Mitchell's vs the Machines: The perfect family movie?


Netflix has been under a bit of pressure as new and old companies have started entering the streaming game. Mostly, the old companies have been just bringing over old IP and pulling their assets from Netflix, so Netflix has been forced to start creating, funding and distributing their own original shows. It can be a bit of a hit and miss effort with some quality titles lie the Witcher lying in the mess of forgettable and cancelled series.

The Mitchells vs the Machines is a 2021 release from Columbia/Sony Pictures (yes, that old production house!) and distributed on the Netflix platform. Evidently Sony is playing the long game as they don't have their own distribution platform that can stand against Disney/Netflix/Amazon and so they are betting on the newcomer to help against their old rivals.

I'm sure that many families with young children are always on the lookout for a movie that will satisfy every taste... from the adults to the children, and catering for the different tastes of different aged children. We have two daughters that are 4 and 9, so the hunt for movies that can fill movie night that will appeal to both (or at least not terrify the young one...) is quite an involved chore. Thankfully, the older one still has a preference for cartoons and so animated movies are still a good choice! An added bonus for me, as I LOVE animated films!

We've seen some pretty terrible animated films on the Netflix platform recently... mostly being cheap Disney/Pixar wannabes that have little in the way of comparable grasp of storytelling, humour and music. Mostly, they have been a hit with the kids, but terribly excruciating to sit through as an adult. So, my hopes for The Mitchell's vs the Machines was pretty damn low!

I was WRONG!

The Mitchell's vs the Machines is the coming of age story of a girl leaving her home to go to University, where she feels like she will be finally "with her people" after being accepted into film school. A place where the other students will appreciate her quirkiness and sense of humour in her YouTube videos.

As a family bonding event, the father organises a road trip to get her there... along with her mother and her dinosaur obsessed little brother. Things start off well enough... given that the road trip was organised as an apology for a father-daughter falling out the night before. That is, until the robot apocalypse enslaves humanity and the odd-socks family is the only force on Earth that can rescue humankind!

There is something about the oddball family and the genuinely relatable characters that create incredibly touching moments that reflect upon growing up and family. Perhaps it is the situation that we are in, that we are in the midst of plans for big uproot, and that our daughters will start getting to that stage when they don't feel the need to hug their father every morning!

This was a movie that all of us really got into, the humour, the pacing and everything... it all just keeps you smiling stupidly all the way through form beginning to end! In fact, just writing this review brings a a wide grin to my face already!

The robots weren't so scary that they turned our little one off the movie, in fact, they were more cartoony over the top kitsch evil... so, they were more funny than scary!

I have no doubt that the girls will be asking for this movie a few more times over the coming weeks.... that is the downside of finding that perfect family movie.... you do end up watching it until everyone knows all the lines and scenes inside out! Somehow, that doesn't bother the kids... but it drives the parents nuts!

... at the very least, we will have moved on from "We can be Heroes"... which I actually never really liked! Shhhhh....

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