Cloudy with a Chance of MeatballsPost to Twitter
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.
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.
- What was your favorite scene from “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”? Did you think it was a funny movie? How would you rank it against other animated films from the last year to two?
- If you saw it in 3D, did that work? What did you think of the 3D glasses? Do you think it was worth the extra money to see it in the third dimension?
- Flint loves inventing, but his inventions often turn out very badly. Is there anything you love doing that you don’t feel like you’re very good at?
- How do you decide when to keep trying and when to give up? Does wisdom always tell us the most important thing is to believe in ourselves? If not, what is the most important thing to believe in?
- Who would you say believes most in you and the things you care about?
- Flint and his dad don’t understand each other very well. His dad wants him to quit inventing and work in the fish shop with him. Do you feel like your parents support your hopes and dreams? Why or why not? How could we help you to do what you love to do better and at the same time help you to keep doing the important things that aren’t as much fun?
- Do you think we talk enough about how proud we are of who you are and what you do? Why?
- The mayor in the film talked a lot about how much he believed in Flint, but his motives weren’t exactly pure. What voices in your life tell you to keep going with things even when those things aren’t necessarily healthy for you or others? What makes those voices so easy to listen to?
- Flint wanted most in the world to be loved, respected, and valued for his mind and his inventions. What would you say you long for most in the world, lately? How can wanting that thing make you stronger and wiser? How can wanting that thing make you vulnerable to acting foolishly? [Parent: Try to emphasize the importance of submitting our wants to God’s will for us—as well as working hard to reach our goals.]
- Did you feel hungry for food while you were watching “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”? Did you still want to eat after it was over? What were you hungry for?
- Like “WALL-E,” “Cloudy” seems to be saying that too much of a good thing—even food—can be really bad for us. What good things in our lives do you think we maybe get too much of?
- What can we do to enjoy the good things God gives to us without becoming gluttons or losing control of ourselves? [Parent: Think about reading Proverbs 25:27 together about the danger of too much honey and seeking our own glory.]
- In the film, Flint’s dad has trouble understanding how to send an e-mail attachment to Flint’s phone. Do you ever think its funny when your parents aren’t sure how to use the technology you use every day? What’s one thing you’d like to see us learn how to use better?
- If you could make any food rain from the sky, what would it be? Why?