The creative forces behind Gravity Falls and Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse prove they are a match made in heaven with this absolutely incredible movie. The Mitchells vs. the Machines is hilarious and heartwarming thanks to its insanely quotable script and wonderful message. The stellar animation and likeable characters will make you wish you could go on a road trip with this family. 

Creative outsider Katie MItchell has never felt like she belonged anywhere and movies were an escape and the source of her happiness. After Katie gets accepted into the film school of her dreams, she is dying to leave her family and head to university to join her people. Katie and her nature loving dad Rick Mitchell have never really seen eye to eye, so in a last attempt to bond with his daughter, he insists on having the whole family drive Katie to school. As if the trip couldn’t possibly get any worse, the Mitchells find themselves in the middle of the robopocalypse. With technology intent on capturing every human, it’s up to our unlikely heroes the Mitchells to step up and save the world. 

Characterization is key

My first impression of the Mitchell family and their unique quirks and characterizations reminded me a lot of the Parr family from Pixar’s The Incredibles. What I mean by that is that The Incredibles and all of my favourite animated films have memorable characters that you wish are real because you fall in love with them almost instantly and…the Mitchells have joined that exclusive group. 

The main character, Katie (Abbi Jacobson), is a huge cinephile with dreams of making her mark in the film industry (so do I !). Next, we have her little brother, Aaron (Michael Rianda), who is adorably obsessed with dinosaurs and is slowly coming around with his feelings for girls. Their mother, Linda (Maya Rudolph), puts all of her love into her family, her not so attractive baking, plus, she  has an unspoken and hilarious rivalry with the Posey family. The father, Rick (Danny McBride), is a true outdoorsman who understands modern technology as much as their adorable pug Monchi, who steals practically every scene that he’s in. Just like in The Incredibles, you’re immediately intrigued by this family and as the film goes on, you really get to know them and they really make you appreciate the humans and animals that you call family. 

Technology is evil, but also good. 

Usually, films involving technology hellbent on enslaving or destroying the human race paints it in a negative light. In The Mitchells vs The Machines, the main villain PAL (Olivia Coleman) is discarded after her creator replaces her with the latest operating system. This results in some absolutely hysterical moments that really hit close to home regarding how we treat our favourite devices, especially, our phones and our iPads. I laughed maniacally at these instances because it hits close to home and despite the doomsday scenario, they painted tech in a positive light by showing us just how important it is to stay connected, develop a deeper understanding and gain acceptance of our loved ones. 

A film for kids from 1 to 92. 

Disney/Pixar is the leader in making movies for all ages because they understand how to connect with everyone on some level and remind us that no matter how old we get, keeping your inner child alive is important. The Mitchells vs The Machines is a rare example outside of the House of Mouse that will be entertaining for absolutely anyone who gives it a chance. The jokes and themes presented are heartwarming and timeless, while having a modern mindset. It also somehow gets better rather than worse during the entire runtime. I was praying for the film not to end.I was having the time of my life and I felt my heart get squeezed a few times because I couldn’t help but think of my own family and appreciate them for exactly who they are. 

Animated features sometimes sacrifice their more sentimental scenes of a film with humour in order to appeal to their target demographic. The Mitchells vs The Machines thankfully doesn’t succumb to that pressure and gives each tender and emotional moment the chance to shine on its own and let its audience soak it in. Thanks to this, no themes are lost in the film and it makes you appreciate the downright hilarious and insanely quotable moments that I still remember even weeks later. 

Relatable for anyone of any age, hilarious all the way through, and heartfelt like so many of your favourite animated movies. The Mitchells vs The Machines is that wonderful dose of escapism that we all crave that doesn’t talk down to its audience and wears its themes and heart on its sleeve. This will be rewatched for years to come and along with Raya and the Last Dragon are the best films of 2021 so far.