Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Review

The Plot:

Crackpot inventor Flint Lockwood has finally landed his dream job working for his scientist idol Chester V, however when he learns that his infamous food making machine is still churning out dangerous animal-food monsters he must return to his island home and shut it down with the help of his faithful friends.

The Good:

The first Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs film proved to be a colourful fan favourite that did a fantastic job of animating a beloved children’s book. This new adventure is a welcome second helping of eye candy for those left hungry for more.

The film delivers a massive portion of fun and mouth-watering visual magic. The newly populated food jungle our heroes explore is packed full of tasty tongue in cheek creations; a tribe of precocious pickles, shrimpanzees, apple pie-thons and deadly tacodiles to name but a few.  It’s a wondrous world full of adorable animated sights and easy laughs. Happy faced marshmallows and a wide eyed talking strawberry are among the most endearingly adorable new characters. Even the most cynical parent will find it hard to stifle a satisfied exclamation of “awwwww”.

Of course all fans’ favourite characters from the first film return as well. This includes Steve the excitable monkey, Earl the macho security guard, Brent the Chicken suited mascot and perky weather girl Sam Sparks.  A capable voice cast and this eccentric array of supporting figures was a big part of the first film’s recipe for wacky charm. It’s what gave audiences an appetite for an unlikely sequel and it certainly makes a fairly thin plot far more fun to digest.

New vocal stars Kirsten Schaal, Terry Crews and Will Forte each do a great job alongside the returning cast of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan and Neil Patrick Harris. They lend creative character design even more quirky personality.

The Bad:

Of course not everyone will welcome outlandish Technicolor silliness and while the film undoubtedly has its own charms, it’s fair to say it lacks the poignant subtext that distinguishes the work of Pixar. Likewise the Sony Pictures animation is more unashamedly cartoonish than Pixar’s increasingly photo-realistic mastery. It’s undoubtedly a deliberate choice but it does instantly skew the film towards capturing the interest of a much younger audience.

The Ugly Truth:

Children and adults with an appetite for whimsy will all enjoy devouring the delicious visuals of a film that embraces the pure joy of silly puns and cute critters. As a sequel the film does surprisingly well equally and perhaps at times even surpassing, the memorable charm and imaginative fun of the original.

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