It happens every year: A few flicks fall through the cracks and I find myself wishing I'd seen them earlier. Lately I've been lucky in that most of my late arrivals have been good, not great, and certainly nothing likely to crack my Top 20 from a few weeks back. And then I rented the animated comedy Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs -- and I wanted to kick myself. Now my Top 20 was incorrect, incomplete, and (in my mind) a complete shambles. But since going back and re-writing would be stupid, not to mention time-consuming, I thought I'd just write a little piece about this awesome little flick.
Easily one of the funniest animated features in years, Cloudy is about a well-meaning young inventor who (somehow, don't ask) causes food to rain from the sky. So while there's silly stuff for the tots and a (surprisingly subtle) bunch of morals for the impressionable youths, the plain truth is that the flick is drop-dead funny. Funny to look at, funny to listen to, and all-around pretty much adorable. (Kinda romantic, too!) The animation is truly lovely (the Jell-O mold sequence is just staggeringly cool), there's some really quick action, I believe I mentioned the funniness, and best of all ...
It's a satire of disaster movies. I'm not the first film geek to notice it, but co-creators Phil Lord and Chris Miller (working from the book by Judi & Ron Barrett) are poking a lot of fun at the Irwin Allens, Roland Emmerichs, and Michael Bays. And all of it works. So while I'm obviously a huge Pixar fan, and I often look forward to what Fox Animation and the DreamWorks dudes are up to, here's a tip of the hat to Sony's animation division. Trust me, you don't need to have kids around to enjoy this one ... although it certainly couldn't hurt.