Wednesday, May 26, 2021

The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)

Streaming Services: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: The Mitchells vs the Machines (2021)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Length:  113 minutes
Rating: PG
Production/Distribution: Sony Pictures Animation, Lord Miller, Columbia Pictures, One Cool Film Production, Netflix, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Directors: Michael Rianda, Jeff Rowe
Writers: Michael Rianda, Jeff Rowe, Alex Hirsch
Actors: Abbi Jacobson, Alex Hirsch, Beck Bennett, Blake Griffin, Charlyne Yi, Chrissy Teigen, Conan O'Brien, Danny McBride, Doug the Pug, Eric André, Fred Armisen, John Legend, Madeleine McGraw, Maya Rudolph, Michael Rianda, Obada Adnan, Olivia Colman, Sasheer Zamata, Skylar Gray
Blurb from IMDb:  A quirky, dysfunctional family's road trip is upended when they find themselves in the middle of the robot apocalypse and suddenly become humanity's unlikeliest last hope.

Cat’s Point of View:
I was hooked on the premise of this movie the moment I watched the trailer. You can bet that I was fairly giddy as I sat down and told my voice remote to play The Mitchells vs. The Machines on Netflix. My daughter and I were on the edge of our seats to begin the experience. (My kid was sold on this movie the moment she saw a pug in the trailer.)
Our anticipation was not in vain and our expectations were exceeded.
I honestly can’t rave enough about The Mitchells vs. The Machines. From beginning to end, the whole movie was relatable and both emotional and hilarious at the same time. I saw myself in the main character’s shoes. I understood all too well the feeling of being misunderstood and longing for more of my own people. I didn’t find my true tribe of fellow geeks until I was an adult, really.

Everyone gets so caught up in the perfect Insta-families and those incredibly staged-to-appear-spontaneous selfies that litter social media. We compare ourselves without even thinking, and most of us, if we’re honest, likely feel as if we come up lacking. The Mitchells vs. The Machines was also unique for me in the way I connected to the mother character, as well as the teen. Families can be imperfect and somewhat dysfunctional but yet still full of love. We aren’t all postcard perfect. I think that’s touched on well here.

Sony Animation really did well in choosing this to be their first collaboration on a Netflix exclusive film. That wasn’t the only first here, either. The Mitchells vs. The Machines was also the full-length feature directorial debut, as well as feature writing debut, for the production team. While it might have been the first, I don’t think they were out of their comfort zone at all. 

These were the same guys responsible for the quirky, silly, and yet also intellectual, Disney animated series Gravity Falls (2012-2016). That may have been one of the reasons that the story style and overall feel for the movie felt warm and familiar to me. I swear I’ve seen every episode of that series probably 3 times or more over the years. My daughter has been known to just put Disney on for background noise sometimes. Our new bunnies also get a steady dose of mouse house TV to help keep them from getting anxious due to a too-quiet space when we’re not in the room.

I digress…

The casting choices were phenomenal, and I loved how the production team dove in with a few voice parts as well. I adored the visuals the film created as the story progressed. There were some really amazing sci-fi elements to this rise-of-the-machines story. I even got a bit silly over the Mitchell family’s car – it seems to have been modeled after the AMC Pacer. Not only is that a vehicle that has appeared in some prominent movies, it’s also the first car my family owned that I actually remember. Talk about a nostalgic road trip for me.
It never fails to happen, though – any time a family road trip is planned, something is going to go awry. Often it can happen in ludicrous ways. The Mitchells get to experience the more extreme end of that Murphy’s Law scenario and I was on board for every second of their wild ride. 

I highly recommend anyone with a Netflix subscription should hop in and buckle up to enjoy the experience, too. If you don’t have the subscription yet… well what are you waiting for? This movie, among many others, makes it definitely worth it. The Mitchells vs. The Machines has certainly landed on my list of favorites.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 98%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 89%
Metascore – 80%
Metacritic User Score – 8.3/10
IMDB Score – 7.8/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 5/5

P.S. - The credits include real-life family photos of the cast and crew, as well as some animated doodles in the style of the main character. 

Movie Trailer:

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