“The Mitchells vs. the Machines” is a breath of fresh air

Daniel Longenecker, Staff Writer

The Mitchells vs. the Machines, an animated movie directed by Mike Rianda, takes a deep dive into modern issues surrounding technology in the home. This Netflix exclusive certainly made a splash as one of Sony Pictures Animation’s first films of the 2020s.

In the beginning of the movie, the quirky Mitchell family decide to embark on a last minute road trip across the country before their daughter begins her first year at college. Unfortunately, their journey is suddenly cut short when the world’s electronics come to life in an uprising against humanity. With the help of two malfunctioning robots, the Mitchells come together as a family to find a way to prevent the machines from destroying humanity.

The animators embraced a style that mimics the sketches and doodles from a teenager’s notebook. It’s clear that a great deal of effort went into the cartoony animations of the characters and backgrounds. However, the chaotic and fast paced visuals of this movie definitely are not suited for photosensitive viewers. 

The fun and colorful movie captures the division technology can cause within the average family. In doing so, it highlights the importance of disconnecting from the internet and spending time with family and friends.

On the other hand, the movie outlines some of the ways technology can be beneficial in creating and maintaining relationships. Katie Mitchell uses the internet to find like minded people as she pursues her goals as an artist, however, she continues to stay in touch with her family while studying in college. In the end, the Mitchell family is able to reach common ground to find what works for them.

The writers of this movie took the opportunity to take a jab at the influence of big technology companies in our everyday lives. They go as far as to point out issues surrounding data security on the internet. As one character puts it, “It’s almost like stealing people’s data and giving it to a hyper-intelligent AI as part of an unregulated tech monopoly was a bad thing.”

Overall, The Mitchells vs. the Machines is a great family movie that promotes discussions about the role of technology in our lives. It’s packed full of Easter eggs and references that make it an enjoyable experience. Ultimately, all of these things come together to create a movie that can be enjoyed by a wide range of ages.