Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

by Howie Green

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday September 18, 2009

Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) about to make history.
Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) about to make history.  (Source:Sony Animation Studios)

Sony Animation Studios' latest madcap animated adventure is cinematic eye candy of the first order - literally. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is a riotous, slapstick comedy based on the beloved kids' book of the same name by Judi and Ron Barrett about a young inventor named Flint Lockwood. Flint dreams of inventing a machine that will make everyone's lives better, and make him into a 'somebody'. But when he invents a machine to convert water into food he brings fame to himself and his small island with globally disastrous results.

Writers and co-directors Philip Lord and Chris Miller have adapted the Barrett's book into a parody of the recent wave of computer generated disaster films like "The Day After Tomorrow", "Armageddon" and "Twister" and have created a movie that is the best eye candy you'll see on screen this year. And it's falling down funny for both kids and adults.

Flint is the odd kid on his small island town, the sardine canning capital of the world. Unlike everyone else on the island, Flint dreams of a life that is full of excitement and adventure and not sardines. The island located out in the middle of the ocean, falls on hard times when the food critics of the world decide one day that sardines are awful and the world stops eating them. Poor Flint sees his town start to fall apart and when the mayor tries to bolster the local economy by announcing a new amusement park on the same day as Flint finally gets his machine to work, the island will never be the same again. The machine takes off and gets stuck in orbit where it starts to generate the most unusual food storms in history, hence the title. While watching the movie don't lose site of all the silly happenings that are going on in the background of each scene as every food item you could name starts falling out of the sky. The creators have packed every single frame of this film with funny happenings in every nook and cranny of the screen.

The best bit of casting in this film is having Mr. T provide the voice of the town cop who is Flint's nemesis.

Things get worse and worse and then finally come to a head, as they always do in these sort of adventures, and it's up to Flint and his motley crew to save the day and possibly save the entire planet. Of course everything turns out fine in the end, if a little sticky and messy. The best bit of casting in this film is having Mr. T provide the voice of the town cop who is Flint's nemesis. It's good to hear from Mr. T again and he's been away far too long.

Also along providing voices for this crazy ride are Anna Farris, James Caan, Bill Hader and Bruce Campbell. What's best about his movie is the clever way the creators used every possibility that computer rendered animation could provide. The main character of Flint displays the rubber body flexibility of vintage Dick Van Dyke running around like a madman and the giant golden Jello mold that he makes for his girlfriend has got to be pushing the edges of technology to the limits. Everything about this movie is silly and funny and seeing the entire town covered in ice cream is a glorious image to behold.

Yes, this film does stray pretty far away from the book but when the results are as extreme, funny and as deliciously (pun intended) indulgent as this movie then it's doubtful that anyone will object.



Voice of Flint Lockwood :: Bill Hader
Voice of Sam Sparks :: Anna Faris
Voice of Tim Lockwood :: James Caan
Voice of Brent :: Andy Samberg
Voice of Mayor Shelbourne :: Bruce Campbell
Voice of Earl Devereaux :: Mr. T
Voice of Manny :: Benjamin Bratt
Voice of Steve :: Neil Harris
Voice of Patrick Patrickson :: Al Roker
Voice of Fran Lockwood :: Lauren Graham
Voice of Joe Towne :: Will Forte
Voice of Young Flint :: Max Neuwirth
Voice of Rufus :: Peter Siragusa
Voice of Regina Devereaux :: Angela Shelton
Voice of WNN Producer :: Neil Flynn


Director :: Christopher Miller
Director :: Phil Lord
Screenwriter :: Christopher Miller
Screenwriter :: Phil Lord
Producer :: Pam Marsden
Executive Producer :: Yair Landau
Film Editor :: Robert Fischer
Original Music :: Mark Mothersbaugh
Production Design :: Justin Thompson
Art Director :: Michael Kurinsky
Casting :: Mary Hidalgo

Howie Green is a Boston-based artist and painter whose portrait of rapper Biggie Smalls appears on the album "Incredible". He is winner of Absolut Vodka's 25th Anniversary art competition and he painted 3 of the cows in the Boston Cow Parade. He recently painted a series of Pop Art Murals at the Dimock Center in Boston, MA and completed large art and mural installations in Delray Beach and Jacksonville, FL. He also recently painted the front entrance to Boston City Hall. His a multi-media designer and author of several books including "Jazz Fish Zen: Adventures in Mamboland" - and he once sang back-up for the opening act at a Shaun Cassidy concert in Madison Square Garden.