One of the joys of the first 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs' outing was the underlying message about consumption that got lightly told in amidst all the jokes and visuals of a young man who makes a machine that can turn the weather into food.
"Bigger isn't always better," is how director Cody Cameron explains it.
The sequel, out today in UK cinemas, has an equally important theme - "who owns what?" asks fellow director Kris Pearn, referring to global resources. "The joke has to be the first and foremost idea, but we're living in the world and we're paying attention."
'Cloudy 2' takes Flint Lockwood and his chums into another world, one of Flint's own making
This is played out in a weird and wacky story with the benefit of stunning animation as Flint Lockwood, hero of the first film, ventures into a world of his own making - where food has become 'foodimals'. Why do we buy this so automatically, I wonder? Cody Cameron has a theory...
"Animation definitely brings out the inner child in people. We can get weirder in a more believable way. You put a man in a chicken suit and it's far more believable in the world of animation than in real life. Both are funny I grant you, though. I heartily endorse both."
"There's a leek in the boat"
The Foodimals idea is such a simple one, lending itself to such inevitable puns as "there's a leek in the boat" - that it feels like it should have happened before, but it seems the filmmakers got there by accident...
"We had a whole monster ending that we didn't have a chance to use," remembers Cameron, "so this time we switched genres, we went from disaster movie to monster movie, and we realised we had to create empathy for the food, so it had to become somehow alive, and voila."
Strawberry Barry is at the centre of the action, along with a man in a chicken suit
With all the sweet foodimals on display, and you'll have to work hard to resist the lure of the strawberry Barry, who are the filmmakers' personal favourites?
"I relate to the pickles," says Cameron.
"I relate to the leek," adds Pearn. "I have a lot of anxiety as a parent."
'Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2' is in UK cinemas from today. Watch the trailer below...
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