When we last saw Flint Lockwood at the end of "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," Swallow Falls had been devastated by the effects of his food processor. As the sequel begins, he has been recognized for his genius, and he now works for Chester V as the two attempt their cleanup plans for the island. Unfortunately, Flint realizes that his machine is still operational, and it's creating some nasty animal-food hybrids such as tacodiles, shrimpanzees, and apple pie-thons. It becomes his duty to enlist the help of his friends and save humanity from these deliciously evil creations. Voice actors have a daunting task when they take a role in an animated film. They can't rely on being physically recognized, and they can't use facial expressions and body language to enhance their comedic performances. A great voice actor must use different vocal tricks to get the audience wholly into the experience of the film.
In "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," some of the funniest comedians of our time lend their talents to make the movie enjoyable for both kids and adults. Bill Hader returns to the role of Flint Lockwood, and he lends boyish charm and vulnerability to the character. Hader is best known for some of his outrageous characters on "Saturday Night Live," where he has been a cast member since 2005. Stefon, a flamboyant correspondent for the fictional "News Update," and Vinny Vedecci, a heavy-smoking Italian talk show host, are two of his most memorable personalities. Hader has also had cameos on NBC's "30 Rock" and "The Office." He played less-than-competent Officer Slater in the movie "Superbad," and he has appeared in such box-office smashes as "Knocked Up," "Tropic Thunder," and "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs." In addition to his onscreen work, he has done voice work for a number of television programs such as "The Awesomes" and "The Venture Bros.," and he has played prominent voice roles in a number of films, including "Monsters University" and "Turbo."
Anna Faris also reprises her role as Sam Sparks, Flint's love interest. Sparks is a tough New York news reporter who first met Flint when she came to cover the wild weather patterns in the first movie. Faris perfected her comedic timing in such hilarious films as "Scary Movie" and "My Super Ex-Girlfriend." After early success, she began to get roles in big-budget movies and recently starred in "Movie 43" and "I Give It a Year." Faris currently stars in the primetime situation comedy, "Mom," as a recovering alcoholic working hard to be a good mother. She provided the voice of Jeanette in "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," and "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked."
Tim Lockwood is portrayed perfectly by James Caan. Tim is Flint's widowed father, and he seems aloof and partly bewildered at times throughout the film. Caan uses his distinctive voice and comedic sensibilities to nail the role. Although he is a relative newcomer to acting in animated features, he lent his voice to "The Godfather" series of video games, and he was a special guest in a 2009 episode of "Family Guy." Some of his recent comedy work was in "Elf," "Get Smart," and "That's My Boy," and he played casino owner Ed Deline on television's "Las Vegas" from 2003 to 2007. Caan is best known for his iconic roles as author Paul Sheldon in "Misery" and Sonny Corleone in "The Godfather" and "The Godfather: Part II."
Another funny actor who is back for the second installment is Will Forte. He played the voice of Joe Towne in the first film, but he has a much larger role as Chester V in the sequel. Chester V runs The Live Corp Company, and he strives to be the best and have the best. Forte does a wonderful job playing the role of this semi-megalomaniacal inventor while showing a soft side in the process. Forte is another successful "SNL" alum, and he has played characters on "30 Rock," "Up All Night," and "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!" He starred in the feature films "MacGruber" and "The Watch," and he has provided his voice for such televisions shows as "American Dad" and "The Cleveland Show."
There are a few notable new cast members. Terry Crews, who replaced Mr. T as the voice of Officer Earl, is best known for "Everybody Hates Chris" and "The Expendables 2." Kristen Schaal of "30 Rock" fame plays Barb, the genius orangutan who is Chester V's capable assistant. Popular returning talent includes Neil Patrick Harris from "How I Met Your Mother" playing Steve, Andy Samberg from "Saturday Night Live" in the role of Brent McHale, and Benjamin Bratt from "Law and Order" voicing the character Manny. "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" was a great family movie, and the sequel's new directors needed returning voice actors to help recreate that magic. With the return of Hader, Faris, and Caan, "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" is guaranteed to be funny. The upgraded role of Forteand the addition of Crews and Schaal mean the film is destined to be hilarious.