I watched the new movie version of "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" and it was cute, although, of course, the book is better than the movie.
I liked that many of the scenes from the movie were taken from illustrations in the book-it made me nostalgic for my childhood when I read the book over and over again. Although my favorite illustration was not included, because the premise is not that the town of Chew and Swallow is made up by a Grandpa telling tall tales, which made me slightly sad. (My favorite picture was the sun coming up from behind snowy hills, making it look like a pat of butter on top of mashed potatoes.) For some reason whenever books have a plot that is out of one of the character's imagination, the movie has to make the plot much wilder, which leaves out some of the earlier innocence and magic. I heard that that's what the movie version of "Where the Wild Things Are" did, but I still want to see it.
I also liked that the moral was to be yourself, although it did seem a bit preachy AND I did not like it that it seemed to me to be the guy telling the womyn how to be herself. Being yourself is a great message, but I want the womyn to discover this message for herself and not because some other person tells her to. But I can let that slide, as asking for truly feminist Pixar movies are expecting a bit much...
What I cannot let slide is the fat=greedy meme that the movie was promoting. In the movie, even though the main character's contraption gives the town tons of food, only one character eats uncontrollably and it is the town's greedy mayor. As the movie progresses, the mayor gets fatter and fatter and the way the mayor is portrayed, it is obvious that the mayor's fat is supposed to gross out the audience. While I know that cartoons, especially children's cartoons, are usually very simple cariacatures, I feel that this portrayal is dangerous. By watching this, children are programmed to think that fat=greedy, disgusting, bad, and out of control and that is simply not true. People who are fat might be those things, just as people who are thin or of medium build might be. But they also might be creative, lovable, smart, and reasonable. We must teach our children to judge people based on their actions and not on their looks or our nation's epidemic of bullying will never end.