Read First, Watch After: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was a bestseller when it was published in 1978. It was written by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barrett, presented mostly as a picture book with just a side of text in its slim-fast 30 pages.
The story is fantasy to delight even the youngest of kids:
“The tiny town of Chewandswallow was very much like any other tiny town except for its weather which came three times a day at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But it never rained rain and it never snowed snow and it never blew just wind. It rained things like soup and juice. It snowed things like mashed potatoes. And sometimes the wind blew in storms of hamburgers,” says Grandpa.
“Life for the townspeople was delicious until the weather took a turn for the worse. The food got larger and larger and so did the portions. Chewandswallow was plagued by damaging floods and storms of huge food. The town was a mess and the people feared for their lives. Something had to be done, and in a hurry!”
The film version was served up in 2009, and rated PG. The characters are far more developed in the film, many of them were invented expressly for the screen.
Flint Lockwood (delectably voiced by Bill Hader) has the name of a swingin’ 60’s super-spy, but in reality (or CGI animation, as the case may be), he’s a gung-ho geek who wants nothing more than to create an incredible invention that will change the world. Turns out “spray-on shoes” and “rat-birds” aren’t exactly selling like hotcakes, so he takes his half-baked ideas and turns them into made-to-order food that rains from the sky.
Needless to say, too much good food is too much of a good thing — not only do waistlines expand, but greed grows and potentially lethal lakes of chili-fire form. When weather-reporter Sam Sparks (adorable Anna Faris, as her first-ever cartoon character) gets wind of the mouthwatering story, she and Flint join forces (and of course, lock lips) in an effort to close the malevolent menu. The CG animation is amazing – hurricanes of hamburgers, ice-storms of ice cream, and buttery breezes are rendered to eye-popping perfection.
It’s not only a super cute adventure perfectly appropriate for kids of all ages, but the vocal talent is a bountiful buffet to say the least: James Caan, Andy Samberg, Bruce Campbell, Mr. T., Benjamin Bratt, and Neil Patrick Harris to name a few (but no Bill Murray as the cherry-on-top? He should be in all movies with “Meatballs” in the title!).
What are some books-turned-films you love to read and watch with the kids? Share your favorites with us!
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Tags : books films read first watch after