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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Cloudy 2' eye appealing & pleasantly entertaining, September 29, 2013
This review is from: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Two Disc Combo: Blu-ray / DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy) (Blu-ray)
In 2009, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was a massive hit for Song Pictures Animation. The film pitched a unique idea of a secluded island that was deprived of any food - other than nasty, slimy sardines. Along comes the troublesome Flint Lockwood and his talking monkey, Steve, and suddenly an endless amount of hysterical and excitement ensues. There was so much excitement that the animated feature went on to gross $243 million worldwide in 2009, quickly prompting the question not if there will be a sequel, but when? Flash forward four long years, and the adventure of Flint Lockwood and his rag-tag group of friends finally continues - in the highly anticipated sequel, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

Directed by Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 once again stars the voices of Bill Hader as Flint Lockwood and Anna Faris as Sam Sparks. After the devastating food storm in the first film, the island of Swallow Falls must abandon their island while a clean-up effort takes place. However, the clean-up is run by the devious inventor, Chester V (Will Forte) - who desperately wants to acquire Flint's food-making device for his own purposes. When Flint and his friends return to the island, they discover that Swallow Falls is now inhabited by various forms of food species - most of which appear to be easily aggravated by the new visitors. The group, including Flint's dad (James Caan), Brent (Andy Samberg), Steve the Monkey (Neil Patrick Harris), Officer Earl (Terry Crews), and Manny (Benjamin Bratt), are out to deactivate Flint's old food device before it wreaks anymore havoc to their home. Kristen Schaal and Cody Cameron also star in supporting roles.

While the first film was based on the book, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - by Ron Barrett, the film's sequel is not based on the book's sequel. Instead, Cloudy 2 picks up right where the first film ends, still focusing on the same food machine that went on a food distributing rampage in the first adventure. Initially, there was fear that this sequel would simply be the same story as the first film, just recycled - with the addition of a few new characters. And, even though this new flick does introduce a bunch of new characters, the story is anything but recycled and almost revivals the uniqueness of its predecessor. This new story is incredibly interesting and entertaining, focusing on a group of individuals going to an island full of rampaging creatures - sort of like a food variation of dinosaurs, making this film like an animated version of Jurassic Park.

The main character is enjoyable, but Flint Lockwood is a character this is easily overshadowed by his supporting cast. Most notable in the supporting cast is a monkey that barely speaks more than ten words over the course of the film, but the few words the monkey does utter are well-time and nearly always hilarious. Like the previous film, Steve the monkey's obsession with mustaches continues, even though gummy bears no longer seem to be an interest since they aren't mention. Instead, Steve's facial expressions, constantly licking, and interest in cheesy items stand to make for some of the most outlandish and humorous moments of the film. Along with Steve the monkey, Flint's dad - voiced by the stern sounding James Caan, also serves up a handful of laughs - many of which are interactions with a new group of pickle characters that are quickly comparable to Despicable Me's minions - only green.

As usual, the animation is an absolute pleasure to witness, and while the majority of films shot in 3D are a complete waste of money - animated films are usually the exception. Even though this film is just as enjoyable in 2D, it might be worth the extra few bucks to see this film in 3D. The colors will simply leap off the screen - especially whenever Flint unleashes his "party in a box." With all of the additions of colorful characters, including the cheeseburger spider, strawberry, and monster taco supreme, every single frame is full of endless adventure of color.

Overall, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is just as entertaining as the first film, not to mention quality fun for the whole family. There really aren't any negative things to say about this film. It has all the elements to make a successful animated feature: an interesting lead character, romance, a great supporting cast, and a decent amount of comedy. There's little doubt that kids will just eat up what Sony is serving with this sequel, and oddly enough, the humor is direct and smart enough that even adults will find themselves chuckling on multiple occasions. As far as how Cloudy stakes up against the year's previous animated films - well, it's not the best, but it's definitely not the worst. Without a doubt, there is enough likeability in the Cloudy films that there should be enough fuel in the tank for at least a few more sequels. Sony clearly has itself a hit and there's little doubt they're going to run with it for several more years to come.

GRADE: B
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