Last week, ComingSoon.net visited Sony Pictures Animation to hear from some of the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 team, whose pun-heavy, family-friendly animated sequel has a January 28th DVD and Blu-ray release.
Cody Cameron, one of the films directors, and the voice of Pinocchio and Three Little Pigs from much of the “Shrek” franchise, introduced four deleted scenes that will be included as bonus features on the Blu-ray. Kristen Schaal’s spirited orangutan with a human brain character, Barb, is prominently featured in two of the deleted scenes. Will Forte’s pretentious, bearded character, Chester V, introduces himself with “Namaste” in the scene that Cameron was vocally most excited about, as it features a favorite joke of his from Andy Samberg’s dopey, flip-flop-wearing character, Brent McHale.
After the deleted scenes, a short documentary on Cloudy’s “Awesome End Credits,” another home release bonus feature, was introduced by the end credits’ production manager, Kevin Noel, and animation supervisor Seamus Walsh from the stop motion studio Screen Novelties, who dealt with the less common styles of animation used in the credits. Noel and Walsh were animatedno pun intendedthat the end credits went beyond CGI, employing puppetry, stop motion and more. The documentary offers a detailed, behind-the-scenes look at the process of animating the end credits, which involved, not as many computers but, magnets, human hair and a visual trick to simulate the rocky sea using what Walsh describes as an “old school theatre technique.” The unconventional end credits sequence shows different scenarios in which the “foodimals” and humans from “Cloudy 2″ interact civilly.
Next, we heard from veteran animator David Feiss, who directed four “mini-movies” that are included as bonus features. Feiss introduced and showed us two of the four shorts, both of which starred Neil Patrick Harris monkey sidekick character, Steve. ‘Steve’s First Bath’ tells the story of Steve’s reluctance to take a bath on the evening of what was supposed to be a rare romantic evening between Bill Hader’s Flint and Anna Faris’ Sam. The short features new inventions by Flint and plenty bizarre utterances by Steve. The other short we saw was ‘Attack of the 50-Foot Gummi Bear,’ which is primarily a Godzilla-Gamera-style battle between a giant Steve and Gummi Bear after they turn “big and ugly” with the help of a new invention of Flint’s. “Gummi Bear” was done in entirely 2D graphic animation.
After our time in the screening room, we heard more from Cameron, Noel, Walsh and Feiss. First, Noel and Walsh showed us the Barry the Berry costume worn by a child actor in the live-action section of the credits, as well as the boat puppet, pickle puppet and Tim Lockwood (James Caan) puppet used in the credits’ puppet section. The synthetic fur used for Lockwood’s prominent eyebrows, according to Walsh, added “that bit of anarchy in it that let you know this was a practical thing and not a mathematical CGI object.”
Cameron, who worked on the first “Cloudy” in the story department, explained that for “Cloudy 2″ he was able to make good use of cherished ideas that got cut from the first film; he described this as a “reheat of some of those leftovers” to continue to the “Cloudy” tradition that is making puns. According to Cameron, Terry Crews, who replaced Mr. T as the short-shorts-wearing police officer Earl Devereaux, was particularly fun to work with because his children were big fans of the first film, teasingly admonishing him not to mess up the beloved role of Earl. Cameron was proud of the voice talent’s ability to do well with both traditional voiceover and ADR, and, also on the topic of the voice talent, he told us about flying to New York to direct some of the recordings of Hader and Samberg, who were in New York as cast on “Saturday Night Live” at the time. Cameron briefly alluded to the Tyrannosmores Mess and Cumin Being, two foodimals who got cut from the film.
Finally, we spoke to Feiss, who talked about the two mini movies that weren’t screened for us, ‘Supper Manny’ and ‘Earl Scouts.’ ‘Supper Manny’ is the heroic story of the inconspicuous news cameraman Manny (Benjamin Bratt) as he, almost superhumanly, saves a mischievous cat on his way to film a “breakings news” segment. ‘Earl Scouts,’ which Feiss was most excited about given his love of the Earl character, is about Crews’ Earl and the Earl Scouts he makes of Pickle and Berry as they explore the wilderness. Both of those shorts, like ‘Attack of the 50-Foot Gummi Bear,’ are done completely in 2D graphic animation. Feiss revealed that he started working on animation professionally upon getting a job at Hanna-Barbera in 1978, though he’s still excited about 3D animation and the work he’s done at Sony for the past few years.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is set for a January 28th DVD and Blu-ray (2D and 3D) release, with bonus features including four deleted scenes, four “fun mini-movies,” a documentary on the “Awesome End Credits” and more. The Foodimal-Funimal App is free to download from the iTunes and Android app stores.