The Mitchells vs. The Machines

The Mitchells vs. The Machines ★★★½

“The Mitchells vs. The Machines” is a party popper of a film bursting with the confetti of passion and creation. 

Directors Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe have conjured up a vibrant work that uses an abundance of imaginative animation to convey the immense inner lives of its characters. Through hand-drawn hearts and scribble-sketch dinosaurs, the pair take viewers where a live action camera simply cannot ever dare to go: the soul. 

The immensity of innovation on display makes “Mitchells” the most major contribution to the innovation of film animation since “Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse.” 

Beyond the typical flimsy justification of targeting a family audience, there is an essentialness to why “Mitchells” exists in its own format. It conveys a narrative and tone that simply must be rendered as a cartoon. 

There is a feeling in watching “Mitchells,” which follows a family road trip turned apocalyptic, that its narrator - an aspiring film student - dreams in the medium through which she exists. Animation. 

And so, in “Mitchells,” we aren’t just watching her story, but living inside of her hopes, imagination, and her endlessly vivacious spirit.

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