Chester V is the main antagonist of Sony Pictures Animation's 9th feature film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. He is the CEO of inventing company Live Corp, and is heavily inspired by Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Chester V is a tall, slender and elderly man in an orange vest and black pants and shoes. He has a short white beard and wears thick, green-tinted eyeglasses. His head, neck, and the collar of his vest resemble an incandescent light bulb, a motif that is present in everything pertaining to his company, Live Corp.
When he was younger he had a ginger beard and eyebrows, and wore a gray turtleneck sweater under a white lab coat.
Chester V is a charismatic and brilliant CEO at the top of a contemporary technology company. He is deceptive and manipulative, crafting the persona of a worldly, adventurous, new-age guru to win over the hearts and minds of people to get them to do his bidding. Every time he speaks, it is an orchestrated performance, moving his body in rhythmic, snake-like fashion almost as if to hypnotize and mesmerize his audience. His movement is also very calculated, his long, skinny limbs lending themselves to vectors, and has a unique timing style and very symmetrical posing. As part of his "guru" persona, he is knowledgeable in ancient Chinese proverbs and greets others with "Namaste", a common greeting used by Hindus.
Chester grew up as a "backyard inventor" like Flint, and the two of them bond over a shared history of bullying in their youth, but while Flint found value in friends, Chester does not see the value in friendship and considers everything he has done his success alone. But instead of being lonely, Chester created a fleet of holograms of himself to help him multitask, brainstorm, and act as his most worthy companions.
|“||Chester relies on his holograms but inevitably they aren't really there for him - they literally can't catch him in the end.||”|
— President of Production Michelle Raimo Kouyate
Chester is also an egotist, whose office is adorned with trophies and photos of his adventures with his holograms. The facade he has created is a fake warm, with a cold, emotionless exterior devoid of life. But beneath his ruthlessness, Chester is emotionally "snowed-in" and isolated, unable and unwilling to trust anyone other than himself. He is extremely sensitive to criticism and humiliation, expressing extreme concern at being considered a "laughingstock" by the public.
Chester V had grown up bullied relentlessly from an extremely early age, inventing Wedgie-proof Underwear at the age of 3. When he was a child, he invented the food bar, which eventually became the financial lifeblood of his technology company Live Corp. His idea for a health food made of pressed oats and sugar was met with scorn and mockery, with people considering him crazy for his idea. This much scorn and retribution made Chester extremely skeptical of other people, building his lab up high and away from bullies, and he vowed to be successful as a form of revenge. In order to do so, he crafted a charismatic persona so he could win over the hearts and minds of others, to manipulate them into launching him upwards and granting him more control over his environment.
As a young adult, he gained fame and notoriety by continuing to invent, creating an intelligent orangutan assistant named Barb by putting a human brain within her ape brain "like a turducken." He made the cover of several science magazines like Popular Inventor, Inventionist, and Bright Idea, as well as starting his own magazine Chesterium. He also hosted the TV show "The Scientifically Wonderful World of Science," where he promoted his Food Bar XL and inspired young children to pursue their love of science, ending each show with the slogan "can your ideas change the world?"
Chester continued to ascend, becoming CEO of Live Corp and building its headquarters on its own island off the coast of San Franjose. He also invented holograms of himself to assist with various tasks and to provide companionship. Chester provided his employees with every creature comfort, from indoor volleyball courts to caffeine stations every 10 feet, which dispense a variety of specialty coffees like hot chocolate with double-whipped whipped cream and soy-free soy lattes.
Every year, Chester holds a contest to hand-pick an inventor to join his elite group of scientists known as Thinquanauts. In addition to creating a team of loyal and brilliant servants, the competition also provides Chester with ample ideas for inventions that he could develop and take credit for to boost his own notoriety.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
By the time of the events of the first movie, Live Corp had grown to become the "coolest, hippest company in the world." Immediately following the disastrous food storms, Chester had tasked Thinquanauts to travel the world to clean up and repair after the mess. He arrived in Swallow Falls to offer the same to the townspeople, relocating them to San Franjose and offering Flint a job at Live Corp.
However, Chester's goal was not humanitarian - he was secretly seeking the FLDSMDFR, which he viewed as integral to the development and release of his new Food Bar 8.0. Over the next six months, he sent search teams to the island as part of "Operation Capture the Invention" to scour for the machine and report their findings to him.
After the annual Vesting Ceremony ended in colorful disaster after Flint's Celebrationator exploded, and Chester discovered that Barb had lost contact with the 24th and 25th search teams, Chester realized he needed someone familiar with the island, yet easily manipulated, to search for the FLDSMDFR. Using footage of one of the search teams being attacked by a Cheespider, Chester convinced Flint to travel to Swallow Falls and plug in the aptly-named BSUSB, which would take control of the FLDSMDFR and allow it to be used for food bar production.
