A perfect representation of our generation.
We’re all addicts for technology. Mitchells vs The Machines is the perfect representation of our generation that has grown up on technology.
Growing up in the generation that saw the rise of companies like Google, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon and much more, it was about time we saw a film that commented about the possible moral issues these companies cause in a comedic manner.
The Mitchells vs The Machines was originally called “Connected” and was slated to be released in 2020. Sadly, due to COVID, the film had its cinematic release date delayed several times before finally landing on Netflix.
Directed by Mike Rianda, the movie is about a dysfunctional family trying to survive an Artificial Intelligence uprising.
When you glance at the producer credits, you’ll also see two very familiar names in Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. The brains behind The Lego Movies and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse have another wonderful film in their hands.
The film is about Katie Mitchell, an aspiring teenager who’s preparing to go to Film School. She bonds with her brother’s affinity for dinosaurs and tolerates her mom’s attempts to fit with her. Sadly, Katie doesn’t have the best relationship with her dad. Rick Mitchell loves his daughter but fails to relate with her.
On the day before her flight to college, Rick decides to cancel Katie’s ticket to college and forces the family on a road trip. Rick’s plan to bond with Katie fails as she simply wants to go to college and “find her own people.”
We see signs of Katie and Rick’s relationship being repaired during the trip, but an A.I. uprising changes everything and the Mitchells now have to save the world.
The plot is simple. You don’t need to have every apocalyptic sci-fi movie be dark and brooding all the time.
Majority of the cast has experience in improv. Katie Mitchell is played by Abbi Jacobson of Broad City fame. SNL veteran Maya Rudolph plays Katie’s mom, Linda. Danny McBride plays Rick Mitchell, the father and Director Mike Rianda plays her brother, Aaron.
Maya Rudolph is probably the best actor of the bunch. Sometimes I forgot that she was still playing Linda and I was just watching Linda Mitchell the character. Abbi Jacobson is wonderful as Katie and succeeds in representing the frustrated teenager inside all of us.
I found Mike Rianda playing the role of Arron hilarious just because he’s a kid with a grown man’s voice. It’s too funny and I just take it for what it is and suspend my disbelief.
Other movies have celebrity cameos, but the Mitchells finds a way to integrate them without feeling forced. Case in point, Spongebob 3’s litany of cameos that contributed nothing to the movie.
The Mitchells’ celebrity cameos integrates the actors’ so well into their roles you forget all about the personality. You would not believe that Blake Griffin and Conan O’Brien were in this movie without looking on IMDB.
Overall, the voice work was perfect for the film.
I must admit that I did not have much expectations over the film’s animation. What I was not expecting was how good the team blended different mediums together ala Cartoon Network’s Chowder.
The movie using mixed mediums such as live action photos blended with 3D Animation and 2D Animation was so good.
Mixing mediums was a great idea to visualize Katie’s ideas that a typical 3D animation would simply not be able to do. I have zero technical experience when it comes to animation so all I can say is, you have to watch the movie to fully appreciate the work the animators did in the film.
I was surprised to hear so much indie music. My familiarity with the genre is quite limited so I took the songs for what they were. The style of music matches Katie’s personality so well.
One of the reasons I think the movie works so well is the fact that the music just blends in like another piece to the giant puzzles that is The Mitchells.
Dare I say, this movie is nearly perfect.
The Final Say
The Mitchells vs The Machines might just be in contention for an early Movie of The Year. From the perfect casting to the mixed mediums and wonderful soundtrack there really isn’t much to complain about.
The only issue, if you can even call it that, was how the movie was a blend of TRON, Terminator and every other post-apocalyptic film. And I will honestly say that it’s nothing to complain about.
Watch The Mitchells because it might just be one of the best movies this year.
The Mitchells vs The Machines is NOW STREAMING on Netflix.
Steven Maxwell Tan
Steven is an e-commerce employee by day and blogger/podcaster by night. He’s a huge fan of Linkin Park and the Anaheim Ducks Hockey Team. You can find more of his hockey love on Twitter: @steviesaidyup