The cast and crew of Sony’s mouthwatering animated comedy, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, stepped out to celebrate the premiere in Westwood’s Regency Village Theater on Saturday.
“I’m a little afraid of tacos now, but I think it’s more of where they’re manufactured than they’re going to attack my face,” Bill Hader joked as he made his way into the theater.
Hader, who reprises his role from the first film, didn’t think twice when he was asked to do the sequel.
“I didn’t have to read [the script] or anything; I said ‘I loved the first one so much, I’m in,’” Hader told The Hollywood Reporter on the red carpet.
That feeling was shared by actress Kristen Schaal, who said that the 2009 original was one of the most creative films that she had ever seen.
“They really raised the bar for animation,” said Schaal.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, based on a children’s book written by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barrett, brought in more than $240 million worldwide. The 2013 sequel takes a new approach, using an original story written by John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein and Erica Rivinoja.
“We flipped our genre,” director Kris Pearn told THR. “The first one was a disaster movie, and this one is a monster movie.”
The film opens nationwide on Sept. 27 and begins where the first one left off — Flint Lockwood’s (Hader) invention turned the island into a jungle populated by foodimals such as cucumbirds, watermeloelphants and hippotatomuses. Flint and his friends must battle hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees and cheesespiders in order to save the world.
“Erica wrote a hilarious draft and we [Goldstein and Daley] came in maybe two years ago,” Goldstein told THR. “Animation is such a collaborative process where things are constantly evolving. We would go in and see the temporary animations and then change scenes.”
“We’re not used to writing a joke and then seeing it animated about a week later and seeing how it plays out. It’s a really cool way of figuring out what the funniest thing is,” Daley told THR.
In an age where Hollywood has been blamed for feeding children unhealthy images of fast food, screenwriter Rivinoja made unhealthy foods into monsters in the sequel.
“I hope that [children] will be scared of bad food and try to eat the good food because we tried to make the good food the nice ones and the bad food the scary ones,” said Rivinoja.
Anna Faris, returning as Sam Sparks, praised the writers’ efforts to address the criticism, but with a new baby on her arm, said she is less selective with her own food choices.
“It feels like there’s no time to eat anymore, so I am just like ‘Whatever!’ shoving everything I can into my mouth quickly,” joked Faris.
After looking at delicious food on the screen for hours and hours, Pearn ended up taking frequent meal breaks during production.
“One of our rules is that the food always had to look delicious, and so when we were doing our dailies, everything looked so good on the screen that we did a lot of In-N-Out trips,” Pearn told THR, but confessed: “We wanted the feeling of walking into a Whole Foods. We really wanted color and just to have a vibrancy of fresh food and we do have some fast-food creatures, but there are less of them in the jungle.”
Faris, meanwhile, used coffee to get into character.
“My character is really enthusiastic, so I have a slightly higher register in my voice,” she said. “[I] just drank a lot of caffeine.”