Updated: Feb 5
Disclaimer: Spoilers below.
When I first heard of The Mitchelles Vs the Machines, directed by Michael Rianda, known only then as Connected, I was very hesitant to say the least. Sony wasn’t perceived as the best company when it came to animated movies, Spiderverse being a very rare exception for the company.
However, The Mitchelles Vs the Machines was a wonderful surprise and took the internet by storm. The movie itself, for those who haven’t seen it, follows a young girl, Katie Mitchelle, as she embarks on her dream to be a movie director. Her father, voiced by Danny McBride, doesn’t see her dream the same way and wants to shelter her from the harsh reality of life. The movie escalates with a seemingly anti-technology outlook from the father opposed from the rest of the family.
The beginning of the movie is slightly off-putting as it throws you directly into their world, bursts of colour and bright neon signs simulating what I can only describe as comic book iconography. The animation itself is charming, much like Spiderverse, it’s experimental and a mix-up from the Disney/Pixar look we, as an audience, have come to see as normal.
The voice cast is mostly perfect; however, I did struggle to adjust to the youngest family member, Aaron. Though he is meant to be the youngest member of the Mitchelles, he’s given quite a deep voice which I often found off-putting. The writing in this movie is funny, there are only a small handful of times where I ‘cringed’ at outdated memes, but a large majority of this movie gets it’s laughs from the character interactions. Which isn’t a surprise when Gravity Falls creator, Alex Hirsh, is on the writing staff.
Without a doubt my favourite characters in this movie were the two defective PAL robots, Eric and Deborahbot 5000. These two practically stole the show for me, their witty banter and carefree attitude in an apocalypse had me rolling. I can happily say they hold my favourite quote in the entire movie, “Yum, yum, good.” which I will now continually say when I’m done eating.
My least favourite character would have to be the mother, voiced by Maya Rudolph. The only times her character seemed to shine was at the very end of the movie when she turned ‘savage’ to protect her son, the sudden change of character came from nowhere and really juxtaposed her attitudes earlier in the film. The ending for her anxieties with the neighbours also seemed lacklustre, instead of teaching a moral lesson that not all families are perfect, they instead reduce the sentiment to a quick throwaway joke about an Instagram follow.
All in all, The Mitchelles Vs the Machines was a movie worth watching. It’s no Spiderverse, but it doesn’t need to be, the movie had its own thing going on and that’s perfectly fine. If you go into the movie expecting it to be at the same level as Into the Spiderverse, then you’re going to be disappointed. The movie is fun and funny and that’s all it needs to be, it shows relatable family issues and throws in a robo-apocalypse just for fun.
I’d give it 3 pugs out of 5.