Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 review (3D Blu-ray)

Whatever you do, DON'T watch Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 on an empty stomach (and be sure to have plenty of snacks on hand). But DO be sure to watch Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (henceforth to be referred to as simply Cloudy 2). As sequels go, it's up there with Godfather 2 and Bride of Frankenstein. Yes, it's a GREAT sequel.

With most of the voice cast returning to their roles (except for Mr T as Earl, who is replacd by Crews), Cloudy 2 picks up where Cloudy left off. Swallow Falls has been left an utter mess after the food storm, and the global conglomerate Live Corp, run by super-inventor Chester V (Forte), is brought in to clean the island up.

The islanders are relocated to San Franjose in California, and Flint (Hader) gets his dream job with Live Corp. Unbeknown to Flint, the FLDSMDFR survived the explosion and landed in the centre of the island, and Chester is determined to find it and use it for his own nefarious purposes. But when search parties on the island are attacked by giant spider-like cheeseburgers, Flint and his friends are sent in to find the FLDSMDFR and destroy it.

The beauty of Cloudy 2 is that the makers don't just try to repeat what was done  in the first film. It ups the game, taking the spirit and chaos of the first film and embiggening it in the most delightful way possible. The food on the island has come to life, and the creatures that have evolved are wonderfully imaginative. It's a brash, busy and weird film, full of fun and laughs for both kids and adults.

There's a great running gag involving a leek, and the baby strawberries are sure to make you go "awwww". There are the requisite messages, to be sure – environmentalism, the sanctity of life, the dangers of rampant consumerism, the curse of global corporations (Live Corp is a clear parody of Apple) and more – but they're nicely sugar coated and not rammed down the throat. Cloudy 2 is a tasty treat, and like many sequels, it doesn't feel like warmed-up leftovers.

3D QUALITY ★★★★ The 3D is actually better on Blu-ray than it was in the cinema – probably down to the active-shutter system being superior to the passive system used in cinemas. And we all know that CGI animated films work better in 3D than live-action films, and Cloudy 2 (like its predecessor) is no exception in this regard.

EXTRAS ★★★★ There's an audio commentary with directors Cameron and Pearn, on both the 2D and 3D versions of the film. The rest of the extras (only on the 2D disc) consist of: four deleted scenes (2:20); the featurette Production Design: Back To The Kitchen (6:50); the featurette Cloudy Cafe: Who's On The Menu? (6:53); the featurette Anatomy of a Foodimal (6:04); the featurette Awesome End Credits (6:09); The La Da Dee Music Video (3:25); the featurette Making Of The La Da Dee Music Video (0:59); the featurette Building The Foodimals (3:50); the featurette Delicious Production Design (5:11); the featurette The Mysterious Sasquash (3:08); trailers for other SOny releases; and four brand-new mini-movies – Steve's First Bath (5:02), Super Manny (4:22), Attack Of The 50-Foot Gummi Bear (5:58), and Earl Scouts (6.39).

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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