint comes up with the Party in a Box idea only to find out that he is being recruited to help Chester’s team clear up the island which has been left in disarray since the events of the first film. However, the food produced by Flint’s invention have evolved into beautiful, terrifying animal-food hybrids and to help clean up the island, Flint and his friends must destroy this incredible eco-system his machine has created.
It isn’t as strong a storyline as the first film and it doesn’t grab you in quite the same way. However, there is still plenty to keep you interested including giggle-inducing quips from Steve as well as the cute personalities of Berry the strawberry and the marshmallows. As many animated films are, it’s based around the idea that love conquers all and also teaches its audience to respect their environment and help protect it.
In fact, I took the film to be a metaphor for big corporate companies’ destruction of the rainforest. I don’t know whether it was intentional but that’s definitely the core message that I took away from the film. There is also the theme of father-son relationships and the inevitability of the father stepping back to let his son fulfill his destiny.
There was something about it that didn’t make it as gripping as the first film but they certainly upped the cute factor. I did come away vowing never to eat strawberries or marshmallows again and I loved that it had a serious side to it. The comedy could have been upped for me too but I can’t deny that I left the cinema on a high. My belief that every adult should go and see kids’ films still holds strong.