‘You don’t have to be ‘an incredible’ to save the world’. The tagline of the animated film The Mitchells and the Machines, proves it. It is one of those animated films where the relatability factor makes viewing easy, as you find out that the craziness in your family isn’t limited to your siblings and parents, but there are others like that as well. Also, you get to know that being together is a superpower most of us underestimate when we should be using it!

The Mitchells and the Machines, revolves around a family that is weird like most families. The protagonist of the film, Katie, is an aspiring filmmaker, who does not get along well with her father, like most teenagers, and claims she hasn’t been able to figure out herself yet. Her younger brother, Aaron, is also weird in a gigantic way since he is crazy about dinosaurs. Their dad, Rick, loves nature and wants his children to do the same, while their mother Linda, is mostly seen acting as a referee during clashes between the daughter and the father. Their pet dog, Monchi, is cross-eyed and is voiced by the famous ‘Doug the Pug’, who is a real dog from Tennesse, with over 13 million followers on social media.

Katie’s father plans a surprise road trip and here is when the trouble begins. The antagonist of the film is PAL, an artificial intelligence system, that initiates a robot apocalypse after being labelled obsolete by its creator. With the existence of humans in danger and the threat of doomsday looming, the family which could not maintain eye contact for ten seconds before their meal suddenly becomes the only hope for humanity. Dubbed as the worst family of all time, the disjointed five-some join hands to battle the robots with their wit, humour and age-old tactics.

The first hour of the film is a bit of a drag, but that is essential for the character building of the cast. The way the Mitchells envy their neighbours is as natural as it gets, while Aaron gets hysterical when he comes to know that his crush is also a dinosaur lover. Released by Sony Pictures Animation, this film is directed by Michael Rianda who has done a fabulous job in his directorial debut. With the voices of Maya Rudolph, Olivia Colman, Abbi Jackson and Danny McBride to aid him in his quest, he comes up with this coming-of-age film that makes fun of Pixar’s The Incredibles, where a family of five supers ‘save the world’.

Furthermore, he takes the viewers through a fun-filled animation journey which shows how the broken bond between a father and a daughter can be mended. In an age of smartphones, the film is a true representation of family values and is a direct message to children, who should revive their relationship with their parents. They may not be tech-savvy like them, but can defeat machines, in case they attack.

Published in Dawn, Young World, September 18th, 2021

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