The Mitchells vs. The Machines

The Mitchells vs. The Machines ★★★★

The Mitchells vs. The Machines is an ode to the odd ones, as a dysfunctional family of four learns to embrace their weirdness to save humanity from a tech apocalypse. The Mitchells’ world bursts with chaos and color, and animation knows no limits here. It bends, melts, explodes and weaves in YouTube references with one sole goal: to express. The peculiarities of the Mitchells turn to strengths not only for them, but for the film itself as well. Though all the familiar beats of a family road movie are there, The Mitchells isn’t concerned with fitting inside a box, taking its premise to new heights with every turn.

The story’s anchor in believability is the generational rift between Katie, a passionate tech-savvy film student, and her father who can’t so much as press “enter” without breaking a sweat. Technology has transformed their relationship into an impersonal link and they struggle to find each other again. In spite of that (and of the robots taking over), The Mitchells doesn’t completely condemn technology. For all of its downsides, technology is also a means of connecting with others across the world, of sharing joy, and indeed, of finding lost memories. It can be the world’s undoing as well as its savior, and it all depends on how it is used.

With an under-the-radar release, The Mitchells vs. The Machines seems to have been thought of as more random content to fill Netflix’s catalogue, but it doesn’t deserve that fate. It’s pure joy and wonder made tangible through animation, and deserves to be experienced and savored in all of its exhilarating glory.

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