It's awards time, so I'm getting a lot of DVD's in the mail, by way of soliciting my votes. The great part is, I get to catch up on all of the animated features that I missed when they were released in theaters.
I was a big fan of the original "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" - in fact, the director, Chris Miller, worked for me as an intern years ago. I found it original and clever. The follow-up, however, didn't work for me - I found it too frenetic and haphazard. It's like they tried to cram as many jokes into it as possible, thereby losing any character or story possibilities. It's always good to leave a little room in films, so people can catch their breath. Also, I found the colors too garish and the character design very amateurish. I think they should have put my buddy Chris Miller back at the helm.
On the other hand, I believe that "Despicable Me 2" is a rousing success and as good as, or better than, the original. The design (by Carter Goodrich, one of the best designers in the business) is wonderful, and the voices and story are terrific.
But for me, the best part was the bad guys. I love bad guys, and if the evil characters are fun to watch, then the whole film is fun to watch.
Also, as opposed to "Cloudy", there was a very deliberate sense of pacing and tone in "Despicable Me 2" that made the film a delight to watch - and I wanted the film to continue, it felt too short.
We'll see at Oscar time if the other Academy members agree with me on "Despicable Me 2".
My score for "Cloudy 2" is C+ and for "Despicable Me 2", A-