'The Mitchell's vs. The Machines' Is An Instant Animated Masterpiece
By Sal LoCicero | May 1, 2021
For the last few decades, animation has become so significant in our society. No matter what type of animation there are, there is always something out there for a certain group of people. When you think of successful animated features, the first thing that comes to your mind is Disney and Pixar; which is understandable. Giving that mostly every year a Disney Pixar movie is awarded Best Animated Feature at the Oscars. The last animated movie to receive the award that wasn’t a property of Walt Disney Pictures was ‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’, which took home an award at the 91st Academy Awards.
Sony Pictures Animation has been through many ups and downs in the last decade. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have teamed up with SPA for quite sometime now. Their first feature was in 2009 with ‘Cloudy With The Chance Of Meatballs’ which was a surprise hit. In 2013, Lord and Miller switched crew positions going from writer/directors to producers on ‘Cloudy With The Chance Of Meatballs 2’. Five years later, after SPA develop some disasters, such as ‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’, ‘The Emoji Movie’, ‘The Star’, and ‘Peter Rabbit’, Sony Pictures Animation once again team up with Lord and Miller to create ‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’.
In 2018, SPA announced the title of Lord and Miller’s later produced feature, ‘Connected’. The movie was originally supposed to release January 10, 2020, however after being delayed twice, Netflix bought the rights to the film. ‘Connected’ was later retitled to ‘The MItchell’s vs. The Machines.
‘The Mitchell’s vs. The Machines’ follows a dysfunctional family that doesn’t connect well with each other. When Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson) prepares to go to Film School, her father decides to take her and the family on a cross-country road trip to her college for one last family bonding. During their family road trip, an intelligent A.I goes berserk and decides to destroy the world. This leads The Mitchell Family to work together and finally connect with one another in order to save the world.
Pixar is really gonna need to step up their game, because this movie is the best animated feature of the year. Everything about this movie is phenomenal, quirky and relatable. The animation is outstanding and at times reminiscent of ‘Into The Spider-Verse’. Lord and Miller have once again proven themselves as one of the most creative filmmakers working today. The writing by Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe is fantastic and extremely energetic from start to finish, much like ‘The LEGO Movie’ which was written by Lord and Miller. The humor works incredibly well when it comes to depicting The Mitchell Family and their dysfunction, but the one thing that truly makes it all work is how relatable this family is. Everyone in their own way can relate to this family. They are quirky, they don’t always get along, they think differently, and they all are interested in different things. All of which make it hard for them to connect with one another.
The movie does a smooth job when mixing certain tones, it is both funny, action packed, heartwarming, and original. The cast of the family; Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, and Mike Rianda are perfect and their chemistry adds to the realism of this family.
There is so much commentary about our society, technology, people, connections and the world and yet the writers are still able to connect all of these topics to the Mitchells. It’s too bad that this movie lost its opportunity to hit the big screen because it would’ve absolutely succeeded, especially for a January release. This is yet another masterpiece from Producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.