I know this not because we’re starting to reproduce. Nor because we can unironically use the phrase “kids these days.”
No, my friend. I know this because the books of our youth are being turned into films. Films often depending on CGI wizardry to pull our heartstrings. (And our wallets.)
The Polar Express was ahead of the game. Sure, I read that book (or had it read to me) every Yuletide. And every Yuletide, the ringing of that darn bell got me. Every. Yuletide. But the movie itself seemed to fall a little flat,* perhaps because all the Peter Jacksons in the world can’t seem to create a realistic animated person.
Where the Wild Things Are is garnering quite a bit of press, including a mention on supercilious zeitgeist-tapping blog Stuff White People Like. Though the book itself wasn’t one of my favorites, I’m hopeful for the film because the child is played by (brace yourself) AN ACTUAL CHILD.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, though, is throwing me all off my judge-before-or-even-without-seeing-the-movie game. It’s all animated, true. Even the people. But since I’m already under a certain suspension of disbelief going in**, I don’t mind that so much.
But Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs fascinated me as a child. This should surprise no one. I wanted to move to Chewandswallow. Why, you ask? Let’s consult Wikipedia:
The book describes the town of Chewandswallow, where the weather comes three times a day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is always food and beverages. The rain is juice and soup, the snow is mashed potatoes, and the wind brings hamburgers. However, floods and storms of food come – creating dilemmas such as the school getting smothered beneath a giant pancake (forcing it to close), a tomato sauce tornado, and giant meatballs crushing the town. The townsfolk then build sailboats out of huge pieces of bread. They sail to a new place and grow accustomed to buying food in stores.
No school today? Giant pancake? Good thing my motto is Usquequaque Veho Furca.***
While the trailers make it clear a few story elements have been changed (and that the entire thing is Very Colorful), I can’t miss a film that’s straight-up imaginative food porn. The six-year-old me wouldn’t have had it any other way.
* Judging solely on the trailer, since I didn’t actually see the film. If you’re looking for judgment based on careful research, please leave now.
** Unless a land of food-related weather actually exists, in which case, SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT COMING FORTH TO CARRY ME HOME.
*** Always carry a fork.