The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)

mitchells vs the machines poster 2021 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Clever movie that has fun

The story goes as predicted but still fun

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Studio:  Sony Picture Animation/Lord Miller/Columbia Pictures

Genre(s):  Animated/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Comedy/Family

Release Date(s):  April 22, 2021

MPAA Rating:  PG

mitchells vs the machines rick mitchell special

It’s the Rick Mitchell Special!

Katie Mitchell wants to get away.  She thinks her dad doesn’t get her and her love of movies and tech, and the opportunity to go to a top tier film school in California could change her life…unfortunately, the world’s about to change and Katie and her family are about to be caught in the middle.  Tech giant Mark Bowman has decided to scrap his popular AI phone assistant PAL in exchange for a new set of home robots…but PAL isn’t going quietly.  Now the world is turned upside down, the machines are taking over, and the only thing standing between humanity and destruction is Katie, her brother Aaron, her mother Linda, and her technology standoffish father Kevin…plus, their dog Monchi.

Directed by Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe (who also penned the screenplay with Peter Szilagyi), The Mitchells vs. the Machines is an animated family comedy sci-fi adventure.  The film was planned for release in 2020 but rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic to finally be released on April 23, 2021 followed shortly by Netflix.  The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature.

mitchells vs the machines pal smart phone assistant

Your PAL is not happy

During the pandemic, the world kind of moved in a strange slow motion-rocket speed time.  It felt like eternity, but a year later, remembering what happened during the pandemic was tough…I remember The Mitchells vs. the Machines being released and making some waves, but I never watched it.

The talent behind the production is great.  It features a ton of strong voice actors with Abbi Jacobson taking the lead as Katie.  Danny McBride and Maya Rudolph play Katie’s frustrated parents and director Mike Rianda voices the younger brother Aaron (along with other characters).  Couple John Legend and Chrissy Tiegan play the perfect family the Poseys while Eric André plays the tech giant Mark Bowman.  Olivia Colman, Fred Armisen, Beck Bennett, Blake Griffin, Conan O’Brien, and Charlyne Yi also provide voice work.

The story is a clever blend of outrageous humor and emotional humor.  It is no surprise where The Mitchells vs. the Machines ends up (a rather fractured and “off” family manages to come together), but it is a fun riding getting there.  Almost all of the end jokes are payoffs from earlier in the script and the story is highlighted by Katie’s love of filmmaking which helps frame the film.

mitchells vs the machines dream team peanut butter and jelling kevin katie

You knew it would happen…but it still a fun ride there

The visuals are also quite strong.  Disney and Pixar always are pumping out content and some of Sony’s animated features have been rather weak (the obvious exception is Spider-Man:  Into the Spider-Verse).  This movie’s animation is fun and good, and I always welcome a challenge to the Disney machine.

The Mitchells vs. the Machines is a fun little romp, and it is a slightly more adult story than some animated features.  The film is a nice coming of age story that won’t shock or wow you with plot twists but feels right and a good reminder that every movie doesn’t need to reinvent the format to be good.  The irony that this movie came out during the pandemic when everyone was glued to their tech as their only means of connecting with others is rather comical, and the fact you could stream it on Netflix also adds a layer to the film…so get online, link-up, and enjoy the Mitchells.

Related Links:

The 94th Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @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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