Movie Review: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

29 Aug
2010

An aspiring inventor of a little boy named Flint Lockwood (voice by Bill Hader), makes spray on shoes for show and tell in school, but gets ridiculed by his classmates because he can’t take them off. Later that evening, while feeling sad and blue, he gets an present, a lab coat from his mother, who encourages him to still pursue his dreams. He goes on inventing way into his teens and adulthood. Alas, most of his inventions fall flat or are utterly useless.

Meanwhile, on the island of Swallow Falls, where Flint resides, the sardine plant closes down forcing the town to eat all the left over sardines. The tasting palette and lives of the isolated Swallow Falls community becomes grey and flavorless. Leave it to Flint, now an adult, with the help of Flint’s trusty animal sidekick, a talking monkey (voice by Neil Patrick Harris), to come up with an invention to save the town.

What is this invention you ask? It’s a machine that turns water into food. When he unveils his machine and connects it to the power station in town, havoc ensues, Flint ruins the Sardineland grand opening and all the people of the town think he is a disaster hack.

After the fall-out from his debut of his disastrous invention, Flint meets Sam (voice by Anna Farris) a weather girl and fellow geek, that was sent to Swallow Falls to report on the weather. Unbeknownst to everyone his machine actually works, because within minutes hamburgers start falling from the sky.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, is a fantastic animated children’s story loaded with endearing messages and lessons in being greedy, with the film’s origins coming from the children’s book by Judi Barret of the same name, which was published back in 1978.

The animation is first rate and there are plenty of humorous moments for both kids and adults alike to enjoy. Acceptance is a huge theme of the movie. Flint wants to be accepted by his father (voice by James Caan) and prove to him he is a great inventor. Another is, no matter what, follow your dreams, cause anything is possible if you put your mind to it. So while funny, silly, and imaginative, it subliminally gives a positive message to young children. I know children have short attention spans, but this flick will surely keep them focused.

Rating: 9/10 stars

Running time: 81 minutes

Rated: PG

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