Directed by Mike Rianda. Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Eric Andre, Olivia Colman, Fred Armisen and Beck Bennett. Sony.
Artistic / entertainment value
Moral / spiritual value
+2 / -1
Kids & Up *
Animated chaos and threat; mild rude humor; a cursory hint in a coda that the heroine is with someone of the same sex (or gender).
In contrast, part of what made power generators Phil Lord and Chris Miller the most exciting force in Hollywood animation today over the past twelve years is that not just their original cartoons – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Lego movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and now The Mitchells against the machines – all above average or better, none of them look something like everyone else.
In some ways The Mitchells against the machines remembers Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Most obviously, it’s another goofy, boisterous techno apocalypse that focuses on a bumpy parent-child relationship between a clumsy, gifted boy and a handy, but tech-antic father.
Although Katie is the protagonist, at the heart of the story is the family dynamic, which gives the film’s quirky adventure some sort of character Spy kids/.Unbelievable Mood – the difference is, as Katie pessimistically puts it in a Flash Forward prologue: “Most action heroes have many strengths … my family only has weaknesses.”
We even meet Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson), an aspiring filmmaker, just as we met CloudyFlint Lockwood, the young inventor, faces skeptical elementary school students, faces contemptuous laughter and tries to show the world something new, in this case her ideas for absurd short films with her family’s pug, Monchi.
It’s no surprise, then, that Katie’s dad Rick (Danny McBride) is another beefy old-school man whose real love for his offspring is marked by communication problems and incomprehension. For that matter, In the spider verseMiles Morales had no dissimilar problems with his father, a police officer.
Of course, to save the world from the robot apocalypse – next generation super Alexas turned by the anger of an A.I. against humanity. despised – will depend on bringing the half-estranged father and child back together. (Not to shorten co-writer and director Mike Rianda or his writing partner Jeff Rowe, but the precedents are what they are.)