Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2

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Cheerful animated comedy in which the young inventor (voice of Bill Hader) of a machine that turns water into food learns from his idol, a famed scientist and corporate guru (voice of Will Forte), that the device, which he thought had been disabled, has continued to function and is now producing animals made out of menu items. To prevent these rapidly multiplying hybrid creatures from overrunning the world, the whiz kid must return to his island-set hometown, where he abandoned the gizmo, and try to shut it down for good. He's backed up on this quest by his protective dad (voice of James Caan), his meteorologist best friend (voice of Anna Faris) and by a team of other pals (voiced by Neil Patrick Harris Andy Samberg, Terry Crews and Benjamin Bratt). Loosely based, like its 2009 predecessor, on a book by Judi and Ron Barrett, directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn's sequel serves up colorful fun while elevating friendship and teamwork over egotism and re-echoing a familiar - but nonetheless valuable - message about environmental responsibility.

Watch out for: A few bathroom-based jokes and a couple of very mild vulgarities.

Rated: A-II, adults and adolescents; MPAA: PG, parental guidance suggested.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2013