Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Mitchells vs. The Machines Review: A Genuinely Funny and Heartfelt Animated Crazy Family Trip

Charlyne Yi	Charlyne Yi	...	Abby Posey (voice) Olivia Colman	Olivia Colman	...	Pal (voice) Eric André	Eric André	...	Mark Bowman (voice) Sasheer Zamata	Sasheer Zamata	...	(voice) Maya Rudolph	Maya Rudolph	...	Linda Mitchell (voice) Danny McBride	Danny McBride	...	Rick Mitchell (voice) Abbi Jacobson	Abbi Jacobson	...	Katie Mitchell (voice) Fred Armisen	Fred Armisen	...	(voice) Madeleine McGraw	Madeleine McGraw	...	Young Katie (voice) Conan O'Brien	Conan O'Brien	...	(voice) Alex Hirsch	Alex Hirsch	...	(voice) Chrissy Teigen	Chrissy Teigen	...	Hailey Posey (voice) Beck Bennett	Beck Bennett	...	(voice) John Legend	John Legend	...	Jim Posey (voice) Jay Pharoah	Jay Pharoah	...	(voice) Michael Rianda	Michael Rianda	...	Aaron Mitchell (voice)

Release date: April 30, 2021
Running time: 113 minutes
Starring: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Mike Rianda, Eric Andre, Olivia Colman, Fred Armisen
Written and Directed By: Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe

From the humans who brought you Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and The LEGO Movie comes The Mitchells vs. The Machines, an animated action-comedy about an ordinary family who find themselves in the middle of their biggest family challenge yet…saving the world from the robot apocalypse. It all starts when creative outsider Katie Mitchell is accepted into the film school of her dreams and is eager to leave home and find “her people,” when her nature-loving dad insists on having the whole family drive her to school and bond during one last totally-not-awkward-or-forced road trip. But just when the trip can’t get any worse, the family suddenly finds itself in the middle of the robot uprising! Now it’s up to the Mitchells, including upbeat mom Linda, quirky little brother Aaron, their squishy pug, Monchi, and two friendly, but simple-minded robots to save humanity. 

Blake Griffin	...	Robot (voice) Griffin McElroy	Griffin McElroy	...	(voice) Skylar Gray	Skylar Gray	...	Young Katie (voice) Doug the Pug	Doug the Pug	...	Monchi (voice) Elle Mills	Elle Mills	...	(voice) Obada Adnan	Obada Adnan	...	(voice) Produced by  Kurt Albrecht	...	producer (p.g.a.) Will Allegra	...	executive producer Daniel Chuba	...	co-producer Phil Lord	...	producer (p.g.a.) Christopher Miller	...	producer (p.g.a.) Carey Smith	...	co-producer
The Mitchells vs. The Machines comes from the same studio that brought you Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse and it definitely shows in all the right ways.  The animation style is more on the cartoon side, but it still has aspects of the cell shading technology that made Into the Spiderverse look so unique.  The character's facial expressions can have hand drawn elements, and certain surfaces can have a cell-shaded look.  The characters don't have the comic book look that Into the Spiderverse had, but still have some pencil lines and other hand drawn aspects.  But the film also feels decidedly more modern than Into the Spiderverse, with an embrace of artistic and internet culture woven into the fabric of this film.  You have YouTube videos mixed into the film, memes popping up here and there, and asides with hand drawn, comic style images.  It gives the film both an artistic and a very internet age feel to it.  And the animation is also just plain beautiful, with some really great uses of color and lights to sell this modern family adventure.  

But after you notice the beautiful animation, you will notice that this film is just funny.  There are so many random laugh out loud moments in this movie that the whole family will love.  There are plenty of great jokes for the kids, but also plenty of humor that adults will be able to enjoy.  But on top of the humor, the film also has a lot of heart.  It deals with learning who you are but also appreciating what you have.  Amid the flashy chaos and funny humor, it has some scenes that are genuinely emotional and will make you hug those around you.  It is a really wonderful film that builds on a series of very good animated features.

And the movie also feels modern in that it has diverse characters but does not call attention to that aspect.  One of the characters is either gay or bisexual, but the film doesn't mention this at all other than having one character ask about their partner and if you are paying attention, you will hear that it is a person of the same gender.  It is a great touch and one that I really appreciated; gay and bisexual people are just is a part of our society now and the film did not need some big reveal to show this aspect of her character.  If there is any negative about this film, it is that the story is a long one.  For kids, it might be a little too long (not for my kids, they loved it, but some kids).  But that also gave me an excuse to spend more time with my family watching this film, and more time with this quirky family on screen!  

The Mitchells vs. The Machines is a modern animated film, with a great use of memes and internet culture, laugh out loud moments, and a story that has #allthefeels.

Watch it.

Directed by  Michael Rianda	 Jeff Rowe	...	(co-director)Writing Credits   Michael Rianda	...	(written by) and Jeff Rowe	...	(written by)  Animation Animated Sony Cell Shading Funny Humor Comedy Family Kids Children

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The Mitchells vs. the Machines is available on Netflix on April 30, 2021.

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