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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie wasn't made with educational intent, but kids will have to think a bit about the food-animal hybrids -- i.e., watermelons that look like elephants equal "watermelephants."
Positive messages about how inventors don't steal other people's ideas and how it's best to listen to people who love and care about you (like your parents and close friends) rather than those who -- out of nowhere -- show an interest in your ideas. Another worthwhile message is not judging others based on a first impression, because it could be totally wrong.
Positive Role Models
Sam is supportive of Flint and his unique opportunity, even though he stops hanging out with her as much, and she's a dedicated meteorologist. Mr. Lockwood believes in his son and just wants to spend time with him. Flint, meanwhile, is naive but incredibly smart. On the other hand, Chester V seems like a visionary role model, but he's actually deceitful and greedy.
Violence & Scariness
The food-animal hybrids can seem scary and even bloodthirsty at times. Some of them -- like the cheespider, the taco-diles, and the apple pie-thons -- are scary, menacing, and carnivorous. Flint and his friends are in danger several times, and at one point it looks like his friends will die and be compacted together (it doesn't happen). But one character does fall to their presumed death.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sam and Flint seem to finally be together, and they occasionally hold hands, hug, and, in one instance, kiss.
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Insults include "stupid monkey," "idiot," "loser," a couple of near-swear words ("oh, crab cakes!"), and the term "BS-USB."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Lots of caffeine drinking -- to the point that Flint starts acting addicted to his various free coffee drinks.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is the sequel to 2009's hit animated adventure Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which itself was loosely based on Judi Barrett's classic children's book. Audiences can expect a similar level of insult language peppered throughout ("idiot," "loser," etc.), as well as some menacing food-animal hybrids, some of which are predatory carnivores. Main characters seem in danger for their lives at one point, and one character does fall to their presumed death. A technology firm (which bears a resemblance to Apple) with a visionary CEO isn't all that it seems, and there's a sweet romantic relationship (holding hands and one brief kiss) between two central characters. The movie explores themes like greed, discrimination, and the meaning of true friendship. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Since the original made it clear that this cinematic story was only very loosely based on the beloved children's book, it was easy to step into the story again without preconceived expectations. To keep the food machine (that is, the Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator, or "FLDSMDFR") plot going, the writers devised a conceit in which the FLDSMDFR is able to create "living" food that looks and acts like a host of different real (and extinct!) animal-food hybrids. Some of the frightening predators -- like the cheespider, the taco-diles, and the apple pie-thons -- will momentarily scare younger viewers, whereas others -- like Barry the strawberry, the fruit cockatiel, and the mini marshmallows -- are sweet and huggable.
In addition to "foodimals," the story introduces viewers to new characters who might seem friendly to kids, but adults will recognize them as evil right away -- like Chester V (voiced in a perfectly creepy falsetto by Saturday Night Live alum Forte), a Steve Jobs-like visionary with a thing for facial hair, turtlenecks, and grand pronouncements. His interest in the naive and insecure Flint makes for an interesting conflict, and his talking-ape assistant, Barb (Kristen Schaal), is the kind of confused character who just wants to be considered a friend. The focus on the Live Corp. characters leaves less for Flint's friends to do, but they manage to add enough comic relief for fans of the first movie. As for the squishy Barry, the marshmallow family, and Mr. Lockwood's new fishing pals (the hilarious pickles with a love of sardines) -- they're like Despicable Me's Minions -- funny bundles of adorable.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.