Well, we guess they had to call it something. We already reported that Sony is moving full-steam ahead on a sequel to their 2009 adaptation of Judi and Ron Barrett's children's book "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," but would not utilize the storyline from the book's sequel, "Pickles to Pittsburgh." Hot shit "Horrible Bosses" writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein were hired to write the script and while original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller have moved on to live action (they directed next month's terrifically cartoony "21 Jump Street"), Sony substituted them with two story artists from the first film – Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn. What it was going to be called remained a mystery…until now. Thanks to a promo image at Coming Soon, everyone can now say hello to "Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers." Evocative.
We're not sure what the title really means – how do leftovers get revenge, anyway – but it's proof that the sequel is moving forward, which we're excited about. The first film was delightful – slight, bouncy, optimistic, with a unique and engrossing visual style (complete with comic strip character design, a 1980s technological aesthetic, and some truly bizarre flourishes like the bat-like cooked chickens). Hopefully the new team can bring together something just as magical.
In the same cluster of promotional images, we're given our first, somewhat blurry look at Genndy Tartakovsky's "Hotel Transylvania," an all-star 3D comedy set for release this Halloween. The image gives us a peek at the hotel's owner, Dracula (Adam Sandler), Dracula's teenage daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez), Frankenstein (Kevin James), Murray the mummy (Cee-Lo Green), Wayne the werewolf (Steve Buscemi) and Wanda the werewolf (Molly Shannon). We know what you're thinking – where the fuck is the Creature from the Black Lagoon character? We're thinking the same thing (seriously).
Tartakovsky is the genius animator behind cutting edge Cartoon Network series "Dexter's Laboratory," "Samurai Jack," and "Star Wars: Clone Wars." Cinematically, Tartakovsky flirted with directing the sequel to Jim Henson's "The Dark Crystal" (a film now on hiatus, and seeking a new director) and worked on "Iron Man 2," helping create the look of the World's Fair-like Stark Expo and staging much of that film's climax, where a cadre of Iron Man-ish robots face off against our heroes. After Tartakovsky's last Cartoon Network series "Sym-Bionic Titan" failed to gain much attention, he was lured away to Sony Pictures Animation and "Hotel Transylvania" will be his first feature film.
It's interesting to see Tartakovsky's singularly angular style translated to a 3D computer-generated character, and while we certainly aren't looking at crystal-clear character models or anything, it does look like his look has survived the dimensional shift. (We particularly love the wide-ass werewolf.) "Hotel Transylvania," which still reminds us of 1967's Rankin-Bass stop motion bonanza "Mad Monster Party," will be out September 28th.
Last, but certainly least, is a very crude promo image from "The Smurfs 2." The unreasonably popular first "The Smurfs" film, which debuted this summer, made a sequel almost guaranteed thanks to a mind boggling $563 million worldwide haul. And now, with this promotional image, we at least know where the sequel will be set – Paris! Those of us who live and work in New York City can remember what a pain in the ass it was when they were filming the first "The Smurfs." We're incredibly glad those little blue gnomes will menace another major metropolitan city for the sequel. Like 'Cloudy 2,' there's no release date yet for 'Smurfs 2.'