A whimsical story gets a solid DVD treatment on this release.
Navigating around some of the features was a little difficult.Flint Lockwood wants to be a scientist in the worst way. He is always coming up with inventions that don't seem to do what they were intended to do. This problem goes to a grand scale when he develops a device to stop the food crisis that the world is experiencing. However, things get switched up when his new food making device begins to rain cheeseburgers. Suddenly, his cash strapped Mayor realizes that his town can make some money inviting tourists to witness this new weather phenomena. Suddenly, different sorts of foods begin to fall from the sky and the weather forecast truly becomes "Cloudy with a chance of meatballs." Eventually, Flint teams up with his father, his lady friend Sam and together they set out to solve this climate crisis!
Actor Bill Hader does a solid job with this commentary track. I am a big fan of this guy. I love him on Saturday Night Live and in movies like Superbad and The Pineapple Express. He has a way with comedy where one never gets the feeling that he is forcing things too much. Sure, he is doing a kid's movie here but there is a strength and sophistication to Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Hader continues that with the commentary track.
Flint's Food Fight Game
The featurettes on this 2 disc release are:
- A Recipe for Success: The Making of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
- Key Ingredients: The Voices of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
These two supplemental features are both fairly pedestrian. We see how this movie was made, what the actors brought to their roles, what the directors thought of the talent, etc. In looking at the voices behind this film we are taken into the studio and shown how the actors involved worked their magic. Everything plays solidly but nothing about either of these featurettes really grabbed me too much. These are certainly worth checking out if you are huge fan of this film (which the Mush is).
Make It Rain Food
Extended and Development Scenes
Now, this section is worth the price of admission. As someone who makes animated movies (my feature film 1985-1986 should be available in the U.S. at some point in 2010), I gleaned a lot from what these scenes offered. The supplemental features were:
- Extended Scenes
- Early Development Scenes
- Progression Reels with Introductions by Visual Effects Supervisor Rob Bredow
I love seeing how movies go from the germ of a concept to a finished product. Now, these segments don't take us through every possibly stage of this movie, but they do take us into the realm of inception to completion. It is very interesting seeing how a scene started out as one thing, with one look and design, and over time seeing how that design evolved into what that particular portion of the film eventually became.
Music Related Content
Widescreen - This movie looked really good on standard DVD. I'll be honest, if they were to re-release this movie on 3D I would probably go and see it. The images are all strong and well put together, and I saw no instances on this release where the DVD compression seemed to get messed up here. I also loved that the characters weren't drawn in a way that made them look too perfect. There is a uniqueness to the 3D animation style that makes this movie stand out. Director's Phil Lord and Chris Miller have done a solid job of keeping this film fun, light and meaningful.
Dolby Digital. French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1). The audio on this release was also pretty solidly done. Sure, the sound essentially underscores everything that we are seeing on the screen, but by and large I feel that that worked to good effect here. Also, the directors, editors and audio people have seen to it that this movies is zany but also that it never gets so far out of hand as to get away from the viewers. Good job, Sony!
Flint and Sam are shown on this front cover with meatballs falling all around them. The back portion gives us shots from this movie, a description of what Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is about, a Special Features listing, a cast list and technical specs. The two discs that make up this set are economically stored in one amaray case.
All in all I was really impressed with this movie. I loved it from the moment I first heard the title, but I was a little nervous that it might be too much of a children's film. Thankfully this wasn't the case. The story was strong and I loved the fact that our main character never gives up on himself. Also, underlying everything is Flint's relationship with his dad and his friend Sam. Everything plays off of this and in the end that is what saves the town of Chew and Swallow.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs has clear skies ahead for its upcoming DVD and Blu-ray D release!
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was released September 17, 2009.