Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs - Blu-ray Review

'Up was good but Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs really bares comparison with something better: this may well turn out to be Sony's Wall-E'

Sitting down to watch Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, I think my exposure to CGI animated films was fast approaching saturation point. Up although good was, to be frank, a touch disappointing, Monsters Vs Aliens, a huge let down and despite great reviews How To Train Your Dragon hasn't inspired me enough to go and see it. Thankfully, after just a few short minutes of Cloudy I was laughing out loud. Sony have produced something here that rivals Pixar's best.

Part of Cloudy's genius is in its especially wacky premise. Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader), amateur inventor extraordinaire makes a device that he claims will turn water in to food. Through a bizarre series of events the device ends up in the clouds producing food-weather; meatballs, pizzas and anything else you fancy rains down on a town full of hungry eaters. However, inevitably (this being an animated adventure and all), things start to go wrong and it's up to Flint and weather reporter Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) to save the day.

Inherently, in a film where food falls out of the sky on a gargantuan scale, there are a lot of laughs to be had just from watching the above series of events take shape. However, to say all of Cloudy's hilarity is down to its willingness to be off-the-wall is doing the film a huge disservice. There is such invention here and such a huge appreciation of comic timing (yes, animated characters still need it) that barely five minutes went by without me laughing out loud. Witness the opening salvo of a montage of Flint's invention failures and his first encounter with the town cop (hilariously played by Mr T). Barely had I finished laughing at Flint's TV with legs walking out of the room and away up the street than Officer Devereaux was in his face attempting to come up with words to describe his criminal activities, eventually settling on calling him a 'shenaninganiser'. The clever and articulate laughs just kept on coming.

Beyond the brilliant humour, Cloudy has two real major things going for it; its adaptation of 'the formula' and its quite brilliant character models. 'The formula' (and hopefully we all know what that is by now for animated films) is pretty much adhered too but it's how Cloudy adheres to it that makes you remember why this was the formula for animated films in the first place. The climatic battle is exciting, the love story really, truly, romantic, the villain's rise and hero's redemption compelling.

All of which is played out by a cast of characters so varied you can't help but love them. The mayor (Bruce Campbell... I mean come on... BRUCE CAMPBELL!) is a brilliant study in the smarmy town leader who really had me hooked until Flint's Dad (James Caan) completely stole the show. One of the best character models I've ever seen in an animated film, his bushy eyebrows behold enough wit to fill most animated films ten times over and that's before we've even witnessed his old world buffoonery meeting new age technology when he's forced to use Flint's computer. At this point, as a direct riff on Independence Day also filled the screen, there were quite literally, tears of laughter rolling down my cheeks.

Cloudy is an animated treat that, like all of the best films, I thought about, relived and chuckled over for days afterwards. Up was good but this really bares comparison with something better: this may well turn out to be Sony's Wall-E.

Look further...

'Watch your back, Pixar – if Sony Animation and/or the team of Lord and Miller make another film as great as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, your spot as king of motion picture animation may have a worthy challenger to the throne' - Film Father, 4.5/5


  1. 5 stars!? Really!? Hmmmmmmmm. I avoided this one because it looked too much like fluff. Maybe I should give it a go after all?

  2. It did absolutely everything I want from an animated film. It was hilariously funny, great visuals, unique plot, really original characters etc etc. So yeah, I stand by my 5! I enjoyed it more than Up and others I've seen this year. Definitely give it a go - I'd be interested to see what you think.