Tzaph Likes… Animated Films, Part 3



When Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was released in cinemas, I was dismissive – nay, contemptuous – of it. “Great Scott,” said I, sitting in my study and furiously puffing my pipe, “A stupid kid’s movie with an equally stupid title. Sounds appalling. I vow that I shall have nothing to do with this tripe!”


Fast forward a few years, and I’m at a friend’s for a movie night. Ian (he crops up a lot in these stories… I should get him to do a guest piece one day) rocks up with Cloudy and insists that we watch it.

“You cur!” I boomed. “Were you unaware  of my vow!?”

“Just give it a chance,” he said.

I did. And that’s why Cloudy is on my list at the number five spot.

Cloudy is a tad on the obscure side, so may require some explaining…

Flint Lockwood is a young scientist who has been trying to invent something remotely interesting (and non-hazardous) since he was a child. He lives on a tiny island in the tiny run-down town of Swallow Falls with his father, Tim. Due to various economic disasters, the townsfolk have to make do with sardines as their only source of food.

Determined to solve his community’s problems, Flint and his pet talking monkey Steve create the FLDSMDFR.


The FLDSMDFR uses microwave radiation to transform water into food, because shut up it’s science in a cartoon movie. After some mishaps, the FLDSMDFR overloads and is shot into the stratosphere, where is begins to affect the weather, resulting in a downpour of cheeseburgers. The townsfolk praise Flint, who then creates a device that lets him communicate with the FLDSMDFR and specifically alter the food-weather according to the requests of the townsfolk. The town eventually becomes famous, and attracts attention from all over the world.

However, all is not well. Flint’s father – the bumbling and emotionally awkward technophobe as he is – doesn’t approve of Flint’s work, and the demands of the townsfolk are sending the FLDSMDFR into overload, as it creates food that is more and more mutated. Eventually, during the town’s grand ceremony, chaos breaks loose, and it’s up to Flint and his friends to stop the FLDSMDFR (which by now has become a sort of food-obsessed Hal 9000) before the world is destroyed in a delicious cataclysm.

Now, I’m not some grumpy sod who never laughs at anything funny. In fact, it doesn’t take too much to make me laugh. There are, however, very few things that will make me laugh, as in, oh-God-I-might-be-sick-or-pass-out-soon laughing. Cloudy is one of those things. In fact, I might even go so far to say that it’s probably my favourite comedy film, just because of funny it is. It’s not sophisticated humour by any means, but what it is just plain good slapstick, one-liners, and sight-gags.

It’s also a stunningly pretty film when it wants to be. I mean, look at this;




Tell me that isn’t gorgeous looking. Throw in Bruce Campbell and Mr T as voice actors, and you’ve got a great film. Definitely give it a watch, especially before the sequel comes out later this year!

Number four tomorrow. But now, sleep. I fear I may have overextended myself with this promise of one post a day for a week…



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