The Art of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Go behind the scenes on the joyous animation feature.
Author Tracey Miller-Zarneke Publisher Titan Books Price £30 Web www.titanbooks.com Available Now
The original Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was a riot. Huge fun. And it looked brilliant, too. Sublime character design, quirky personalities played out through exquisite detail and a great overall look. The sequel looks just as fun, with the lead character Flint trying to stop his invention – The FLDSMDFR – creating ‘foodimals’ (animal and food hybrids) that threaten to destroy the world. Anyhow, there’ll be nothing to spoil your appetite for the film here. What we will share with you is the beauty of this book.
The tome is split into two main chapters: character design and production design. In the first chapter we’re given an introduction to the main characters in the movie – starting of course, with Flint. This gives the reader some interesting background to the design decisions behind them, and is backed up with gorgeous renders, and a mixture of storyboards and invention designs (in Flint’s case, anyhow).
There’s some excellent work by Andre Medina, with his – deep breath – Forkenknifenspooniator piece being a top pick. Steve (Flint’s pet monkey) and Earl Devereaux (voiced by Mr T no less) are character designs to look out for. We also adore the posters of Chester, who’s the CEO of Live Corp.
This chapter concludes by presenting some hilarious early sketches of Barb – the orangutan with a human brain. The early drawings of Live Corp employees are a masterclass in generating many characters with different yet similar looks.
When you begin flicking through the production design chapter you find some real gems. Our favourites by far are the ingenious designs for Watermelophant, Shrimpanzees and Hippototamus – the latter having a blob of melted butter in its mouth, in a sketch by Craig Kellman. Amazing. Barry the strawberry is also pretty cool. Of course though, in the production design chapter you’ll also find delicious drawings of sumptuous worlds. From Pickle Village to Breakfast Bog, early and worked-up environmental sketches give you a real taste for the movie. Dynamic colour keys by Brandon Jeffords are particularly interesting.
In the foreword, Sony Pictures Digital Production president talks of the “undeniable charm, silly humour and eye-popping imagery” of the films and the book captures that perfectly. As if we haven’t stuffed enough food puns into this review, go buy this book if you’re a fan of production art. It’ll certainly satisfy your appetite for quite a while. Indeed, it’s absolutely delicious.
The visual development team consciously chose whimsy over physics to try and capture a sense of dreamlike adventure.
To jalapeño and back: Flint’s lab exterior colour key by artist and animator Seonna Hong.