Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster|
|September 14, 1978|
|Followed by||Pickles to Pittsburgh|
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a children's book written by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barrett. It was first published in 1978 by Atheneum Books, followed by a 1982 trade paperback edition from sister company Aladdin Paperbacks. It is now published by Simon & Schuster. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association listed the book as one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". It was one of the "Top 100 Picture Books" of all time in a 2012 poll by School Library Journal.
A sequel, Pickles to Pittsburgh, was published in 2000 by Atheneum Books; a hardcover edition followed in 2009. A second sequel, Planet of the Pies, was published on August 27, 2013.
A grandfather reads a bedtime story, chronicling the lives of the citizens of an imaginary town called Chewandswallow, which is characterized by food raining from the sky.
The sky provided the townsfolk with all of their food by raining food. The town of Chewandswallow was devoid of malls and food stores. Unlike typical weather, the weather of Chewandswallow always came three times a day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinnertime.
The town of Chewandswallow had a sanitation department (known as the Sanitation Department of Chewandswallow). It fed the fallen food to the animals (including stray pets, birds, sea creatures including fish, sea turtles, and cetaceans, and wildlife on land). With the town devoid of malls and grocery stores, it was, for its residents, a much better arrangement.
The food in the weather was at first delicious. But after a couple of millenniums had passed and when all the excitement of the food in the weather had died down, the town of Chewandswallow gradually (but inexplicably) took a turn for the worse. Then the people began to realize that they were not as happy about it as they thought. Too much food or unappetizing food for the residents of Chewandswallow came down.
The sanitation department of Chewandswallow gave up and shut down service operations (shut down worldwide) forever due to the crisis, and the weather continued to worsen. Houses and other structures were damaged. The townspeople (left to suffer the oversized food) began to fear for their lives. As for schools for the children, there was no more school for them because the schools closed and ceased school operations (for good).
There was no question in the people's minds about what to do in Chewandswallow. Finally, a decision was made to abandon the town. It was a matter of survival.
The residents decided to permanently abandon the town and escape on ships (built from giant peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches; they cemented together the giant pieces of stale bread-sandwich style with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff). They landed in a town with normal weather and started a new life.
In the permanent new land, the children restarted school (since the schools had now reopened after being discontinued in the town of Chewandswallow, but were now open in the new land as new schools) and life returned to normal, other than the need to purchase and cook food (as for food) rather than eat it from the sky.
For food, the biggest change was for the townspeople in the new land to get used to buying food from supermarkets and shopping malls (which were in the new land) instead of eating it from the sky.
No one ever got hit by a hamburger again nor ever dared to go back to Chewandswallow to find out what happened to it. They were too afraid.
The grandfather finishes his story. The following morning, the grandchildren awaken to discover snowfall. After hurrying outside to play, the granddaughter imagines the rising sun reflecting on the snow is mashed potatoes and butter.
The follow up to the story, Pickles to Pittsburgh, tells of the kids receiving a postcard from their grandfather, who claims to be visiting the ruins of what was once the fabled town of Chewandswallow. The kids then go to sleep and dream that they are there with him, helping to rebuild the post-apocalyptic landscape and restore it to where it is livable again, as well as giving the massive amounts of food away to poverty-stricken developing nations and homeless shelters around the world. This proves to be difficult, as there could be more food storms on the way.
A third book in the series, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 3: Planet of the Pies, was released on August 27, 2013. It details a dream Grandpa had about the first manned expedition to Mars, where Martian society is being overrun by daily storms of pies.
On September 18, 2009, Sony Pictures Animation released an animated film adaptation of the book, and the DVD was released on January 5, 2010. A new cast of characters were created for plot development, while the synopsis was changed from food falling from skies from meteorology to being made from a machine. Bill Hader and Anna Faris provided the voices of the two lead characters. Hader voices Flint Lockwood, "a young inventor who dreams of creating something that will improve everyone's life." Faris provides the voice for Samantha "Sam" Sparks, "a weathergirl covering the situation who hides her intelligence behind a perky exterior." James Caan, Bruce Campbell, Mr. T, Andy Samberg, Neil Patrick Harris, Bobb'e J. Thompson, Benjamin Bratt, Al Roker, Lauren Graham, and Will Forte are also on the voice cast. Co-writers and co-directors Philip Lord and Chris Miller said that it would be a homage to, and a parody of, disaster movies such as Twister, Armageddon, The Core, and The Day After Tomorrow.
Unlike the book where a grandfather tells his two grandchildren a bedtime story about Chewandswallow, an inventor named Flint Lockwood, who lives in Swallow Falls (Chewandswallow's original name before the food weather), invents a machine that turns the water vapor in the atmosphere into food. Originally the phenomenon was limited to Swallow Falls, but overuse of the machine causes it to malfunction and the food weather taking a turn for the worse, as well as spreading it across the world. A sequel to the film, titled Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, was released on September 27, 2013, however, it is based on an original idea, and not Pickles to Pittsburgh.
In conjunction with the September 18, 2009 film release, Ubisoft released a game for Nintendo DS, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, and Xbox 360, as well as a stereoscopic online mini game.
- "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: About The Book"
- National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Retrieved August 19, 2012.
- Bird, Elizabeth (July 6, 2012). "Top 100 Picture Books Poll Results". School Library Journal "A Fuse #8 Production" blog. Archived from the original on December 4, 2012. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
- "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 3: Planet of the Pies: Judi Barrett, Isidre Mones: 9781442490277: Amazon.com: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
- Siegel, Tatiana. "Hader, Faris spice up 'Meatballs'; Caan, Samberg, Mr. T round out 3-D project". Variety. September 18, 2008.
- Lee, Patrick (2006-08-16). "Meatballs Spoofs Disaster Flicks". SCI FI Wire. Archived from the original on August 21, 2006. Retrieved 2008-12-05.
- GameZone. "Video Games, News, Reviews, Walkthroughs, Cheat codes and More - Interact". Archived from the original on 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
- "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - Ubisoft". Ubisoft.