By Paul Hall
We all knew it was coming. You know, with all that has been going on in the world, we knew the day was coming — the beginning of the machine apocalypse. Fortunately for us, we have the best of the best ready to take on the machines and save the world. Well, at least the best who are left and haven’t been sucked into the trap baited with free Wi-Fi. The Mitchell family is ready to save the world in The Mitchells vs. the Machines.
Katie Mitchell (voice of Abbi Jacobson) has never quite fit in. Thanks to movies, she found an outlet to be accepted. That acceptance leads her to film school. As a last-ditch attempt to hold onto his daughter, her father Rick Mitchell (Danny McBride) decides to take the family across the country to drop his little girl at school.
Dad Rick and mom Linda (Maya Rudolph) pile in the car with Katie, her brother Aaron (Mike Rianda) and the family dog Monchi to drive Katie to film school in California as one last family bonding moment. Unfortunately, the journey doesn’t get far as the machines are ready to take over the world. But where did they come from? And the better question is, can they be stopped?
Technology has provided society with so many advancements through the years that it is easy to forget that people are so much more important than machines. When the reliance on our devices overcomes the individuals behind them, we can be tricked into giving up the power that lies within, and when the desire for Wi-Fi drops our sensibilities, the whole world is vulnerable to attack.
Rianda and Jeff Rowe put together a film that is emotional yet funny and action-packed, and create a unit that feels like anyone’s family. Therein lies the real connection for the film as it provides a look into our own families. Sure, Rick might be more like your mom, or Aaron may be more like your sister, but the family characteristics resonate.
Vibrant colors and varying animation styles help keep every moment lively and fun and, lest I forget, the voice casting is brilliant. From McBride and Rudolph as the quirky parents to Jacobson and Rianda as the kids, the cast brings the Mitchell family to life. Add in some amazing supporting voices including Olivia Colman, who is marvelous in her role as Pal, along with Eric André, Fred Armisen, Beck Bennett, Chrissy Teigen, John Legend, Charlyne Yi, Blake Griffin, Conan O’Brien and so many more, and you have a film bursting with talent.
Family never leaves each other behind and we can learn new things, even the most technologically challenged among us. When we appreciate our differences and try to unite behind each other, the family is a truly amazing thing.
I would road trip with the Mitchell family any day of the week. They are my people and my people are my foundation. The Mitchells rock.
Paul’s Grade: A-
The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Voices of: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Mike Rianda, Eric André, Olivia Colman
Directors: Mike Rianda, Jeff Rowe