“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” was a nice surprise a few years ago, frenetically expanding on its quaint picture-book source without getting obnoxious. Characters likably struggled to connect, and spaghetti twisters and other visuals lived up to that colorful title. So now we get a 3-D animated sequel, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.” It’s another brightly rendered effort, but, as the title indicates, a lot of the real creativity seems to have been used up the first time around.
Misfit inventor Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) and friends are dropped into a “Jurassic Park” setting when his food-raining invention begins churning out “foodimals.” Nicely designed, but shades of the exotica in “The Croods.” And “The Lorax.” And the Candyland riff in “Wreck-It Ralph.” Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Tom Russo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.