Meet the Foodimals in "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2"

In Sony Pictures Animation’s new, 3D animated comedy “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” young inventor Flint Lockwood and his pals discover that the food machine is still active and is now churning out food-animal hybrids… foodimals!

Cloudy2_Barry_Cantalope 

“If you can find a good mix of an animal and a food that not only gives you a great design but also a cringe-worthy pun, that’s what we wanted,” says co-director Cody Cameron.

Cloudy2_Shrimpanzee_Cockatiel

“One of the first missions we gave to Craig Kellman, our lead character designer, was go forth with those directives and show us what you got – in a weekend, he came up with a library of ridiculousness, a lot of which is still in the film: a taco plus a crocodile equals a tacodile, a watermelon plus an elephant is a watermelophant. We had to make sure we covered all of the food groups – the fruits, the vegetables, the meats – and we had certain action pieces in the film… the tacodile is one of the larger threats in the movie, and the cheespider – half cheeseburger, half spider – became the main large threat of the island, the one where you realize that something is wrong on the island. As the story developed, we came up with more and more. They’re going down the river, we found river creatures like the hippotatomus and the flamangos and the lemmins and the wild scallions.”

Cameron says, “The development of sentient food started with a conversation that [co-director] Kris Pearn and I had about what type of food we wanted in the film. After talking about pickles and strawberries, I spent a Sunday sculpting some produce and posing them in scenes in my back yard. I wanted to show what real fruits and vegetables would look like photographed in a natural environment, under sunlight,” he says. “We used that as part of our pitch.”

Sam (Anna Faris) gets a friendly welcome from a Cheespider in Sony Pictures Animation's CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2.

But that was just the beginning. “Kris and Cody came to me with the idea of the food puns – inspired by Lewis Carroll’s bread-and-butterflies – and they wanted me to see if I could come up with a bunch of those,” says Kellman. “I don’t know how many they were expecting, but in that first weekend I came up with a list of over 100 of them – and the guys laughed a lot. Some of the foodimals were created by other artists – Cody invented the watermelophants and the bananostriches, and our head of story, Brandon Jeffords, came up with the shrimpanzees. I did a lot of the really punny ones – the fruit cockatiels, the flamangoes, the susheep, the kiwi birds, the tacodile. There was no pun too stupid for me.”

“As much as they could, Cody and Craig kept the original identity of the food intact as much as possible,” says the film’s production designer, Justin K. Thompson. “We didn’t want to lose the texture and the detail that real food has – the watermelophant has the texture of a watermelon and the cantalope has the texture of a cantaloupe. As obvious as the puns are, that’s the fun – kids can recognize their favorite foods in the foodimals and be able to name them.”

“That comes from a mandate set in the first movie,” says Kellman. “Real world food can look unappealing sometimes, but all of the food in the world of “Cloudy” was idealized, like you see in commercials. So even though my original designs were kind of simplistic, children’s book renderings of the foodimals, we knew that in the end, the animators would bring them through that filter and come out more realistic – tasty and appealing, but with legs and arms and mouths and eyes.”

Since then, the foodimals have taken on a life of their own. “It’s been fun watching the animators get a hold of the foodimals,” Cameron continues. “Like the bananas – do they slip a lot? The pickles – they don’t have legs, they have little tassels that come out of the bottom, like walking on two mops. When the hippotatomus opens its mouth, steam comes out, like a baked potato. Every character, we try to find a different way to locomote – lots of variety in motion.”

“The foodimals are my favorite part of the movie,” says voice actor Faris. “The cheespiders, the hippotatomuses, the cantalopes. It’s really inventive and fun, how they gave these food creatures personalities.”

“I think Barry is the funniest character in the movie,” says actor Bill Hader. “There’s a scene in which Flint is trying to rally the troops, and Barry is behind Flint, translating what Flint’s saying, and it’s really, really funny.”

Opening across the Philippines in Oct. 9, 2013, “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visithttp://www.columbiapictures.com.ph for trailers, exclusive content and free downloads. Like us at www.Facebook.com/ColumbiaPicturesPH and join our fan contests.

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