Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Voiced by Bill Hader, James Caan and Anna Faris. Directed by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord.
Rated G. 90 mins.

An animated 3D version of a popular children's book from the 1970s by Judi Barrett.

The characters and their environment are more stylised than realistic, differing from the usual animated films.  The 3D effects work quite well.

This is the story of would-be inventor, Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader), who lives in a town that has depended on its sardine industry but has now fallen on hard times.  Flint is a genial but gawky hero whose inventions (when he was a boy) include paint-on shoes, which you can't get off, and rat-birds!  His best friend is Steve the Monkey.

As an adult, Flint is urged to work with his father (voiced by James Caan), who doesn't understand and can explain himself only by fishing metaphors which Flint can't get.  But, he continues in his laboratory and finds success with a machine that can turn water into food – hence the weather forecasts for meatballs (but there are pancakes and spaghetti on the menu falling from the skies). 

Flint becomes the town's hero.  The mayor wants to exploit the situation.  The media are interested, especially a young reporter, Sam Sparks (voiced by Anna Faris), who gets a crush on Flint.  Other characters include the local policeman, Earl Devereaux, and his son Cal who gets into danger, as well as 'Baby Brent', the child who was the face of advertising for the sardines but is now a spoilt former celebrity

Needless to say, matters get out of hand, with deluges of food, and Flint has to find a way to set things right.

Children will probably enjoy the unusual story and Flint's eccentric ways.  Adults will be amused by the characters and situations.

Sony Out November 26

Fr Peter Malone MSC directs the film desk of SIGNIS: the World Association of Catholic Communicators, and is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.


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