After saving the world from a weather storm made of food, Flint Lockwood and his friends live happily in Swallow Falls until inventor and CEO of Live Corp, Chester V, arrives, asking the residents to leave their homes temporarily so that his company can clean up the island. After working at Live Corp for 6 months, Chester V tells Flint that the ‘FLDSMDFR’ (the invention that caused the foodstorm) has survived and is creating sentient food (foodimals) which could take over the world. Now Flint and his friends must travel back to Swallow Falls and brave the dangers to help stop the food animals, but not everything is as it seems.

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 (2013) – Directors: Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn

Is Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 appropriate for kids

Rating: U

Running Length: 95 mins

Starring: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Will Forte

Genre: Animated, Comedy

REVIEW

Sequel to the 2009 movie ‘Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs’, ‘Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2’ is a delightfully fun kids movie with so many great jokes packed in that it would be difficult for anyone not to enjoy it. Like the original movie, ‘Cloudy 2’ follows the ever likeable and wacky inventor Flint and his oddball friends as they try to help save the world, again. Their quirky, happy-go-lucky attitudes keep the comedy natural and light-hearted and help them all to be very relatable. The humour comes in all forms, from slapstick, to funny food based puns, and sumptuous visual gags throughout. Both adults and children alike should have a great time with this film, and it definitely isn’t necessary to have seen the first film beforehand (except to know that FLDSMDFR stands for ‘Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator’)

There are plenty of good moral messages for kids running through the film, the most obvious being that all sentient beings have the right to a cruelty-free life. Another important message is that you should listen to what is right rather than what your idols may say; Flint’s inability and unwillingness to see his hero’s dastardly plan almost causes him to make some terrible mistakes. Having said that, the movie isn’t bogged down with these messages, focusing mainly on the high level of entertainment which is consistent throughout.

Overall, if you’re looking for an easygoing kids’ movie that adults are also going to enjoy, you can’t go too far wrong with ‘Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2’.

IS ‘CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

This is a kids’ movie and should therefore be appropriate for the whole family, however there are a few moments that parents of young children may wish to be made aware of which we have highlighted below.

When Flint is first taken to the Live Corp HQ, he is given several cups of coffee, being informed that there is a coffee station after every few steps. The caffeine hits from the coffee briefly make Flint seem to be mildly addicted. Also, while drinking one of these coffees, Flint’s monkey, Steve, takes a sip and then immediately spits it out, saying ‘hot’ at the same time that an attractive woman walks by. She turns around and says ‘You’re not so bad yourself, monkey’.

One of the inventors at Live Corp creates a car that is run on ‘cute’. To demonstrate, the inventor opens the car’s fuel tank and a small, fluffy cat pokes its head out. The inventor strokes the cat but then slams the door of the fuel tank closed and the cat screeches.

When back at Swallow Falls, a strawberry follows Flint and his friends. It is established that it is cute and harmless but after it swallows a vital piece of equipment, it is captured by a Live Corp employee who threatens to cut it open with a knife. The strawberry becomes scared and a large blob of jam drops from underneath it, another character says ‘You scared the jam outta him!’.

One of the characters teaches some living pickles how to fish. Each fish that is caught is immediately eaten. Just before the scene ends, the human character is baffled by the actions of the pickles and he looks at the fish which is hanging from his rod; it raises its fins to shrug its shoulders, indicating that it is aware of what is happening around it. The scene ends before it is eaten but there is nothing to suggest that it won’t be. This happens again towards the end of the movie.

Towards the end of the movie, the ‘FLDSMDFR’ is taken away to be used for ‘Operation Slice and Dice’. When this happens, the foodimals are rounded up to be captured. They are shown to be scared, separated from their families and forcibly taken from their homes. When Flint gets to the Live Corp compound, he finds that the captured foodimals have been imprisoned in cells and that ‘Operation Slice and Dice’ is a plan to grind them up to make ‘food bars’. This concept and the imagery of the grinder could be quite distressing for kids who are sensitive to animal suffering.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2’ is a wonderfully imaginative movie with incredible attention to detail making it a perfect family film. The jokes come in thick and fast so younger children may struggle somewhat to keep up with them, however the visual gags will more than compensate for any verbal jokes that may be missed.

We feel that this movie should be appropriate for all ages but would recommend an adult to be present to reassurance kids who care about animals. It may also be appropriate to encourage some discussion about the foodimals’ right to life, the dangers of trusting people who mean you harm and questioning their motives if they seem less than honourable.

  • Violence:  2/5 (some of the foodimals are very aggressive and behave like predators in the wild. They chase the human characters around the island; however these scenes are quite short and should not be too scary)
  • Emotional Distress: 2/5 (the cruel way in which the foodimals are treated by Live Corp could be a little upsetting for kids)
  • Fear Factor: 1/5
  • Sexual Content: 0/5       
  • Bad Language: 1/5 (Chester V gives Flint a ‘BS USB’. Flint believes that the ‘BS’ stands for a scientific term, however it is revealed later that the original meaning of ‘BS’ applies (the actual words are never used). The term ‘crap balls’ is used twice)
  • Dialogue: 0/5  
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of animal cruelty, trusting the people who care about you, doing the right thing before it’s too late and being wary of anyone who suddenly takes an interest in you, even if they are your role model.

Words by Laura Record

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