Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I Won't Give Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs A Chance

When Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs comes to the big screen this month, I know I won't be rushing to buy my ticket.

Okay, so I haven't been first in line to see a kid's movies in awhile, so the comparison isn't fair.

I am unashamed to admit as a child, I loved this book.

Yet, as I've revisited the story, I question how well Judi Barrett's 1978 will transition to the big screen.

This book's intrigue in this story comes from two places.

First, it's the creativity of the conceptualization of food falling from the sky and feeding people. There is the delightful foods that fall from the sky, toast and eggs sunny side up, with orange juice for breakfast. Or Jell-O sunsets glowing in the sky.

On the other hand, there's the less delightful, like pea soup fog, and stinky Gorgonzola cheese storms.

(Not to mention the disastrous elements like ketchup tornadoes, giant pancakes and ceaseless days of bread.)

Like I said, this is the very delightful thing, the second thing about this book that makes it memorable amongst all the many children's books that are out there is the unique illustrations.

For some reason, many artist seem to think it's the bright, glossy, cuddly, and cartoon pictures that kids are drawn to, but Ron Barrett's artwork in this book is not only unique, but it's enticing. With fun ink-pen drawings, illustrated with concentration on texture before color, these drawings are creative, and cause the eye to at times miss the detail of t-bone steak clouds, macaroni noodle storms.

When I've seen the preview for the upcoming film adaptation, I am some what disgusted because where they may attempt to capture the creativity of the story in feature length, that creativity is diminished and lost without maintaining the artistic comic-book style art work.

Without the pale yellows, reds, and oranges of the artwork, the film will never stand as an acceptable adaptation in my mind. There can be no reasonable comparison to generic caricatures in Sony's film adaptation to the artistic drawings that played off realism and ad art in the classic children's book.

1 comment:

Sara Lehto said...

I agree. They couldn't possibly do this book justice by disregarding the original artwork. Where is the originality? The might as well call the movie Ratatouille II. Not only is it an insult to the intelligence of children (and their parents), but it deprives children of their imaginations just to make a buck.

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