Save some room on your kid's calendar for the animated film Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2. This scrumptious sequel follows the same recipe as the 2009 original.
A young inventor bursting with enthusiasm, Flint (voiced by Bill Hader) must try to shut down his greatest creation, a food-generating machine, before it wreaks irreversible damage.
An appealing voice cast returns, including Anna Faris, James Caan, Benjamin Bratt, Andy Samberg, and Neil Patrick Harris. Terry Crews replaces Mr. T as Earl, the authoritative cop, and Will Forte joins the fun as Chester V, Flint's boyhood idol, who is the rock star of science geeks.
Flint and his posse must travel back to Swallow Falls, the island he inadvertently buried under layer upon layer of food in the first film. Now those comestibles have sparked to life, taking various zoomorphic forms.
The result is an edible Oz, a julienned Jurassic Park. Nicely rendered, too. You're supposed to fear the giant cheeseburgers, but their sesame-seeded buns just make them look delicious.
It's a tasty buffet of food gags, both visual and verbal. When they say "We're toast," they really mean it.
The story combines humor with a sprinkle of wholesome romance, topped with a hint of pathos. And the soundtrack is cool, mostly because of Paul McCartney's latest song, "New," and a remix of the Ohio Express' "Yummy Yummy Yummy."
The animation is warm and fluid, the supporting characters vivid, and the direction of Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn clever.
The script disappoints at times, but kids are unlikely to notice during this riot of color and laughs. But the movie does feel slightly padded with plot additives.
Try not to think about the implications of what is happening on screen for our ecosystem. Just savor the bounty of this children's banquet. Relish it.