Every year some movies fall through the cracks and fail to reach wider audiences due to a lack of solid marketing. I had no idea of this film’s existence until it hit Netflix at the end of last month. I took a punt expecting the worst for some late night entertainment, and was left dumbfounded by how authentic and atmospherically rich this project really is.
Every family can be dysfunctional in their own right, but for the Mitchells’ it may as well become their family name. Kate (Abbi Jacobson) is due to head off to college to start film school and will hopefully meet ‘her people’. She’s always struggled to fit in with those around her. Making cheap homemade videos with her kooky brother Aaron (Michael Rianda), and their derpy dog as the star is what she enjoys doing. Her technophobic father Rick (Danny McBride), isn’t so enthused by his daughters past time and wishes she would have more realistic ambitions, which Kate doesn’t take too well to.
As a way of reconciling with his daughter for showing a lack of interest in her life choices, he cancels her plane tickets and decides to drive her across country taking the rest of the family with them. Whilst on their travels a machine uprising is caused by a vengeful smartphone named PAL (voiced wonderfully by Olivia Colman). After her creator invents realistic house robots, leaving little need for the old PAL system, she hijacks their programming and uses them to turn against the humans.
The Mitchells soon realise they could be the last stand for humans, and whilst fighting with their own family problems they must fight off super advanced robots. Can this family of oddballs really work through their troubles and save the human race?
Produced by the same people responsible for The Lego Movie (2014) and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), it would seem there is a great level of success backing this Netflix original. Much like those previous projects, The Mitchells vs. the Machines blends wonderful animation with its charismatic character building and a story that allows its creative splendour to really flourish.
Visually one of the finest animations in recent cinema, but it doesn’t solely rely on that aspect alone. Through great writing and incredible voice casting talent, The Mitchells vs. the Machines further prevails, allowing its fun, family oriented story to excel as a result.
It has a nice message, and both adults and kids can find plenty to enjoy. Its sharp comedy blends well with its endlessly sweet and harmless nature. Its best comedic moments got the belly laughs out of me that they were clearly expecting, and even at its worst it’s still hard to not even crack a smile or chuckle.
Time will tell how well this will hold up in the years to come, as many of its jokes and plot devices are told very much from the now era. Putting that aside however, The Mitchells vs. the Machines is the surprise feature I’ve been waiting for. Like me you may know very little about this cute little Netflix original, and if I’m being completely honest that could work in its favour. A Pleasant surprise that provides great entertainment for the kids and adults alike.