This past Thursday afternoon, Sony Animation unveiled some early unfinished footage of its upcoming release, "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" (opening on September 27). "Cloudy 2" is, of course, the sequel to the 2009 hit film that was loosely based on the popular book by Judi and Ron Barrett. Sadly, we can't just show you the footage, but we can tell you about it! (Which, misleading exclamation point aside, is admittedly a disappointment. We will do our best.)
If you have children, prepare to purchase them the toy replicas of something called "foodimals."
If you remember the first movie, our hero, Flint (Bill Hader), invented a machine that turns water into food. This eventually created quite the disaster on the island of Swallow Falls. In the sequel -- which picks up 60 seconds after the first one ends -- the island is evacuated of human beings and is later replaced by hybrid food/animal creatures, called "foodimals," an unexpected byproduct of Flint's machine. There are 39 different foodimals. Here are five personal favorites:
Will Forte wants to destroy the foodimals.
Will Forte (who had a small role in the first film) joins the regular cast as Chester V, a famous innovator who has built a corporate empire. After Chester hires Flint, thanks to his own innovation skills, he asks him to return to Swallow Falls in an effort to turn off the machine that is creating the foodimals. Flint reunites the whole gang from the first film -- Sam (Anna Faris), Steve the Monkey (Neil Patrick Harris), Brent (Andy Samberg), Manny (Benjamin Bratt), Officer Devereaux (Terry Crews, replacing Mr. T) and his father, Tim (James Caan) -- to help him on this adventure. Sam later realizes that turning off the machine responsible for foodimals may not be such a great idea after all. So, yes, there's your plot. And here is the trailer if you would like more.
Get ready for a lot of food puns.
The directors of the first film, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, have moved on. (They directed "21 Jump Street" and are directing the upcoming "The Lego Movie.") Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn take over for the sequel. At Sony, the pair -- who seem like extremely nice human beings -- admitted that they love food puns. While watching the footage, five food puns were used (admittedly, one of them was very, very funny).
Terry Crews is really into this movie.
In a montage of cast interviews, the excitement level of the individual cast members is abut what you would expect for an animated movie in which these people show up for a few days to lend their voices. Then there's Terry Crews. Terry Crews is really happy to be in this movie. For whatever reason, Mr. T did not want to return for the sequel as Officer Earl Devereaux and Terry Crews is more than happy to take over that role. Seriously, someone please get Terry Crews into some better live-action movies. He's always the best part of a bad movie. (And he proved that he can excel in higher-brow fare with his performance as Herbert Love in season four of "Arrested Development.")
Hopefully "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2" can live up to the first film.
There's definitely more going on in this movie than the first one, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the first movie was just so simple and that's what made it so charming. Regardless, the first movie kind of snuck up on us as a nice late summer surprise. Hopefully the sequel can keep the charm rolling along (and adding Forte and Kristen Schaal will help to do this). And, yes, the foodimals are going to become a thing -- so, get ready for that.
Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.