O@tM: The Mitchells vs the Machines (2021)

The best film coming out of America since way before the Covid-19 crisis.

An animated action-comedy about an ordinary family who find themselves in the middle of their biggest family challenge yet…saving the world from the robot apocalypse. No big deal, right? It all starts when creative outsider Katie Mitchell is accepted into the film school of her dreams and is eager to leave home and find “her people,” when her nature-loving dad insists on having the whole family drive her to school and bond during one last totally-not-awkward-or-forced road trip. But just when the trip can’t get any worse, the family suddenly finds itself in the middle of the robot uprising. Everything from smart phones, to roombas, to evil Furbys are employed to capture every human on the planet. Now it’s up to the Mitchells, including upbeat mom Linda, quirky little brother Aaron, their squishy pug, Monchi, and two friendly, but simple-minded robots to save humanity. Written by Netflix

My usual dilemma: No idea what to write about a welll-done, functional, entertaining movie that does everything one expects from it? Not much but give it a pat on the back, right? Yes. And what to write about a movie that even does a little bit more and pulls itself out of swamp of good and mediocre animated films?

Let’s talk about that, shall we?

Let’s start with the production, which is 99.9999% of what makes or breaks an animated movie. So the proven production team of Miller and Lord of Spiderverse fame made sure we get the same and even higher amount of very squeaky coloured images and quirky characters. The animation is top notch and even better than what we usually get from Pixar/Disney. Sometimes even a bit too much and a bit too fast for hubby and I’s old and slow brains to compute. Sensory overload n stuff. But overall very enjoyable for all age groups.

Katie is the creative wunderkind of the family.

Next let’s look (or better listen) at the cast:

Professionals!

Mostly veteran actors and voice actors. Refreshing to hear Brit Olivia Colman as the vengeful villainous smartphone PAL. Very good Abbi Jacobson and Maya Rudolph as daughter and mother Mitchell, but father and son, Danny McBride and Michael Rianda are equally good and at their goofy best.

The Mitchells and their machines.

What about the screenplay? Very very funny but not stupid or silly. The jokes mostly land and you won’t feel treated like a stupid kid but been taken seriously as an adult audience member who knows the same or similar family situations and conflicts from own experience. No shit, the relation of father Rick and daughter Katie touched, and even hurt me a little. 😐 <– brave face

Very smart phone PAL has some of the most funny moments of the whole movie!

And here I must mention my only point of dislike with The Mitchells vs the Machines: What is it with Americans and their pathos about family n shit? These people are in the middle of a robot apocalypse and the only ones kinda clever enough to save mankind … and daddy/daughter are fighting and bickering against each other, wasting precious film runtime, that could’ve better be used focusing on their task, and adding more jokes. Do I wanna observe two cartoon people discussing their family problems?

The fuk not!

Instead they could’ve given us more of the two malfunctioning robots’ antics and misadventures.

Katie is the quintessential misunderstoof teenager. 😦

CONCLUSION: The Mitchells vs the Machines is a wonderful movie. Not just in its Animation genre and not just in comparison with all the other schmutz and dreck Hollywood pushes at us during the Covid-19 pandemic. Just a wonderful movie, period!

A real joy to watch; lighthearted but not stupid, funny but not silly, sharply observing without becoming too deep. Highly recommended! Watch MvM on Netzflicks or get it from here (but don’t forget to activate your VPN if you’re connecting from a Western law & order country).

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