We watched Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) on the recommendation of the little boy next door. Actually, I caught a podcast with the writers,Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who also did The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street. I haven't seen Lego, but the impression I get is: Better than it had to be. Which works for this movie too.
In case you don't know any kids, Cloudy is an animated movie about a kid who doesn't fit in with his community. He is obsessed by inventing, while his community is a sardine fishery. The local economy takes a big hit when scientific studies show that "Sardines are Super Gross". Our hero, voiced by Bill Hader, invents a food machine, and when it goes into orbit, it starts raining food.
Meanwhile, weather girl wannabe Anna Faris is sent to cover the phenomenon, and of course Hader falls in love with her. She is maybe my favorite part of the movie. She wants to be a meteorologist, and she knows that she will need to cultivate air-headedness to get by in the business. Hader, on the other hand, sees something more in her. We finally get to hear the line: "With your hair up and with your glasses on, why, you're beautiful!"
The "be yourself" and "nerds rule (if you want it)" messages are nice, but not really that exceptional these days. The other big selling point is the psychedelic Lucy in the Sky with Hamburgers animation, which is definitely fun. I liked the clean, simple character design, but the food design was almost too realistic.
In sum, great animation with sweet character arcs. What else do you want? Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs II?