Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
Colorful and Interesting. Two words that describe both the cover and the fluid menu that adorn Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. Both are quite nicely done, and show off the art style that is kind of unique to this movie with lanky bodies and large heads. the menu features scenes of the movie, and show off the bright colors that are prevalent throughout the movie itself. Just a cheery, happy looking movie.
- A Recipe For Success: The Making Of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs – In this 11 minute long, semi-behind the scenes short, we get to hear from the co-writers Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, as they describe how the movie was made. These two goofballs are a riot to listen to, and they really make the extras that they are involved in enjoyable.
- Raining Sunshine Music Video –Here we have a music video for the song Raining Sunshine, by Miranda Cosgrove. Music videos for these kids movies are a mystery to me, but they all seem to have them now, and it seems that Sony has taken the Disney cue and added their own.
- Interactive Raining Sunshine Sing-A-Long – This is just a karaoke version of the Miranda Cosgrove song.
- Behind The Scenes Of Miranda Cosgrove’s Raining Sunshine Music Video – We also get a short 2 minute behind the scenes of the music video. Enough said.
- Key Ingredients: The Voices Of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs – Bill Hader, Anna Faris, and Mr. T in the studio, shown recording their parts. This is a very funny little extra, that runs about 12 minutes long. They also give some insight in to the roles and how they voiced them.
- Extended Scenes – There are 2 extended scenes that are shown here, with the first being a bit from the elevator ride up to the lab. The second scene has to do with the spaghetti tornado that ravishes the island. Both are presented in high definition, even though some of the video is not finished and is shown as a rough cut.
- Progessive Reels With Introductions – This extra shows us the development that goes into making a movie like this. We are presented with an introduction by the head of the visual FX department Rob Bredow, as he walks us through the development of the CGI. A very interesting look at the making of this type of movie.
- Early Development Scenes – In this 6 minute storyboard progression, we are shown some of the early ideas for the movie. We get to see some of the ideas that didn’t make it into the final movie, and we get some insight into the direction and progression of the story as it was fleshed out.
- Blu-ray Exclusive: Interactive Splat Button/Flint’s Good Fight Game- This is a strange extra, where you can throw food at the movie with your remote. There is also a DVD game involving food antics, which is fun for a few minutes.
- DVD Version Of The Movie – We also get a DVD version of the film, and like I have said before, this is excellent for kids movies, as most of us have numerous DVD players, and maybe only one Blu-ray. This ensures that my boy can watch this movie anywhere in the house, and at his grandparents, who think Blu-ray is some sort of alien invasion warning system.
- Digital Copy – I have really come to enjoy the prospect of digital copies of my movies, especially kids movies, which can be a great thing for long trips with my 4 year-old, and my sanity. While we do get a digital copy, this one only plays on your PSP. I don’t see the point in having this be so narrowly focused. I want this to play on my i Phone. Just a strange choice in my opinion.
The Movie: 7/10
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is a strange type of movie. It is loosely based on the book of the same name by Ron and Judi Barnett, and I mean loosely. The story centers on Flint Lockwood (enthusiastically voiced by Bill Hader), who lives on an island where fishing is not only the norm, but the source of the island’s entire existence. Sardines are life, and when Flint seems more interested in inventing, his fisherman father is less than enthused.
Flint’s experiments begin at an early age, and they are not necessarily what you would call successful. His intentions are good, but the follow through just seems a bit off, like his spray on shoes, that work great, but unfortunately flint has not taken into account the fact that there is no way to remove them. Another example of an invention gone awry is his rat-bird hybrid animal, that escapes and randomly flies in and nabs and carries off random kids in the movie. Overall Flint is looking for that one big invention that he will nail, proving his worth to Swallow Falls and more importantly, his father.
Flint finally comes up with what he feels is a winner of an invention, that converts water into any type of food that you might want, and when he tries to give it more power (at the same time the new Sardine Land amusement park is being unveiled), his invention not only destroys the celebration, but rockets up into that clouds. Flint ends up being the focus of everyone’s disdain, and he also finds himself bumping into rookie newscaster Sam Sparks (Anna Faris). The two start an odd relationship, and things turn around when Flint’s machine actually starts to work, as food begins to drop from the sky.
When Flint starts to control the menu as it were, he transforms from loser to hero, as his invention brings fame and fortune to the sleepy little fishing village. The mayor and others end up placing orders through Flint, and while he attempts to juggle the fame and the new-found responsibility, the machine is pushed to the limit, and it ends up controlling Flint.
Overall Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is a fun, very clever animated movie. the voice acting is very well done, and the video and audio are superb. I was impressed with all of the one-liners and quips that keep this fun for adults and kids, and the story, while not 100% true to the book, is very well fleshed out. While I was not as blown away by Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs as I thought I would be, it is a solid animated movie that stands up with any of the other big releases that we have seen in recent years.
Audio & Video: 10/10
Eye candy, mixed with ear candy, at its finest. Like many of the CGI movies that I get to review, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs looks and sounds amazing. The picture is crisp and bright and simply stunning, and the audio pops with an amazing range that really lights up the room. Presented in 2.35:1 1080p, the details that you can see on the screen are stunning. The colors are (of course) bright and smart, and the whole experience is beautiful. The 5.1 Surround Sound is used with great effect, and the rear speakers get a thorough workout throughout the movie. Overall this is one of those movies you use to show off your home theater and Blu-ray set-up.
There is a lot to like here, and I highly recommend anyone with kids see this movie. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is fun and entertaining, and well worth a watch. I did find it interesting that my 4 year-old liked the movie, but has no desire to see it again, which I find strange and telling. I am not sure of the reason, but he really doesn’t want to see this one again, which for him is odd. I liked the movie, and I think he did also, but perhaps it was just odd enough that for a 4 year-old, it is over his head.
Overall Score 7/10