‘I wanted to run away that day, but you can’t run away from your own feet…’
Sony Pictures Animation founded in 2002 as a rival to Disney Pixar and has had… limited success. While they can boast Hotel Transylvania and Arthur Christmas, Sony are also responsible for the execrable Emoji Movie and a whole load of Smurf films.
The jewel in the SPA crown is probably Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs. Because I tend to focus all of my allocated animation time watching Pixar movies, I tend to miss out on everything else. Something I will attempt to remedy in the coming weeks (another indicator that as a 31-year-old man, I have wasted large swathes of my life on projects such as this one).
Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) is a talented but erratic scientist who is desperate to impress his father and save his sardine reliant town from extinction. Think Rand Peltzer from Gremlins but as a young man. Helping Flint realise his dream are weather girl Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) and talking monkey Steve (Neil Patrick Harris).
…Meatballs doesn’t share the visual ingenuity that makes Pixar films so arresting but one thing it does have is humour. Hader is a great comic actor and the script by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller is packed full of hilarious one-liners and humorous asides. This ensures that what is essentially a one-note gag never becomes stale or repetitive.
The talented voice cast is rounded off by such luminaries as James Caan, Bruce Campbell and erm… Mr. T – the latter naturally providing a hell of a lot of fun times as Officer Earl Devereaux, the town’s athletic and enthusiastic cop. This eclectic cast of both characters and actors help to keep …Meatballs fresh and while there are times this film seems overly keen to appeal to an adult audience, there is still something to be enjoyed here by people of all ages.
One of the happy consequences of the runaway success achieved by Pixar is that all other animated movie studios have had to up their game. The results are films as universally enjoyable as Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs.