Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Release Date: September 18, 2009

Movie of the Day for Tuesday, April 21, 2009
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 If he's going to eat the rain, why does he need the umbrella?

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
18/82 Kelly Metz Great voice talents, nice movie adaptation of this children's book. Enjoyable for both children and adults.
111/169 Max Braden Unfortunately this is a completely forgettable movie.

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No, the Weather Channel has not made a serious blunder on their news ticker. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a popular children’s book written and illustrated by husband and wife team Judi and Ron Barrett. The 1982 title tells the story of the denizens of Chewandswallow (get your minds out of the gutter, perverts). They live in a seeming utopia where famine could never be an issue. For you see, the residents of this odd abode witness the miraculous on an everyday basis.

Food falls from the skies in the nutty little town of Chewandswallow.

That’s right. They don’t get rain and snow. Instead, they get meatballs and mashed potatoes and hamburgers. Three times a day, the sky provides such a bounty to its residents. Ergo, no one ever goes hungry there. Such a scenario seems like a dream come true but the locals soon realize this is not the case. One day, a series of soup-storms causes chicken-noodled flooding. Citizens finds themselves fearing for their lives because the once-friendly food has become a destructive force of nature. Sure, pancakes are delicious as a meal, but there is nothing funny about being crushed to death by thousands of them descending from the sky all at once. If the good people of Chewandswallow are unable to find a solution, they will be buried in bacon and other delicious but now deadly dishes.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is an absolutely adorable story whose popularity has stood the test of time. Sony Pictures is taking this idea and flashing it out a bit as their next animation project. The origins of how an ordinary town became the flying-food capital of the world will be explored. In this script, it is revealed that a well-intended scientist creates satellite technology designed to end world hunger. Tiny Chewandswallow is the test market for this idea, as it were. At first, the idea is gloriously successful as people enjoy the wonders of hot dogs falling gently from the sky. After a time, the satellite goes out of whack, and the treacherous scenarios above come to pass.

The key roles in the movie were recently cast. Saturday Night Live’s Adam Samberg, the goofy-looking guy responsible for Lazy Sunday and Dick-in-a-Box, voices the male lead. The masterstroke, however, is the addition of Anna Faris, quite possibly the funniest woman in Hollywood. She will portray the key role of the town weather girl. Suffice it to say that her job takes a turn for the worse as the skies grow cloudier.

Given the extreme liberties taken with the story, the movie will resemble the book in name and general premise alone. Even so, this is a charming idea that lends itself well to animation. Sony appears likely to have a huge hit on its hands here.(David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Distributor Sony/Columbia
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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