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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

By Lee Gardner | Posted 10/28/2009

Writer/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller completely disregard the details and vibe of the beloved children's book in their new candy-colored computer-animated rendition, but perhaps that's just as well. In this zippy take on the premise, hapless young inventor Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) finally whips up something that people like: a machine that converts water into food, which, when shot into the atmosphere, starts raining hamburgers, bacon and eggs, ice cream, and other delectables, delivering the residents of tiny island Swallow Falls from their steady diet of sardines. Complications ensue. Some of the action might be a bit too intense for kids actually of an age to be hearing the book read at bedtime, but the animation is impressive, the voice cast (including Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Bruce Campbell, and a scene-stealing Mr. T) is lively, some common kid-flick themes (father-son understanding is good, overconsumption is bad) get a decent workout, and the jokes are fairly adroit. Tuck right in.

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