Chester kept a watchful eye on Flint and his friends as they returned to Swallow Falls. Chester did not want the public to know about the secret to Food Bar 8.0's production, so when Sam announced they should tell the world about the foodimals, Chester viewed it as a threat to his business and vowed to separate Flint from his friends. Chester tasked Barb with getting Sam out of the way by belittling her role as a meteorologist and implying that Sam was endangering the group by keeping Barry around. Chester also devalued Earl's strength and danger-detecting chest hairs by delegating the role of protector to his Sentinels of Safety.
When Flint reached the remains of his lab, Brent plugging the narrow tube meant Chester and Flint had a moment alone together. Chester marvelled at Flint's lab and the two of them bonded over a shared past of bullying. Both of them used their Wedgie-proof Underwear, which they both had been wearing since they were kids, to keep themselves above the stagnant electrified water pooled in the upside-down roof of the lab while they gathered supplies for the FLFJTPM. Chester convinced Flint to be mistrustful of Brent, claiming "stew offered by a bully is poisoned broth."
Sam helped Flint reconcile with Brent, which interfered with Chester's plan to separate Flint from his friends. Unsatisfied with Barb's performance, and with 48 hours to release his food bar, Chester vowed to take care of the problem. An attack from a Tacodile Supreme gave Chester the "evidence" to prove to Flint that the foodimals were dangerous, which finally drove him and his friends apart.
Sam and friends discovered that the foodimals acted so viciously out of self-defense, and that Chester was doing something to cause the foodimals to fear anything to do with Live Corp. The Sentinels of Safety captured the gang to prevent them from warning Flint. Atop the Big Rock Candy Mountain, Chester revealed his plan to Flint - he would reprogram the FLDSMDFR to produce foodimals, which he would then capture and grind into food bars in an operation known as "Operation Slice and Dice." Now that Flint had served his purpose, Chester pushed him into the river far below and took off with the FLDSMDFR.
When Flint crashed into the factory, one of the Sentinels alerts Chester, who tied up Flint's friends with yellow police tape, telling Barb that while they would be used as leverage, he did not plan to harm them.
Flint confronted Chester, holding him at Spray-on-Shoe-point. Chester faked surprise, then quickly revealed that he had Flint's friends held hostage. When Flint begged Chester to let them go, he threatened to turn them into food bars with a super-sized food bar machine. Chester explained that the food produced by the FLDSMDFR was "far more delicious than 'food' food," so he planned to use the foodimals to make his food bars even more delicious. However, the food having sentience made them harder to catch, since they hid and fought back. Chester planned to pave the island and work in complete secrecy to ensure Food Bar 8.0 would be a success and continue to support Live Corp.
Chester conviced Flint to drop the Spray-on Shoes by threatening to drop Flint's friends into the food bar machine. But without a weapon, Flint accidentally gave Chester even more control over the situation, which Chester used to his full advantage, mocking Flint and distracting him with hordes of holograms. Chester mocked Flint's reliance on his friends, claiming his loyalty to them was what prevented him from saving the island and stopping Chester's plan. Flint insisted losing was better than ending up alone, to which Chester replied "I'm not alone! I've got holograms!"
Flint used the Celebrationator to dissipate the holograms and expose the real Chester. Flint reunited with his friends, which gave Chester the perfect opportunity to sneak up and steal away the FLDSMDFR. Unfortunately for Chester, Sam notices him rushing up the stairs, and an army of foodimals block Chester's escape. Chester desperately calls to Barb for help, but since he had been disrespecting her and taking her for granted for all these years, Barb put her foot down and refused to help.
Desperately trying to reclaim the FLDSMDFR, Chester fell into the food bar machine. He summoned his holograms but instead fell right through them. He retracted his limbs and his head into his vest, ricocheting erratically between the blades of the machine before being sling-shotted out. He arrogantly claimed to have saved himself, before being caught and eaten by a Cheespider.
- Chester V is voiced by Will Forte, the same person who voiced Joe Towne from the first movie.
- Chester V is left-handed, as indicated by one of his holograms painting a self-portrait over the Mona Lisa.
- Chester V's vest was inspired by Marty McFly in Back to the Future.
- Earl calls him Ghostman possibly due to his holograms being able to be walked through.
- Chester is implied to have plagiarized or stolen a few of Flint's inventions, including the Re-Freeze-a-Fan
- In early concepts, Chester V would have been turned into a food bar instead of being eaten, a concept that was used in the mobile app Foodimal Frenzy. There is also concept art of a food-bar Chester also being eaten by a Cheespider.
- Chester V is possibly an updated version of the cut character Vance LaFleur.
- In concept art for the credits, there is an image of food-bar Chester being confronted by a Cheespider while trying to blow up Sparkswood, implying that he could survive both the food bar process and being eaten.