The Mitchells vs. the Machines
WHERE TO WATCH:
WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
A robot apocalypse put the brakes on their cross-country road trip. Now it's up to the Mitchells - the world's weirdest family - to save the human race.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
Just to confirm, yes, I'm one of those adults who still enjoy watching animated movies. I don't care what anybody says; nothing will ever top the Toy Story franchise. And maybe, every once in a while, I catch myself watching a Tinkerbell flick too. There's just something about animations that capture the imagination and leave you feeling like a kid again.
When this movie popped up on my Netflix feed, I thought: "Hmm, I haven't seen a good animation in a while". Let's just say since clicking play; I've been recommending it to anyone who wants some fun, light-hearted content. Truth be told, we could all use some of that these days.
So let's talk about why this film is so different from others I've seen.
We've seen the "robots take over the world" storyline countless times before. Even though this film is about a family going up against an android army on the surface, that's not what it's about.
The Mitchells are far from perfect – think the Hecks from the sitcom The Middle but in cartoon form. Daughter Katie (voiced by Abbi Jacobson) is overflowing with creativity but has trouble fitting in; her dad Rick (voiced by Danny McBride), desperately tries to win her over, but more than anything, just wants to protect his family and do what's best for them. Brother Aaron (voiced by Mike Rianda) is a quirky, funny little guy with a dinosaur obsession, and all mom Linda (voiced by Maya Rudolph) really wants is for her family to appear as perfect as possible to the outside world.
I've got one word to describe this unit – relatable. They don't have superpowers, nor do they have the picture-perfect home or ideal family dynamic. And yet, they're able to rise above adversity and save the world. Talk about a positive message for young viewers.
In the film, the robot uprising is accidentally started by a tech mogul called Mark Bowman (but we all know which Mark they were actually referring to).
From the beginning, there's a large focus on technology and the negative impact it has on people and families. There are also quite a few jabs thrown at Mark ("Bowman"), highlighting that his company has access to the data of everyone who uses one of his products or apps.
Don't even get me started on the jokes about how humans would walk straight into their doom if they were promised free wifi on the other side.
The animation is weird, quirky and different, just like the Mitchells. The animators used 2D and 3D animation in conjunction to create a unique feel. The same type of animation was first used in Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse. Now, the Spider-Verse team has applied their expertise to The Mitchells vs The Machines, pushing it even further to bring a visually incredibly interesting film. As someone who gets bored quite easily, I found myself struggling to look away from the screen.
I chuckled at some of the funny lines, clutched my pearls and let out a soft "daaamn" for a couple of the jabs taken at humans (and tech moguls), and was left in my feels when Katie spoke about her struggle to fit in. More than anything, I smiled—a lot.
When we talk about an animated film that's perfect for the whole family, this is it.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE: