The puns — both visual and verbal — abound in the sequel to the surprise 2009 hit “Cloudy With the Chance of Meatballs,” which pulled in something like $125 million at the box office.
Of course, that chunk of cash ensured the folks at Sony Pictures Animation would be busily hustling to bring out a follow-up. Unlike so many sequels, this fun-filled 3D adventure is sure to entertain younger kids but also charm the adults who will be accompanying them to the multiplexes.
Young inventor Flint Lockwood (again engagingly voiced by Bill Hader) is back with his infectious enthusiasm, shamelessly showcasing his naïve approach to life.
In this sequel, the bizarre contraption Flint invented (with the virtually unpronounceable acronym “Fldsmdfr”) and the genetically modified leftover foods it spewed forth have continue to evolve, turning the island of Chewandswallow (I warned you about the puns!) into an animated “Jurassic Park”-esque jungle home overpopulated with “foodimals.”
Flint and his sidekicks — including his dad Tim (James Caan), adoring galpal Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), camera-toting Manny (Benjamin Bratt) and pet monkey Steve (Neil Patrick Harris) — have been mysteriously removed from their beloved home isle by Flint’s childhood hero, uber-inventor Chester V, the owner of the Live Corp Co. The satirical tweak of the real-life Apple is a mega-corporation where the world’s best and brightest brains toil to create ever-new technologies.
Chester V (brilliantly and malevolently voiced by Will Forte) has a devoted sidekick, a long-suffering loyal orangutan (with a quick-witted human brain) named Barb, voiced by Kristen Schaal.
Without giving anything away, let’s just say that Chester V has a hidden agenda — which Flint and his buddies discover a bit too late.
Along with the outstanding animation, good use of 3-D and non-stop action and thrills, it’s nice to watch a family-friendly film that delivers good messages about morals and loyalty for kids, without anything that could disturb even the youngest audience member. While rated PG for mildly rude bathroom humor, it’s nothing that most children today don’t express themselves. Additionally, a message about the dangers of messing with the environment is presented in a gentle, non-preaching way.
So suspend your ideas about what is logical or truly real and just have a nice 90-minute escape into the brightly colorful world directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn and their team have created here.