Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Flint Lockwood can't seem to fit in.  He's full of ideas, but all the ideas tend to get out of control.  When he invents a device to make food out of water, he thinks he's hit the jackpot.  The primary economy of the island village where he lives is sardines.  When the cannery closes down, hope is lost, but Flint believes he can save the town with his latest invention.

Of course things don't work out as planned.  The machine ends up in low orbit over the island, and as Flint enters requests from the control panel, the chosen food item rains from the sky!  For a while he's the most popular guy in town, and the town is on the verge of fame and fortune.  But, as usual, things go awry; falling food chaos ensues.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is good, messy fun.  My kids loved it; there were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and unexpected twists.  The visual style is colorful and arresting.  In theaters, this played in 3-D; it would have been fun to see.  Even on our old, flat TV, the animation looked terrific.

As you might guess from the topic, the danger of greed and gluttony was the big lesson from the movie.  We celebrate with Flint as his dreams seem to be coming true, but the consequences of excess are all around.  The mayor exemplifies greediness as he eats huge portions and quickly becomes so obese he can only get around on a scooter.  The town deploys a truck to take care of leftovers.  It just scoops them up and flings them into a big pile, Mount Leftovers, which turns out to be an unsustainable solution.  And as the machine accelerates its activity, Flint is forced to try to shut it down or destroy it, before the food weather system it creates takes over the world.

There's plenty to enjoy here for kids and adults alike.  The dialogue, fast-paced and witty, flies past fast enough that you might miss a few laughs, but it will keep you giggling all the way through.  And don't miss Mr. T's role as the vigilant town cop!

Bottom line, 3 1/2 stars.

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