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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

PG for brief mild language

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The Story

Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) is a would-be inventor with a lot riding on his latest gadget, a machine designed to turn water into food. He needs a win to reverse his reputation for failed and destructive experiments. He hopes to live up to his late mom’s faith in him and finally hear his tough fisherman dad (James Caan) say he’s proud of Flint.

Accompanied by his faithful monkey sidekick Steve—given the gift of unremarkable speech by one of Flint’s inventions—Flint risks big and plugs the machine in, immediately igniting it into a rocket that nearly destroys the town before disappearing into the clouds. Everyone is mad at him, including Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), the cute and smart weather girl Flint falls for on sight.

But then it starts raining food, and Flint becomes a hero. Liberated from their slavery to a diet of endless sardines, the locals can’t get enough of Flint’s made-to-order sky food. Sam is impressed with Flint’s smarts. And the mayor quickly begins rebuilding the town into the ultimate tourist destination. But Flint’s dad still isn’t sure anything good will come of all of this.

Content Issues

Very mild harsh language and lots of crazy, non-lethal, food-related violence contribute to the film’s PG rating.

Worldview Talking Points

Based on the popular kids’ book, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” is a hit with critics and a box office winner. Though it includes elements of the book, the film is very much its own animal. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller flesh out the story with some conventional and familiar characters and then do everything they can to surprise the audience by subverting most of our expectations about animated kids’ movies.

The result is less artful, perhaps, than Pixar’s slate of great films, but it is every inch as fun—and plenty funny. We laughed at a lot, anyway, and even teared up a bit unexpectedly during the story’s final moments between father and son. “Cloudy” is just a good time for the whole family.

It also includes some broad messages for kids and parents, messages that could serve as a launching point to a decent conversation after viewing the film. We hope a few of the following questions might help with that.

 

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