The Mitchells vs. The Machines

The Mitchells vs. The Machines ★★★★

Firstly, thank god the title was changed from “Connected”. I’m sick of generic one-word film titles that somehow convey meaning behind each word. Shut up and be original ffs. 

That being said, I’m so happy The Mitchells vs. The Machines turned out as good as it could’ve been. I remember seeing the trailer for this back in early 2020 and being excited over the intriguing artstyle and Phil Lord and Chris Miller being a part of this project. At this point, I’ve gained full trust within these two. They are clearly incapable of making anything bad and are some of my favourite modern comedy writers.

It opens up with an aspiring filmmaker going off to university, only for her trip to be turned into a family road trip in an attempt to repair the broken relationship between the father and daughter, and then somehow becomes a war against robots and tries to convey a message about technology? I was skeptical going in because the plot seemed all over the place, and it felt like it was going to end with a “technology bad, family good” message which has been done to death outside of movies. But it quickly picks itself up, leaps over these tropes and establishes what kind of film it wants to be and sticks with it until the end. 

The artstyle was refreshingly original and super creative throughout. The fusion of 3D animation with 2D special effects and filters, while overkill at a few points, kept me smiling for the duration of the film. But if there’s one thing this film nailed the most, it’s the family aspect. The interactions between the siblings were extremely accurate as to how me and my brothers act, and the family relationship is too real at times; from the awkward situations to the dad jokes, the writing is well-written and the voice actors all fit their characters super well and give a great voice performance. They also gave the mother and son character so much more personality and wit then the trailer made her out to be, which was a pleasant surprise. 

Overall, one of the best films of 2021 so far. Simple as that, had a blast watching this. Where was all this creative energy from Sony Animation pre-Spiderverse? 

Also, let’s be thankful that this is one of the first animated films I’ve seen that has a queer protagonist and handles representation in a mature way. It doesn’t feel forced at all, it’s not treated as a personality trait and it doesn't distract from the story. Huge respect for Sony.

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