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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

May 3, 2010

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

I haven’t read to book by Ron and Judi Barrett, so I can properly compare the two of them, but I must say, the movie quite entertaining.  It blends a nice story of going for your dreams and a lot of comedy, both for children and adults.  The animation is wonderfully done and the voice talent is very solid in this film.

The story is of a boy who grew up wanting to be an inventor, the problem is that his inventions really didn’t work out.  And in a town that is run on the sardine industry, he just didn’t fit in.  His father wanted him to join his business, but he would always show up late because of his inventions.  After accidentally ruining the last attempt to revive the towns economy, with one of his inventions Flint Lockwood gets lucky and his invention goes up into the air and starts dropping food out of the sky.  All of a sudden, because of a news broadcast showing the event, the town takes off in terms of business.  Flint falls for the weather broadcaster, Sam Sparks, and things start to get out of control with his machine as he tries to please everyone.  The machine starts to go crazy dropping larger and larder food from the sky until there is a massive food storm that Flint, Sam, and other characters have to stop.

The voice talent in this film is pretty good.  Anna Faris plays Sam Sparks, and while she always comes across as ditz, it works for this role as most of the time she is playing the ditz, or at least giving the voice to someone pretending to be a ditz.  Bill Hader, from Saturday Night Live and Adventureland, is very good as well.  He is a good comedy actor and does a good job adding in his voice talent.  This film just has a ton of great talent in it, and odd talent, Andy Samberg, Mr. T, Neil Patrick Harris, Al Roker, James Caan, and Bruce Campbell just for a few.  That makes this film much more entertaining because you recognize the voices.  And while some films become over run by the talent in them, this film works like Love Actually and can have that all star cast.

Visually the animation style is pretty standard, but it works really well.  Phil Lord and Chris Miller do a good job in this film.  Lord and Miller have produced How I Met Your Mother, so they has worked with comedy before.  They get great performances from their voice talent, and while that doesn’t seem like much, getting great voice talent is important.  I know that this isn’t going to be exactly like the book, but an adaptation that works this well.

Overall this is a really fun film.  It is primarily a comedy for kids, but it has little bits of humor that adults will enjoy, and you look at a cast list with Mr. T, Al Roker, and Bruce Campbell, it is clear a lot of the jokes for the film are the talent.  It doesn’t live up to the standards of Up, Coraline, or The Secret of Kells, but it is still very entertaining.  And a lot of the time the entertainment is as important as being critically great, and Up and Coraline are like that as well.

Entertainment Grade: B

Critical Grade: B

Overall Grade: B

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