Parents: There is enough adult empathy in The Mitchells vs. the Machines to keep you entertained while watching this vibrant Netflix animated feature with your kids.
The Mitchells vs. the Machines Synopsis
Katie loves her dad but finds it tough to connect with him as the duo has no common interests or viewpoints. She therefore rejoices when offered the opportunity to move out of home and study at a LA film school. To her disgust, though, her dad then insists on driving her to school; this, a lame attempt at improving their relationship. The dreary roadtrip quickly descends into insane mayhem when a certain smartphone app decides to go rogue. PAL, the highly intelligent app, seeks to rid the entire world of humans once and for all.
Because of certain developing developments, I opted to heed the government’s advice on avoiding crowded places. So there I was, at home on the weekend after the Oscars, with nothing to watch except the movies on my streaming services.
My four streaming services. With hundreds of movies that I ought to at least read the synopses of. Which I’ve never gotten down to because I’m always on the lookout for more services to subscribe to.
Anyway, of all the vibrant screenshots that competed for my love, The Mitchells vs. the Machines felt to be the most light-hearted; I seriously wasn’t in the mood for anything heavy. In a nutshell, this zany Netflix animated feature is clearly targeted at younger audiences, with the 2D scribbles and children’s art and all that. However, there’s enough exploration of heavier themes to keep adults entertained too. There’s also a ton of brutal digs at the most inane aspects of modern internet culture. This, one of the most hilarious and intelligent aspects of the show for me.
Furthermore, Katie’s inability to connect with her dad, and vice versa, will strike close to home for many viewers. Her dad’s, i.e., Rick’s seriously lame efforts to improve the situation will surely bring many laughs to teens and parents alike.
As for art style and music, the movie features a rich pastiche that could be described as … a wild ride? The vibrant, painterly backgrounds confer a dreamy touch of Anime. The bold mix of synth motifs and bubbly pop also adds to the insane swings of the adventure. It’s future terror one moment, Dreamworks-like zaniness the next.
There are, of course, also the wacky AIs, which I consider to be the cherries atop the cake. The irritable, long-suffering PAL. The two malfunctioning robot “bros.” On PAL, she so strongly reminded me of certain video game villainesses, such as the one in the new Larry Laffer games.
Olivia Colman should seriously consider lending her voice to the video game world. I bet whoever she voices will be an instant hit.
Check out my other snappy movie reviews.