The Mitchells vs. The Machines

The Mitchells vs. The Machines ★★★½

It seems apparent to me that when looking back on animation, there will always be a clear distinction to a time before Spiderverse, and after.

Fusing the personability and warmth of the human touch that is so palpable in hand-drawn animation with the hyperactivity and explosive colorization of 3D animation, the film finds the best possible balance between the two styles and settles itself comfortably and exuberantly within the creative freedom of the medium. The imagery is brimming with imagination and teeming with energy, more concerned with being expressive than "realistic." And it doesn't just fuse animation styles on the surface level, it is very fundamentally a balance - with the plot of a high-strung dysfunctional family, it is able to produce emotion from its very hyperactivity and vice versa.

But what it does most adeptly is in how it addresses technology. What begins seeming like yet another warning of the dangers of smartphones continually subverts this notion throughout. Technology is not all good, but it's not all bad either - and it's certainly not something with a mind of its own. It's up to each individual to use the devices at their disposal responsibly, and define for themselves whether it affects their lives positively or negatively. Technology exists to help us live our lives, and we get to decide how we use it: as an aid, or as a distraction.

I never fit in, for lots of reasons. But movies were always there for me.

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