Much to my surprise and pleasure, I totally loved Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs when I saw it yesterday with my “little brother” (I’m a Big Brother and he is 7). We saw it in 3D and while those effects were good, it wasn’t a movie that screamed a need for 3D. It was that rare animated movie that was truly clever, without trying too hard. I was totally amused, laughing, and appreciative of the extraordinary quality of its graphics and very clever script.
As a former single dad, I also loved the story of the father and son, at its core, and the theme of a parent needing to recognize his child’s dreams vs. trying to get him or her to conform to theirs.
There’s little doubt this concept, on its surface, is outrageously silly. When I saw the trailers, I labeled it as just that with no intention of seeing it. However, my little brother wanted to go so I indulged his request, thinking if I splurged for the 3D version, it might be tolerable.
What a shock that I may have actually enjoyed it more than he! I was laughing out loud. But, most of all, I was grateful it wasn’t a Disney or Pixar film with their formulaic stories and almost too perfect computer animation. Along with the extraordinary work of Hayao Miyazaki (“Howl’s Moving Castle,” and “Spirited Away” among many others), this stands out as among my favorite animation films of the year and, possibly, all-time.