When Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs came out, it almost instantly became one of those feel-good animated features that you looked forward to watching – even as an adult. It had something to offer that audiences of all ages could appreciate, and the puns were admittedly one of the best parts.
Four years later, we get to see what happened to the Flint Lockwood, Sam Sparks, and the rest of our favorite characters in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, brought to you from the minds of Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn. And let me tell you, you won’t be disappointed.
Sony Pictures was nice enough to invite us to an early look at the film in Los Angeles last week at the Sony Animation Studio, and it was a day I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. We were treated to quite a few of the finished scenes, along with commentary from the directors.
After the footage screening, we were lucky enough to sit down for a roundtable interview with Pearn and Cameron and hear their thoughts on the entire creative process, from conception through to the almost finished product.
Check out the interview with Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn – directors of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 – below. Keep in mind that there are some answers that point to specific scenes in the film, but I wouldn’t exactly call anything here a spoiler.
What kind of research did you have to do for the foodimals?
Kris Pearn: Lots of eating to figure out which one tasted the best. We started with the same premise as we did in the first movie that no matter what the food was doing, it was delicious. So the idea in this film was that it had to look good, it had to be really tasty. When we were trying to figure out what kind of monsters and creatures we wanted in our world, we also wanted food that looked good. The iconic foods are more design friendly, so we had to have a hamburger and a pizza in there – all the kind of big food creatures like the shrimpanzees, they get this nice color. All of that kinda goes into our design language.
Cody Cameron: And also locations. We have a pancake box, we have misquitoast, stacks of pancakes and syrup swamp. Sometime the environment would dictate that we would need a certain type of animal so we might design an animal for that, like the lily pad of butter.
Kris Pearn: We had like 200 foodimals so we had a big choice library that we could pick from. Some of them just didn’t necessarily look good – like we had an octopudding which looked good in theory, but didn’t look like much in CG.
Have you guys had moments where you’re sitting in a board room and you’re talking very seriously, and you’ll say the word sprimpanzee totally seriously?
Kris Pearn: We once had a knock-out, drag-out argument about whether it should be a shrimpanzee or a gorilla-cheese sandwich, and it got heated.
Cody Cameron: Our designer, Justin Thompson, thought it was weird because shrimp is already a meat and a chimpanzee as a shrimp didn’t make much sense, so his head was exploding. I think he relaxed when he realized we had the su-sheep which is also shrimp and rice, and was like ‘I’m worrying too much about it.’
Was there one food that your team just looked at and couldn’t come up with anything?
Cody Cameron: We always bring up the Spam-whale. I think for trademark problems. It was a can that had a spam logo on the side, and it had a whale’s tail.
Kris Pearn: We had a lot of debate about whether those sandwiches should have been in water because bread gets soggy, but we ended up going with it. They don’t move anyway.
Cody Cameron: Yeah, we had a couple of subway sandwiches that kinda break the water.
Kris Pearn: Because they’re submarines.
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