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CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2

About the Film
In Sony Pictures Animation's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Flint Lockwood and his pals discover that something big was leftover on the island of Swallow Falls. The action picks up just sixty seconds after the first film ends: Flint Lockwood has destroyed his greatest invention, the Flint Lockwood Diatomic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator, or FLDSMDFR for short. That invention was a wild success, in that it could turn water into food, and an unmitigated disaster, in that it unleashed a torrent of deadly food weather that threatened to destroy the world. Flint blew it up -- or, at least, that's what he thought.

"I love the world of Cloudy," says Cody Cameron, who directs the film with Kris Pearn. A story board artist on the first three Shrek films, as well as the Sony Pictures Animation films Surf's Up, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Open Season 2, Open Season 3, and the short film The Chubbchubbs Save Xmas -- the last two as director -- Cameron says, "Of all the films I've worked on, Cloudy is my favorite. So to get the chance to go back and revisit the characters in this new, crazy world that we were developing made this a really exciting project for me."

"When we started the brainstorming process, we found a very rich amount of elements to explore -- not just a new adventure, but also the characters," says Pearn, who headed up the story team on the first Cloudy film. "On this adventure, all of the characters get to express themselves more fully. For example, Earl, the town cop, wants to protect the home he loves so much. Manny -- who was so silent through most of the first film -- reveals more and more hidden sides of himself. Sam, the one person who understands Flint better than anybody else, is the one to see the island for what it is -- an expression of Flint's creativity."

"Cody and Kris were both passionately involved with the first film," says Pam Marsden, who produced both the original Cloudy and this new adventure. "Kris was head of story and Cody was at the core of the story team. When it came time for the sequel, they came up with creative ways to continue the adventure."

In the new film, Flint finds out that the FLDSMDFR is still active and is now churning out food-animal hybrids -- foodimals! -- that have overrun the island. Soon, it's back to Swallow Falls, with all of his friends in tow, to try to stop the food creatures before they attack the world.

"At the end of the first film, the food started to come alive -- there were walking chickens and threatening gummy bears," notes producer Kirk Bodyfelt. "We're now running rampant with that idea in the sequel."

"But we've gone way beyond that," says Cameron. "When they arrive back at the island, they find a huge, overgrown jungle that has overtaken the town -- and the food has evolved. It's more than gummy bears and pizza slices. It's giant wild scallions, it's watermelophants, strawberries, pickles. It's the Serengeti of food."

Adds producer Kirk Bodyfelt, "Once we'd settled on the idea of the foodimals, Cody went to town with that idea; he even went to the grocery store and starting buying up fruits and vegetables and started to carve them into little critters. There's a lot of love for the film here at Sony Pictures Animation, and everyone was such a fan of the original that we're all in tune with trying to keep the same look, feel, and same level of energy, but also find creative ways to expand the characters into new territory. It's a familiar universe, but also something completely new and different as well."

Once it was decided that the movie would be about the foodimals, it was clear that the sequel would be bringing all of the favorite characters from the first film back together. "Flint's trip back to the island is supposed to be a secret, but we know Flint can't keep a secret. He blurts it out right away to Sam, and she says, 'You can't do this alone.' And before you know it, they're getting the gang back together," says Pearn.

Cameron and Pearn were hand-picked to direct Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, the writers and directors of the first film. "I worked on the movie for 4 1/2 years -- the last 3 1/2 with Phil and Chris," says Pearn. "In the story department, you tend to have a small crew and you spend a lot of time with the directors. We got to know each other well and there was a lot of trust there. Cody and I were on the movie pretty much until the end, which is unusual, because it's common as a film winds down to let board artists move on to other projects. So, once Phil and Chris decided they weren't going to direct the sequel, it was an organic choice to allow us to take the reins -- and not only that, but I think they saw how important it was to us to maintain the unique humor and quirkiness that made the first film so special as we embarked on the sequel." Lord and Miller remain actively involved with the project as executive producers.

For the look of the film, Cameron and Pearn were able to draw not only on the work done on the first film, but in many cases, the same people who did that work. "Justin K. Thompson, the production designer on the first film, is back. Pete Nash is back as the senior animation supervisor, bringing a lot of knowledge of the way characters act. A lot of the leads came back -- it's very collaborative. On the first film, it says, 'A film by a lot of people' -- we're doing the same thing, only it says, 'Another film by a lot of people.' It really is about team effort and collaboration," says Cameron.

"On the first film, Phil and Chris were the first directors I'd ever worked with who treated the film like a writer's room," says Pearn. "Anybody with a thought that could help the film -- even assistants and PAs -- could pipe up. After all, a good idea can come from anywhere. We found that very helpful, and we're keeping that going on this film. It's very helpful when you can trust the crew and there's a give-and-take in how the show is run."

Lord and Miller say, "Kris and Cody were great collaborators on the first film and we loved working with them to bring these fun, unique characters back to life. The final result is a beautiful, stylized, funny film and we are thrilled that the Cloudy franchise has continued on in the hands of so many great people."

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