Now out at a theatre near you
Entertainment Weekly reports that Pixar's Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is the number one movie in the nation for the second straight week, with a healthy box office take that suggests adults as well as children have enthusiasm for the film. It's an imaginative, funny romp, and very entertaining... and very different from the classic children's book by Judi Barrett that inspired it.
Great book, great movie - great chance to talk to your kids. It's a chance to work on developing their literacy and critical thinking skills (disguised as a casual chat about something fun.) Before going to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, read the book to your children, and then see the movie. Afterwards, talk to them about the differences between what they read and what they saw.
For example, ask them about characters, setting and plot.
1.Who were the main characters in the book?
2.Who were the main characters in the movie?
3.Why do you think the people who made the movie created new characters?
4. How was Swallow Falls different from Chewandswallow?
5. Why do you think they changed the name of the town?
6. What caused the strange weather in the book? What caused it in the movie?
7. Were there any scenes from the book (like the jello sunset) that did show up intact in the movie?
8. Did the movie talk about any feelings or problems that the book did not?
You can also tie the book and movie into discussions about nutrition. Look at a copy of the food pyramid. Talk about the different kinds of food found in the movie. There were several characters in the movie that had health problems after touching or eating food. What does that say about making wise nutritional choices?
In the film, Samantha Sparks is a meteorologist. Talk about her profession and about how weather develops in real life. What caused the hamburger rain, the ice cream snow, and the spaghetti tornado? What causes these to happen in real life? What kind of real instruments might Samatha use to predict the weather?
After reading the book and seeing the movie, you can also make a craft based on the story. Have your children draw a picture of the town of Chewandswallow, and then cut pictures of food out of magazines to paste the picture. The internet is full of websites that have lesson plans based on the original book. There's even one site where you can create a crossword puzzle based on it.
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs is currently playing in both conventional and 3D formats at numerous locations in the metroplex. Find a location near you through Fandango. The book is available at Barnes and Noble and other book stores, as well as your local library.