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Animation's Old, New Collide for 'Cloudy 2'

24 Jan, 2014 By: Chris Tribbey

CULVER CITY, Calif. — When David Feiss (“Cow and Chicken”) was approached by Sony to direct a series of animated shorts to tie in to the hit animated film Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, he asked what they were looking for.

“’Just have fun,’ they said, ‘Make us laugh,’” he said.

No problem.

The mini-movies were a hit Jan. 22, as Sony Pictures Home Entertainment showed off what fans can expect when the film hits disc Jan. 28, with 3D Blu-ray Disc and Blu-ray Disc combo pack SKUs, as well as DVD.

“I was definitely thinking of the kids [when making the shorts], for sure, but I want adults to be entertained too,” Feiss said.

Available exclusively on the 3D Blu-ray Disc and Blu-ray Disc combo packs, the shorts (“Attack of the 50-Foot Gummi Bear,” “Steve’s First Bath,” “Super Manny” and “Earl Scouts”) are just the beginning for the bonus features offered to fans.

“While we’re working on these films, sometimes ideas change midstream,” said Cloudy 2 co-director Cody Cameron, explaining the plethora of deleted scenes, also available as an exclusive bonus for combo pack owners. “Sometimes we didn’t need it anymore, and that’s just part of the job. But I’m glad we got them on [disc].”

Every disc owner gets a ton of extras to go with the film, including a feature-length commentary from the directors; “Anatomy of a Foodimal,” which shows how filmmakers created the living food creatures; “Production Design: Back in the Kitchen,” which looks at the stories and jokes for the film; “Cloudy Café: Who’s On the Menu?,” which hears from the voice actors; “Building the Foodimals”; “The Sasquash”; “Delicious Production Design”; and a Cody Simpson “La Da Dee” music video and making-of the video featurette.

There’s also an “Awesome End Credits” featurette, which shows the many parts of the unique ending to the film. Cameron said a full-length, hand-drawn 2D feature is a hard sell nowadays for consumers.

“I’m a little bit more dazzled by CG animation,” he admitted. “There’s something about it.”

But there was plenty of room for animators to do their thing with the ending.

“During the end credits, we wanted to show you a little bit more of the world,” said Kevin Noel, associate production manager for the film.

Seamus Walsh, an animation supervisor for the film, said he and his team “jumped” at the opportunity to show off live-action, stop-motion animation and puppetry, all at once.

“Sony is doing some of the best animation nowadays,” he added. “It’s a pretty cool process that isn’t done often anymore.”

Sony is making a big digital push for the film as well, offering a tie-in app for Apple and Android devices, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter social media launches, downloadable content and games at cloudy-movie.com, and Valentine’s Day cards. The movie is also already available on digital.

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