Cloudy with a Chance of Kung Fu Monsters

Saw Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs today.  Damn good movie.  Really.  Fun.  Exciting.  Funny as heck, with multilayered writing and a terrific energy.  I really, really enjoyed it.  I think Cloudy just might be my favorite disaster movie.

Every time an animated movie like this comes out, I reflect on my own goals as a writer.  Because, when you get right down to it, this is the stuff that I love.  This is the stuff that I aspire to write.  I’ve admitted it before (and I’m sure I’ll admit it again in the future), but this is what I want to create with my own work.

While other writers might aspire to achieve the fame of Hemmingway, the skill of Steinbeck, the paycheck of Rowling, I want to write the next Kung Fu Panda.  In novel form, of course.

Perhaps the weirdest thing about my own pretentions is that I aspire to have fun.  But I don’t think fun is automatically mindless or that dull is automatically mature.  Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is an incredibly fun movie, full of life and joy, and it manages to be both absurd and touching at the same time.  Yes, I said it.  I cared about these characters and their personal struggles.  And, yes, these characters do indeed have a surprising amount of depth and personality.  Even the monkey.

So damn it, I am going to just accept this.  I am going to embrace it.  If this is the writer I am, then I see no shame in that.  Fun, thoughtful, absurd, fantastic adventure is my genre.  It’s who I am.

Your average comic book fan might go on and on about Watchmen or Killing Joke.  I’ll stick with Walt Simonson’s Mighty Thor and Red 5′s Atomic Robo.  Film scholars will discuss the subtleties of Chinatown and Schindler’s List, but I can pass half-an-hour easy explaining just how awesome The Incredibles and Monsters, Inc. are (although that should be obvious to anyone with a lick of sense).  And I’ll take the Godzilla saga over the Godfather saga anyday.

I’d feel awkward about it, but I’m making a pretty good living doing this.  So if these are my influences then they’ve done me good.  A humble novelelogist couldn’t ask for anything more.

Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,

Lee

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2 Comments

  1. Posted September 24, 2009 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I really want to read the book and see the movie. And aspiring to have fun is awesome….remember those secret ingredients. ;)

  2. Posted November 29, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    I know Im replying to an old post, but Im rather bored at the moment and I love talking about this type of movie. I also really liked Cloudy with a chance of meatballs . I thought it was kind of over looked since it wasnt a Pixar or Dreamworks film. I feel like Pixar has set the standard. Other animation studios seem to be hopping on the band wagon in a good way and are focusing on story and character depth rather than musical numbers and fart jokes. Have you seen How to Train Your Dragon? I liked that one as much as cloudy. That fun and thoughtful style of writing is what definitely made me want to pick up your Monster book (well actually in all honesty it was the yeti eating rocky road ice cream that sold me first, but the Fun and Thoughtful is what keeps me hooked).

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