Kids' Movies III

film 2 of 5

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jun 10, 2015

Nice! Split right between anarchy and didacticism, with lots of really high-spirited rascality decorating the margins. Some of this rascality relates to character hijinx and jokes, and some of it relates to the way these computer animating guys like to show off. In this case, more power to ’em. That spaghetti tornado is especially great.

To drive its lessons home, and because CwaCoM-B is after all a conventional film, we also have characters with pretty straightforward challenges to overcome, or to which they’re blind. There’s incomprehension and reconciliation, and the path of love running roughly, but in the end truly. Predictable as can be, but this movie is like a good pop song. The conventions are means to an end, and that end is a good one. The resolutions are nice, the changes satisfying, and the result quite wholesome. There are problems. We can solve them. Very healthy!

Environmental concerns abound, of course, and the ways that they’re framed actually make this into a little bit of a kids’ horror movie. (Cf. Whale/Universal’s The Invisible Man maybe.) The long climactic sequence is really good. I do have a question about the people who make these movies for kids, and don’t think to put in any kids with which the young audience will especially identify. Significantly, for instance, the kids liked it considerable less than I. That’s not very scientific of us, though. As I said, overall, nice!