Cloudy with a Chance of Jaws

Type of Literature: Movie

Old: Jaws (1975)

New: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)


The Rose Woman recently interviewed two movies Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Jaws to discover the similarities between both flicks.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs features an overlooked town with a misfire inventor, Flint Lockwood, who creates a machine that can generate food out of thin air. However, the food mutates and dismantles the town. Flint must confront the machine before the freak entrées devastate the town with more than Flint can swallow.

Jaws also bites off more than ocean waters can chew with a man-eating shark. When the mayor refuses to close the beaches off to the public, a trio ventures out to defeat the beast before it claims more victims.

According to my understanding, both of you feature a scientist as one of the protagonists?

CWACOM: Yes, our main character, Flynn invents machines. He has a poster of Einstein in his laboratory, and citizens refer to his contraptions as “one of [his] science deely-bopper thingies!”

Jaws: One of the trio, Matt Hooper, is an ichthyologist (one who studies fish).

Speaking of trios, I remember a trio faces the adversary in the movies.

CWACOM: Correct. Our trio comprises of Flint Lockwood, weather reporter Sam Sparks, and town celebrity “Baby” Brent. (If you don’t count the pilot of the flying car and the pet monkey).

Jaws: We have an all-male trio. A police chief, an ichthyologist, and a ship captain.

Would you say you have a man vs. nature plot?

Jaws: Man faces a shark. You can hardly get closer to a tangle with nature than that.

CWACOM: Even though Flint fights against a machine, the machine causes natural phenomenons. For example, a spaghetti tornado emerges from the machine.

Finally, I noticed how you both have corrupt mayors who forfeit citizens’ safety for tourism benefits.

Jaws: Correct. Despite our pest problem, Mayor Vaughn continues to promote the beaches of Amity (the town name). He fears if he admits a dangerous shark lurks in the water, the lack of tourism will debilitate the town.

CWACOM: Mayor Shelbourne uses the machine to bring worldwide travelers to Swallow Falls. However, even after Flint warns him about the dangers of the contraption, Shelbourne ushers journeyers with a large appetite into the heart of the beast.

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Old is the new new . . .

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We live believing the lie: old can never mix with new (and vice versa).

            Whenever one generation encounters another, we have a tendency to thrust up our hands and remark, “They’ll never understand!”

            After all, how could an eight-year-old who plays fruit ninja ever know the feeling of mulch crusted in their fingernails after they planted a victory garden?

            And how could a senior citizen understand how student debt grabs the lungs of millennials with a pair of choking hands?

            It seems Solomon proclaimed in vain, “There is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9 NLT). Clearly the Old Testament king never encountered a selfie stick.

            So how can we reconcile the two vast worlds of old and new?

            One word: literature.

            From the eccentric illuminations of Plato to the magical world of Harry Potter, characters differ only by the year in which they were born. All works of literature share a new connection: nothing new.  

            I plan to prove this one blog post at a time.

I liked this well-written blog post by Chantal Burns.