Thursday, April 22, 2021


mitchells vs the machines

Trying to repair a father-daughter relationship that has been damaged by teenage angst, Rick Mitchell has his whole family embark on a cross-country roadtrip to drop her off at college in what could possibly be their last trip together. Rick hopes to bond with Katie by teaching her how to drive a stick shift car, visiting roadside attractions and engaging in sing-alongs to their favorite tunes. How was he to know their family time together would be interrupted by a robot apocalypse ... now it is up to the Mitchell family to save the world from these machines!

I had the chance to view an advance screening of THE MITCHELLS VS THE MACHINES prior to its official release date with my twelve year old son. He laughed throughout the movie at the hijinks of the Mitchell family and their funny pug Monchi as they tackle the threat to eliminate humanity from the planet created by tech that has come to life. This school has a middle school vibe that makes it perfect for all ages of a family to enjoy this flick together for a fun movie night.

While enjoying the humor of the movie, I also appreciated the relationship dynamic between Rick and Katie that is at the center of the film's plot. I've been finding myself facing similar circumstances with my own daughter as she grows up and felt a kinship with the dad in this movie. This is a movie that a lot of dads will be able to relate to and enjoy.

As I watched the movie it seemed to me this was the first original movie we've streamed at home since the pandemic that really had a theatrical quality feel to the experience of viewing it. Turns out that THE MITCHELLS VS THE MACHINES was originally slated to be released by Sony Pictures Animation (the movie studio that produced Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Hotel Transylvania) last summer but due to COVID-19 theater shutdowns instead is debuting THE MITCHELLS VS THE MACHINES through Netflix. 

THE MITCHELLS VS THE MACHINES, scripted and directed by Michael Rianda (who also voices the little brother in the film) is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America [MPAA]. The animated comedy features the vocal talents of a cast that includes Danny McBride (Rick Mitchell), Abbi Jacobson (Katie Mitchell), Maya Rudolph (Linda Mitchell), and Beck Bennett as the robots. Netflix subscribers can begin streaming THE MITCHELLS VS THE MACHINES on April 30, 2021.

mitchells vs machines

In addition to providing an advance showing of the movie, it is appreciated that Netflix invited to participate in the film's press junket. This dad blogger was able to get some behind the scenes details about making the film plus learn more about some of the cast and crew including Michael Rianda, Beck Bennett, Maya Rudolph and Abbi Jacobson. Rianda discussed how some of the scenes from the movie were based on his own childhood, Bennett addressed improvising on the set, Rudolph addressed the role her character as the mom played in the father-daughter centric plot, and Jacobson reflected on how she personally could relate to both Katie and Rick in interview sessions with me. It was a really interesting experience to have some one-on-one time getting to know the faces behind the animations.

Check out the video of my THE MITCHELLS VS THE MACHINES Press Junket interviews:

As well as addressing a fairly common family conflict of parents wanting to hold onto their children's youth and those kids wanting to grow up as quickly as they can that many viewers young and old alike can probably relate to, I know I can, THE MITCHELLS VS THE MACHINES delves into the concept of as much as technology connects people it also disconnects relationships. It is full of laughs but also brings up some complex societal issues through sarcasm and physical comedy portrayed in a cartoonish manner to get people thinking about these topics without putting a damper on their enjoyment of this family-friendly comedy.

THE MITCHELLS VS THE MACHINES earns a Geek Daddy nod of approval because it was a thoroughly enjoyable movie to watch from end to end. When it comes down to it movies are supposed to be providing a good time and my middle school aged son and I both really liked this film for just that reason. It had an interesting sci fi premise, featured great humorous moments, and had characters that we became invested in hoping for a happy ending. It actually is one of the best animated films I've seen in awhile and it is very much worth spending a family movie night watching it. 

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