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Byron Shire
March 5, 2021

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

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To be honest, I didn’t have the foggiest idea of what was going on in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

A punishing Christmas schedule and an early start meant that I nodded off with heavy eyes in what must have been a crucial part of the narrative’s development and when I woke up the main kid was wandering around holding a colander over the top of his head accompanied by a huge African-American copper dressed in what looked like a tiny pair of blue hot pants, an image that struck me as inexplicably kinky in a children’s flick.

Basically, I think that the story is all about science gone wrong, with the not objectionable message that genetically engineered factory food is not worth the plastic that it’s wrapped in and that those who produce it are (like Monsanto etc) megalomaniacal cads.

Flint Lockwood, the young protagonist who was responsible for inventing the machine that rained meatballs over his town in Cloudy 1, is back and working with Chester V, the villain creating weird animal/plant mutations.

The best of these are the tacodiles – ferocious reptilian things that spray shreds of lettuce and guacamole as they pursue their prey.

The drawings are inventive if not altogether convincing, while the colouring is lurid to a degree that even Timothy Leary, in his more elevated moments, might have thought over the top.

The pace is cracking – in fact, I can’t remember a movie, cartoon or otherwise, with such a rapid-fire edit. Only those ankle-biters afflicted with the most extreme case of attention deficit disorder will find time for their minds to wander.

Mark Mothersbough’s score is as frenetic as the helter-skelter visuals but the comedy provoked only intermittent squeals of laughter at the session I attended.

With the exception of The Croods, it has been a disappointing year for animated features and this probably typifies the dross.

For me, the highlight was hearing Yummy yummy yummy I’ve got love in my tummy again (it took me days to get it out of my head).

~ John Campbell

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