Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
Review by Jack Foley
WHILE Pixar retain bragging rights as the benchmark setters in animation (wait ‘til you see Up to see what we mean), there are continuing signs that the rest are catching up.
In what is proving to be a memorable year for the medium, we’ve also had the likes of Coraline and Monsters Vs Aliens to savour… and now Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs.
Displaying a gleefully absurd sense of humour, boundless energy and a wonderful sense of ingenuity, co-directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord’s film is a tasty treat that appeals to viewers of all ages.
Based on the popular children’s book by Judi and Ron Barrett, the film follows the fortunes of ambitious – but unsuccessful – inventor Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) who unexpectedly finds himself turned into an overnight hero after creating a device that allows any food of choice to fall from the sky.
For the mayor of the remote island, the creation feels like manner from heaven and a much-needed boost to its tourism prospects, while for Flint it brings about the possibility of romance with an ambitious news reporter (voiced by Anna Faris).
But as the island becomes ever more greedy, a freak accident causes the machine to go berserk and Flint must team up with various friends and allies to put a stop to the machine before the world is threatened.
Co-directors Miller and Lord take this fun concept and turn it into a laugh-out loud riot, utilising 3D to make the most of the falling food items, and a keen sense of movie knowledge to add plenty of in-jokes.
But they also create a series of memorable characters, all of whom get their moment in the sun – whether it’s Flint’s pet monkey or his bushy-eyebrowed, fishing-metaphor dispensing father, Tim (voiced by James Caan), or even a tough-talking police officer (played by Mr T).
It means that viewers can marvel at the visual ingenuity of the gags (everything from dangerous Gummi Bears to over-sized steaks make an entrance), while caring for the characters.
Trust us, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs is family fun to relish.
Running time: 89mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: January 25, 2010