To be completely honest, I almost didn’t watch this. Because I enjoy procrastinating, it took me nearly a week since its release to actually sit down and watch it. But having finally done so, I regret nothing. The Mitchells vs the Machines is everything I could ever hope for in an animated film and it’s quite possibly the best animated movie I’ve ever seen from Netflix.
The Mitchells vs the Machines is about a very dysfunctional family that don’t exactly fit the idea of “normal”. Katie Mitchell dreams of going to California for film school whereas her father, Rick, doesn’t agree with her choice of career path. After accidentally breaking her laptop, he decides to take the family on a road trip to California where mysterious lights begin to fall from the sky. Turns out they’re actually robots being ordered to capture all humans by a rogue AI from a tech company called PAL Labs. The Mitchells find themselves as the last free humans on earth and using their weird family dynamic, attempt to free the earth from the robot apocalypse.
First of all, I want to mention the animation style is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It almost reminds me of The Walking Dead games, especially the art style of the background but yet at the same time, not exactly. It’s difficult to describe but it’s very unique and beautiful. It’s colorful, grabs the viewer’s attention and keep them entranced throughout the whole movie. The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of were the flashing lights, which viewers are warned about at the beginning of the film. I closed my eyes for those scenes but other than that, it’s a beautifully styled movie.
Many viewers will probably relate to the dysfunctional family aspect of the film. Because it’s aimed for teens and young adults, people will definitely resonate with Katie who just wants to live her own life and feel heard by others who share the same interests as her. At it’s core, this movie is about acceptance and change. Acceptance for the choices we make and accepting the changes that go along with them. Rick struggles with the idea that his oldest is growing up and finding her own voice. Throughout the movie, we see both perspectives of Katie and Rick and how they feel about each other. They struggle to meet each other halfway and find a happy medium, which is a concept I’m sure many families can relate to. The film also showcases how dependent we are on technology and how addicting it can actually be. At the beginning of the movie, Rick tries to get his family to sit down at the kitchen table and attempt to make eye contact without looking at their phones or laptops. His wife and kids visibly grapple with the idea of putting down their tech for five minutes and eventually lose the battle to the technology. Because we live in such a tech heavy society, we rarely ever get to just sit down and talk to the people around us anymore. It was really nice to see the Mitchells slowly ease into the idea of talking to each other and opening up instead of being glued to their phones throughout the course of the movie.
I’m always praising soundtracks to films, and this one is no different. Every track on the movie is fire. Artists contributing to this slapping soundtrack include Madeon, Talking Heads, Prty H3ro, amongst many others. Some of the original tracks even give off Stranger Things vibes because of the 80’s synth which I thought was really cool. Upon further research, I came to find out that Steve Aoki’s remix of BTS’ song “Mic Drop” was featured in the trailer for the movie. As a huge fan of BTS, I felt like a proud parent watching their boys get more praise for their talents.
The Mitchells vs the Machines is a fantastic family film. Personally I can’t find a single flaw in it other than the flashing lights but that’s besides the fact. It’s a fun movie for the whole family to sit and and enjoy and I recommend it for anyone who loves the weird and wacky.
You can stream The Mitchells vs the Machines on Netflix now. Watch the trailer below for a better idea of how amazing this movie is.