The Mitchells vs The Machines follows Katie (Abbi Jacobson) as she prepares to go to college. She butts heads a lot with her father, Rick (Danny McBride). Rick decides to go on a family road trip in attempt to bond with Katie again before she goes to school. However, a robot uprising breaks out in the middle of their road trip.
I was surprised at how much I related to this movie. Katie loves to make short films and gets into her dream college in California. She cannot wait to get away from her family, specifically her father, who she feels is suffocating. While I am not nearly as creative as Katie, I remember when I got accepted into college in California to major in film, I honestly couldn’t wait to leave. But when I actually was at college in California, I really struggled being away from my family.
The Mitchell family is compromised of a bunch of weirdos. Katie loves movies, her little brother loves dinosaurs, her mom loves the family next door, Rick loves the outdoors, not to mention their dog (an utter scene-stealer by the way) is not normal in the slightest. They are all considered outsiders and aren’t exactly popular. So the fact that saving humanity is up to them does not inspire much confidence, but they make memorable characters and manage to pull it off.
All the voice cast is great, but Olivia Colman is just brilliant as the AI who started this uprising. Eric Andre voices a Mark Zuckerberg type developer who inadvertently started this apocalypse. Other comedians like Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, and Abbi Jacobson make up the Mitchell family.
The animation here is so colorful, innovative, and just impressive. Usually Disney/Pixar are talked about in terms of their detailed animation, but those films feel the same animation wise. It is just so refreshing to see another different type of animation being used in a studio film. While most of the film is in normal 3D animation, they combine some 2D elements and add filters which makes their scenes pop more.
The film is not totally against technology. Some adults might hope that this film underlines how kids today spend to much time online, but while it touches on that, technology is not really the villain of the movie. The way Katie uses technology for her films and the two defective robots that tag along with the Mitchells show that technology is not all bad and can be really helpful. The film takes more of a middle road with its stance on tech.
Overall, The Mitchells vs the Machines is a feat of animation. This film was done by Sony Animation and produced by Chris Miller and Phil Lord, who also produced Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse and directed Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. They are leading the way right now in terms of inventive and unique animation. This film has a lot of heart and a touching family story in the middle of it. The comedic beats and pop culture references are just an added bonus to the film.
I give The Mitchells vs the Machines an A-