Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Rated 4.0

The improvement of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 over its 2009 animated antecedent is easy to explain—the concept of food-as-animals presents more potential for visual imagination than the concept of food-as-weather. It doesn't even matter that it's no longer technically cloudy, and that the chance of meatballs is next to none. As the film opens, aspiring scientist Flint Lockwood has stopped the food storm that threatened his island town of Swallow Falls. Soon enough, his rogue invention starts transforming the leftovers into a cradle of life, creating new species of “food-imals” like snarling taco-diles and screeching shrimp-anzees (the invisible hand of natural selection apparently has a thing for puns). Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 doesn't stray too far from the mold, but the screen practically spills over with visual marvels, and there's a kid-friendly self-awareness to the humor.