9/10 The film that should absolutely win Best Animated Feature in the upcoming Academy Awards (although in fairness I have yet to see/review Pixar’s “Luca”), “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” is a brilliant animated masterpiece and excluding Pixar, probably the best animated film since “Zootopia”. Many animated films are beloved by kids, who aren’t judging the films they watch, but a chore to get through for adults. Every once in a while, you get a film like this that has something to offer to children and their parents alike. From producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who saw great acclaim with their “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” films, multiple “Lego” films and the Oscar winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”, they put out their best animated work of their careers here in an already successful career of multiple hits. The visual style from directors Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe is fantastic with multiple forms of animation being utilized as well as some live action moments as seen in YouTube videos. There is always something visually stimulating happening and when combined with the perfect score and amazing soundtrack, this film is a visual and audible feast for the senses. None of it would matter without a story that connects and funny characters and this film delivers both in spades. The story of a tech/robot uprising (think “The Terminator” but PG), the film has colorful, hilarious characters in the Mitchell family, realistic and relatable struggles (comparing yourself to others on social media, family bonding struggles, growing apart from loved ones) and strong moral messaging about the importance of family and how we may not always understand a loved one’s goals or dreams but supporting them in what they are passionate about either way. The film has heart, humor and strong social commentary about the evils of big tech and data harvesting. The voice cast is nearly perfect with big names like Danny McBride, Olivia Colman, Maya Rudolph, etc. all bringing their A game. The action is fast paced, well choreographed and always entertaining. The only minor complaints I had was one PC/woke moment that took place at the beginning of the ending credits which was completely unnecessary and while the film utilizes multiple forms of animation in brilliant ways, the main 3D animation from Sony Pictures Animation is still not on the Pixar level. Finally, casting Chrissy Teigen in the film feels gross considering all of her real life controversy with Tweets about pedophilia and her encouraging a young girl to kill herself online. Like Kevin Spacey, she shouldn’t be put in any films so her inclusion here feels wrong. Minor complaints aside, the terrific script with some solid puns, strong voice cast, brilliant use of multiple forms of animation, quick pacing, a killer soundtrack, smart social commentary and just absolute fun makes “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” not just the best animated film of 2021 but one of the best films of 2021…period.

#GalPal / #BreakTechSpeeds / #RonsGoneRight / #CodeTrip / #InherentDevice / #TeenageAgainstTheMachine

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