The Mitchells vs. The Machines

The Mitchells vs. The Machines ★★★★

One could argue that this easily could’ve been 90 minutes long if they cut all the cringeworthy internet jokes out of the script, but by doing that they’d be stripping away so much of the authenticity this film bears, because that sincere, unapologetic cringe-worthiness is what really makes this work as a quintessential Gen Z film. They’d also be replacing the 114 minute grin on my face with an inferior 90 minute one. 

I think this might be the best studio-animated film since Into the Spiderverse? I dunno, the character writing is exceptional, the animation is brilliant, the exuberant voice cast should not be understated, the film even has some deeper themes, actual subtext and not just the simplistic relationship drama it is on the surface (although that too is wonderful). Yeah, it’s got to be the best since 2018, or at least I can’t think of another one that’s given me this much joy in the last three years.

But the thing is, I cried. Not during the film, twenty minutes after it. I realized years ago that the idealistic dream of having the perfect family around me was ridiculous, but part of me has always wondered if even having a misfit family at odds with each other, still being able to pull through and support one another, was possible. It never happened for me, I never had that family. I didn’t expect perfection but I hoped for something better, I always did. I wish I had a family that stayed together, even if we never meshed together in the first place. Even if it’s not intentional, this movie deepens that hurt inside me, and I dunno how to fix it.

PS: Oh and this movie’s LGBTQ+ representation is an example I’d like studio-animated films to learn from, its genuinely comforting.

PPS: From what I can tell this film’s creative team is actually pretty inexperienced. Not that these people have had no work before, it’s just that it’s rare so many of them were chosen to make this very special film. The gamble payed off, and this goes to show what a couple great producers can bring to a promising creative team.

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