Addams Family Values (1993)

addams family values poster 1993 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Camp Chippewa

Fester storyline and baby

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Addams Family Values

Studio:  Paramount Pictures

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  November 19, 1993

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

addams-family-values-1993-baby-pubert-review-comedy

Babies are always funny…right?

The Addams Family is back and welcoming its newest member in baby Pubert.  When a black widow killer named Debbie Jellinsky (Joan Cusack) sets her eyes on Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd), she must first get through his family.  Posing as a nanny, Debbie infiltrates the Addams Family…but when Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) proves to be a threat to her plan, they are sent to the sunny Camp Chippewa where they face horrors of their own.

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, Addams Family Values is the follow-up to The Addams Family of 1991 which was based on the cartoons of Charles Addams and the 1964 TV series.  The movie received relatively positive reviews and an Oscar nomination for Best Art Direction-Set Direction.  However, it also won a Razzie for Worst Original Song (“Whoomp!”).

The first Addams Family film was a bit of chore.  I wanted to like it more, but something about it left me rather empty (kind of like the TV series).  The second Addams Family movie recognized what was strong about the first film and improved upon it…slightly.

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Don’t talk to me about how we’re being upstaged by a bunch of kids!

The movie is very unbalanced.  The first film jettisoned Christina Ricci to fame as Wednesday and this movie expanded Wednesday and Pugsley’s role as a result…and their part is golden!  The whole Camp Chippewa could have been a film in itself.  Unfortunately, viewers were saddled with the dull Fester/Debbie storyline which is actually the plot of the movie along with the baby.  It just isn’t as fun.

Although Raúl Juliá and Anjelica Huston are perfectly as Morticia and Gomez, they continue to be overshadowed by Christina Ricci and to a lesser extent Jimmy Workman as Wednesday’s “straight man”.  Joan Cusack was a good choice for Debbie but I just don’t care about her role and I still find Christopher Lloyd’s Fester a bit of a bore.  Peter MacNicol and Christine Baranski are good as the over the top counselors.  Judith Malina was replaced as Grandmama Addams by Carol Kane.  The movie has a number of cameos including Peter Graves, Tony Shalhoub, Ian Abercrombie, Sam McMurray, David Hyde Pierce, Nathan Lane, Tony Shalhoub, and Cynthia Nixon.

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Between this and The Ice Storm, Christina Ricci is really into Thanksgiving…

I like how both Addams Family movies look, but this one benefits from the fun contrast of the sunny Camp Chippewa with the dreary Wednesday and Pugsley in their monochrome costumes.  The Addams’ house doesn’t play as big of a role in this film, but the set is still impressive.

I enjoy Addams Family Values more than The Addams Family, but both movies leave you wanting slightly more.   The movie’s moderate success did not lend itself to another sequel.  The Addams Family did return in the unrelated Addams Family Reunion on FOX Family which was meant to start a new series called The New Addams Family.

Related Links:

The Addams Family (1991)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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