The Mitchells vs. the Machines

One of the main reasons why I was looking for a shorter movie for today’s DailyView was that I was hoping to save some time this evening to watch the new animated movie from the producers Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, The Mitchells vs. The Machines.

There had been a lot of positive word of mouth circling around this movie over the weekend, so I was anxious to get a chance to watch it on Netflix. I am happy to say that it was a really great time filled with warmth, humor and a fantastic message about family and sacrifice.

Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson) was anxious to get out of her house and head off to film school…away from her family of weirdos. Chief among them was her father Rick (Danny McBride) whom she had been clashing with on a regular basis recently. Rick is desperate to show Katie how much he loved her, but everything he tried seemed to backfire on him.

So Rick canceled her plane tickets and insisted on taking the family on a cross country drive to take her to college. Katie was anything but thrilled to spend time with Rick, her mother Linda (Maya Rudolph) and her little brother Aaron (Mike Rianda). Not to mention their squishy pug, Monchi.

Little did they know that there was a robot uprising occurring, led by angry phone app, PAL (Olivia Colman), who was feeling rejected and replaced when tech magnet Mark Bowman (Eric Andre) tried to reveal an upgrade. PAL took over the new robots and amassed an army that immediately enslaved the human race.

With plans to send the humans into space forever, PAL only had one family evade capture: the Mitchells.

This was a fantastic animated adventure with a lot of heart and some wonderful characters. Lord and Miller were involved in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and I have to say that there were many elements of The Mitchells vs. the Machines that reminded me of that Oscar winning Spidey film. There were amazing colors sprinkled throughout the film, and the originality leapt off the screen.

Katie provided a voice over that was used in just the perfect amount. Some times voice overs can be poorly executed, but this was just the right amount. She was funny and delivered us the story as they went.

Every character had their moments and brought their laughs. The individual relationships between the characters felt real despite the insane situations that they found themselves in. There is a moment in the third act where you can see why Maya Rudolph was brought in to play the wife in this family. She becomes completely wild in this moment and delivers one of the biggest laughs of the film.

The Mitchells vs. the Machines is more than your typical animated movie. It brings a creativity that you see in few animated films and, while it may not quite reach the emotional wallop of a Pixar film, it still provides you with a strong core of characters, smart writing, a colorful explosion of images and exceptional voice work, especially Olivia Colman as the evil sentient AI. This one is a film that the whole family will enjoy.

4.6 stars

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