In "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," we met Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader), an inventor with big dreams of being recognized for his work. Those who've seen the film know Flint gets his wish after his invention, the FLDSMDFR, a device that turns water into food, malfunctions and showers his hometown, the island called Swallow Falls, with giant cheeseburgers, scoops of ice cream, and, yes, meatballs, instead of rain.
Flint, with the help of brainy weather girl Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), his dimwitted monkey friend Steve (Neil Patrick Harris), and other eclectic characters, manages to destroy the FLDSMDFR and save the day -- or so he thinks.
Moviefone was recently invited to a preview of "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2," set to hit theaters in September, and it's safe to say fans of the first movie -- and of the book that inspired it -- are in for a treat. The tasty follow-up takes on the aftermath of Flint's not-yet-disarmed creation, introduces some new, just-as-unusual characters, and answers the question: what exactly is a "foodimal?"
Read on to find out nine things we learned about "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2."
The Movie Picks Up Immediately Where the First Left Off: Directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn told us "Cloudy 2"'s story starts about 60 seconds after Flint, Sam, and the rest of the gang save Swallow Falls from destruction a la carte. Now, the focus turns to cleaning up the food-covered island, a task fit for only one man: Flint's idol and genius inventor, Chester V (Will Forte).
Chester V Is the First of Many New, Off-the-Wall Characters: Think of Chester as Steve Jobs and Richard Branson rolled into one: brilliant, but a little bit insane. He brainstorms ideas for his company, Live Corp., with holograms of himself. He even created his own assistant, Barb (Kristen Schaal), an orangutan with a human brain stuffed inside a monkey brain. She's awesome.
Chester Is the First to Discover the FLDSMDFR Is Still ALIVE: Chester's Live Corp. takes charge of cleaning up the mountains of grub Flint's fiasco of a machine left behind, but all the residents of Swallow Falls need to leave for that to happen. Flint and his rag-tag crew are sent to the city San Fran Jose, where Live Corp. is based. Flint, Sam, Manny, and Brent take on new jobs while they wait for their hometown to be free of giant food. But that doesn't last long. Chester soon sends for Flint, who is living the dream working as an inventor at Live Corp., to tell him that something is still very wrong on the island. This is where we meet...
...The 'Foodimals!': "Foodimals" are the food-animal hybrids that have taken over Swallow Falls within the very short time that Flint and his gang have been away. There are 39 (!) different creatures, all cooked up by the still out of control FLDSMDFR, including Misquitoasts, Flamangos, Shrimpanzees, and a very cute Strawberry named Barry. The creatures have turned the island into their home, which now boasts a foodimal jungle, a "breakfast bog" (complete with syrup river and giant pancakes), and "rock candy mountain."
But, the foodimal that poses the biggest threat is... Cheesespider, a giant cheeseburger with french fry legs and sesame seed eyes! Chester fears the monster will learn how to swim, get off the island, and wreck havoc worldwide.
Flint and Friends Need to Save the Day Again: Being the mastermind behind the rogue invention, Flint is summoned back to the island to figure out just what the heck is going on. Chester warns Flint not to tell his friends, and to go the island alone, but that, of course, doesn't happen. The mission brings Sam, Manny, Sam's cameraman (Benjamin Bratt), new character policeman Earl (Terry Crews), Steve the Monkey, Brent (Andy Sandberg), and Flint's manly-man dad Tim (James Caan) along for the ride.
Expect a Lot of Food Puns: Aside from the obvious punny foodimal names, expect the movie to be filled with tongue-in-cheek food humor. For example, when Flint and his crew first sail to the island on Tim's boat, they are shocked to find one tasty hybrid animal has found its way on board -- a Leek, of course!
Speaking of the Foodimals, the First Were Made in the Directors' Kitchens: Cameron and Pearn filled us in on how they figured out which animal would fit with which food -- they made "real" foodimals. The duo got crafty and dressed up pickles, strawberries, and potatoes with eyes, noses, and mouths, then proceeded to photograph them outside to see what their creations would look like in the sunlight...
...And, it Worked: The innovative little critters look awesome. The Meatbalrus, Sasquash, and Tacodile look good enough to have you believing they're real...
Parents Will Probably Laugh Just as Hard as Their Kids: From what we saw of the movie, the filmmakers made sure to include humor that is sure to make both parents and kids happy. For example, Live Corp. will probably remind moms and dads a lot of their office -- everyone's stressed out, harebrained, and over-caffeinated. In fact, Chester V's headquarters is kind of like caffeine nirvana: coffee stations every ten feet (literally), caffeine patches, and an array of drink choices, including our favorite, the quinoa latte.
"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2" hits theaters September 27.