PG for brief mild language.
September 18, 2009
Bill Hader, Neil Patrick Harris, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Mr. T, Benjamin Bratt
Christopher Miller, Phil Lord
Sony Pictures Releasing
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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
By Hannah Goodwyn
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is manna from Heaven during this dry season for family-friendly films. It’s a clean alternative to the current box office options; but even more than that it is Sony Pictures’ best 3D animated adventure yet.
Based on the beloved children’s book, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs teaches valuable lessons and showcases an all-star voice cast (Bill Hader, Neil Patrick Harris, James Caan, Mr. T) that will have kids and parents alike laughing all the way to the ending credits.
The Movie in a Minute
Even as a kid, Flint Lockwood has wreaked havoc with his crazy gadgets. All grown up, he’s still at it, working on his greatest invention – a food processing machine he calls FLDSMDFR (Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator). Flint’s timing couldn’t be more perfect as his town of Swallow Falls is hungry for more than just their staple product – sardines. Their joy is soon squashed as the FLDSMDFR is overloaded causing a perfect food storm. Now, Flint must save his town from his own invention.
Valuable Lessons Learned
It’s not too often that Hollywood films teach valuable lessons. Thankfully, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is one kid’s movie that does.
Trying to please everyone leads to trouble.
It’s a dangerous habit to want to please everyone. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs reaffirms this message. When Flint’s food processor actually works, his neighbors start making orders for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Unwilling to resist their demands, Flint overloads the machine bringing imminent danger to the town.
People are greedy.
Proverbs 23:2 seems a bit harsh, but it is what it is: “…put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony” (NIV). Greed for food is rampant in the town of Swallow Falls. These endearing characters are transformed as they give into their irresistible desire to eat as much food as they possibly can. In fact, Mr. T’s character’s son goes into a food coma. When food weather reporter Sam Sparks shares this phenomenon with the world, tourists show up to eat the food falling from the sky. Perhaps the most greed is embodied in the town’s mayor, who not only gets too big for his britches from eating so much, but also creates utter chaos because of his hunger for fame and fortune.
When Flint was a child, his mother stood by him no matter how much havoc his flawed inventions created. That’s exactly the kind of affirmation he wanted, but never received from his dad. God’s Word is the perfect picture of a father’s loves toward his children. In the movie, Flint creates grander inventions in the hopes of getting his dad’s attention. But he just doesn’t quite understand his son, and continually misses opportunities to show him support.
Failures can be good.
Failure is all Flint knows as a child scientist. Invention after invention, he fails to create something that works. It isn’t until the end of the story that he realizes his failures would help him save the day. Each of his crazy creations, his spray-on shoes, the ratbirds, and translator, served a purpose.
The Final Words
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is rated PG for brief mild language. The mayor says "this h---hole of a town." There is quite a bit of cartoon destruction because of the food storm. One crude moment that comes to mind is when the main character's pet monkey throws brown "snowballs" during the ice cream scene.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a film everyone in the family will enjoy. Kudos to the cast and crew for making a meaningful and entertaining movie.
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Hannah Goodwyn was geninuely surprised at how much she enjoyed watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and encourages you to see it for yourself.
Hannah is CBN.com's Family and Entertainment producer. For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.
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