Recently, Sony Pictures Animation hosted a Family Press Day celebrating the release of the hit blockbuster, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2″. Available Jan. 28, this fun-filled Blue-ray™ 3D Combo Pack, Blue-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD and Digital combo pack from Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment offers an array of hilarious films for hungry fans. Along with the hit animated comedy adventure, viewers are treated to; four mini-movies (“Attack of the 50-Foot Gummi Bear,” “Steve’s First Bath,” “Super Manny,” and “Earl Scouts”); deleted scenes plus seven all-new featurettes, including a fascinating “Awesome End Credits” sequence; filmmaker commentary with directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn; and the music video and making of the video featurette, “La Da Dee,” performed by pop singer Cody Simpson. Attending Family Press Day was also an unbelievable opportunity to go behind-the-scenes and discover how this incredible sequel was created.
First off, “Cloudy 2” director Cody Cameron shared his experiences filming this zany animated movie. He was hands-on, directing as well as, acting as the voice for Barry and Pickles. Cameron says directing this film was a great adventure in CGI animation. I watched the extremely amusing “Steve’s First Bath” and “Attack of the 50-Foot Gummi Bear,” which included an interesting commentary and introduction by director David Feiss. Three of the four shorts are CGI-animated. An animator as well as director, Feiss drew the storyboards on all of the shorts. “I drew 100 boards in one day,” Feiss admits while creating the CGI-animated “Earl Scouts.” He says it had been about 10 years since he’d worked with many of the animators. “It was a really cool reunion getting together, and figuring out how to translate all these cool characters into puppets,” Feiss says. Creating 3D and 2D stop-motion is a bit daunting because of the numerous required photographed sequences using clay characters with moveable and replaceable joints. Nevertheless, Feiss add, “It’s a fun world to be immersed in for a couple of months.”
A fan of the widely-popular “Looney Tunes” cartoons, Feiss says he enjoyed filming the CGI short, “Super Manny,” starring Benjamin Bratt (TV’s “Law & Order”) because everything Manny does is brilliant, including being a surgeon and working as a cameraman at Swallow Falls. “Earl Scouts” featuring actor Terry Crews (TV’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) is a wacky take on the films “Lord of the Flies” and “Hunger Games” with scouts misunderstanding “survival of the fittest” mindsets in Feiss’ opinion.
Production Manager of “Awesome End Credits,” Kevin Noel and Seamus Walsh, Animation Supervisor of “Awesome End Credits,” were enthusiastic about sharing their creative secrets. Animators tried diligently to make authentic characters. Though it’s hard to believe, the foodimals were actually made of food! The cornimal had corn husk hands and corn fiber hair, while Candy was made from pressed candy corn. Flint even has real human hair for his wig.
An extraordinarily funny game app, “Foodimal Funimal,” allows you to play through delicious activities like “Tickle Barry” and “Pickle Fishing With Tim”. Find ways to tickle Barry, and work as a “pickle,” fishing for sardines in an allotted time. Collect new foodimals when you sync the app to the “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”. Insert the disc into your Wi-Fi-connected Blue-ray player, and the wacky adventure continues. This app definitely keeps starving fans thoroughly entertained. “Foodimal Funimal” is downloadable for ios and Androids.
After the eye-opening behind-the-scenes tour, we were treated to a fabulous lunch featuring many of the foodimals. I was stuffed with tasty dishes such as; spaghetti and meatball pizza, tacodiles (tacos), hippotatomuses (stuffed baked potatoes), cheesespiders (cheese burger sliders), toasted cheese sandwiches, toasted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and yummy fries! From mouthwatering s’mores and cream-filled strawberries to build-your-own strawberry, vanilla and chocolate milkshakes with lip-smacking toppings, you can be sure no one walked away hungry. This was one appetizing as well as enlightening tour celebrating the release of “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”.
Rated: PG for mild rude humor
Running Time: 95 minutes
Available: Jan 28, 2014
– thatsitmommy Penny
* Penny attended media day to facilitate this review.