Manny (Benjamin Bratt), Steve the Monkey (Neil Patrick Harris), Earl (Terry Crews), Flint (Bill Hader), Barry the Strawberry, Sam Sparks(Anna Faris) and Brent (Andy Samberg) in Sony Pictures Animation CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2.Sony


When we last saw our hero Flint Lockwood, in 2009's "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," he had successfully stopped his wonderful but terrifying invention, the Flint Lockwood Diatomic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator, from raining delicious foodstuffs down on the island of Swallow Falls.

In the sequel, which hits theaters this Friday, Flint (voiced by Bill Hader) and his friends are scooped up and moved to San Franjose, CA, to work at the giant Live Corp Company for Flint's hero, Chester V (Will Forte). Unfortunately, the FLDSMDFR is still hard at work back on Swallow Falls, cooking up food that is very much alive. So Flint and his pals head back to town to face the strangest and tastiest foes the world has ever seen, with encouragement and support from Chester V. and his sidekick, a talking orangutan named Barb (Kristen Schaal).

But before you go check out this potentially delicious food-filled flick, here are 10 more things you should know about "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2."

1. That Chester V. looks awfully familiar...
The inventor and scientist is a megalomaniac and a lifestyle guru whose main companions are holograms of himself and a talking ape named Barb (Kristen Schaal). He's thin and bespectacled, opinionated and stylish, and he often greets people with "Namaste." His company headquarters are in Silicon Valley, where soy lattes flow like water and creativity is encouraged. Hmm, does that sound like an iRiff on anyone you might have heard of?

2. Cute is an infinitely renewable resource.
Chester V. gives a big award to one of the Live Corp engineers who invents a car that runs completely on cute, which, as we all know, is an infinitely renewable resource. "Cloudy 2" has a seemingly infinite amount of cute, too. The crazy anthropomorphic foodimals being invented by the FLDSMDFR look delicious, but they're way too precious to eat. If you think Barry the strawberry is lovable, just wait until you see the marshmallows!

3. Everything is bigger this time around.
Sure, there were giant whirling spaghetti storms in the first "Cloudy" flick, but Swallow Falls is a completely new ecosystem in the sequel. It's a crazy jungle full of living creatures that have taken up residence in their abandoned city, so Flint and friends have to maneuver through all sorts of tasty landscapes, like a pond made of syrup where lily pads are pancakes and the frogs are pats of butter (aka buttoads).

4. Almost everyone is back for the sequel.
Flint is joined by Sam (Anna Faris), Flint's dad Tim (James Caan), "Baby" Brent (Andy Samberg), Manny (Benjamin Bratt), Earl Devereaux (Terry Crews), and Steve (Neil Patrick Harris) on the trip back to Swallow Falls. Mr. T originally did the voice of the tenderhearted police officer Earl, and though we miss him, Terry Crews is certainly not a fool to be pitied.

5. It will make your mouth water, but there's just one catch.
Even the staunchest health nut must admit that the tacodile and cheespider look delicious. The only problem is that everything is alive! Can you look those adorable bananostriches and hippotatomuses in the eyes and still cook them up for dinner?

6. Some of the jokes are pretty cheesy.
There's a leek in the boat. Hey, is that a buttoad? Someone cut the cheese. No, really. It's a spider web made of cheese, and Earl had to cut it to get through, and then it made an unfortunate noise. Get it? And that cheespider? It enjoys having its buns scratched.

7. There's a new simian in town.
Flint's sidekick Steve is a wacky little monkey outfitted with a monkey-to-human translator, although the thoughts he expresses are usually along the lines of, "Cheese!" or "Scared!" or "Steve!" Barb the orangutan has a human brain inside of her regular brain, which makes her super smart. Plus, she always has a stylish purple manicure and glittery eye shadow. Is it possible these primates might find themselves a life partner in the process? Well... probably not.

8. Look over there! No, over there! Whee!
"Cloudy 2" is light on plot but very colorful and detailed. You'll be so busy watching all the strange foodimals frolic in their native habitat to realize that not a whole lot happens, as characters like Sam take a back seat to character design.

9. It's supremely kid-friendly.
Bright colors, funny characters, and a few well-timed potty jokes are where it's at. With a brisk 95-minute running time, the little ones won't even have time to get bored.

10. Barry steals the show.
Barry the strawberry is pretty much the best foodimal out there, and infinitely squeezable in plush form. Or so we've heard.


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