When Katie Mitchell, the oddest duck of an already odd duck family, is accepted into film school across the country, her distant father decides to take her and the rest of the family on a cross country road trip as a final chance to connect. Then, the machine apocalypse happens.
I am really enjoying the current stage of CGI animation. Where, at first, studios seemed determined to make things as relativistic as possible… how backgrounds had to look real and physics had to be real and the blood veins in the ear when it was backlit by the sun had to be real, now it seems that they’re finally getting comfortable enough in the medium to allow animation to be cartoony again.
Sure, we’ve seen it before with movies like Hotel Transylvania and Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse where the unrealism of animation has been, once again, embraced fully, but it seems like every time I see a Tex Avery style in computer animation, it feels new and fresh — a thing I’ve been missing since 2D animation went out of style.
Thus, we come to The Mitchells vs. The Machines and, if there is a movie that should be described as a “cartoon,” it’s this one. This movie is zany, wacky, weird, and wonderful… it’s pure color and joy and fun. What’s more, the movie is so wholesome in its message of acceptance and love that it practically spits in your face and dares you not to love it.
Everything that this movie has to say is wonderful. From the afore mentioned message about love and acceptance to the theme of how technology permeates our life. It’s not the eye-rollingly familiar old Boomer tune of, “technology bad,” but rather message that technology is good, but it can be bad if we don’t use it responsibly.
The Mitchells vs. The Machines is perfectly cast with an infectious charm and energy. It has something for all ages and is just a delight from middle to end.
Unlike a lot of movies that attempt to be poignant, The Mitchells vs. The Machines actually managed to land it, earning its quite character moments and character development. These are characters I like, none of them wore out their welcome, and all of them were fun to watch from the mom to the dog.
I loved this movie so darned much. This is one of those movies that just got better and better as it rolled on and culminated in an ending that dripped of wonderfulness. The world needs more of this… incredible, cartoony animation with heart.