The Mitchells vs. the Machines, the new animated feature film from Sony and Netflix, has received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. Serving as a family travel comedy as well as a sci-fi satire, the film is about the titular Mitchell family as they fight an armada of AI robots taking over the world and cutting everyone’s WiFi off.
Along with the familiar genre tropes, the film also uses a fun amalgamation of pop culture references and tech-addicted Gen-Z jabs. Moreover, this is another commendable credit in the filmography of director Michael Rianda who was otherwise known as the creator of Gravity falls.
ten Little Miss Sunshine (2006): Available on Amazon (Rental)
A modern classic, Little Miss Sun explores dysfunctional family themes in the context of a road trip. While it’s partly sane, the film also doesn’t shy away from being realistic and somber at times, exploring the deep insecurities of each character.
As a young girl (Abigail Breslin) goes to a beauty pageant with her struggling family, old wounds reopen and new bonds form. Tragicomic writing aside, the cast is also one of the best acting sets of recent years.
9 The Willoughbys (2020): available on Netflix
The Willoughby family is filled with creative and highly educated elites. However, the parents in this family are careless enough that their four children look down on them. Making a plan to send them on vacation, the children consider moving out of their privileged homes.
This journey ends up offering them valuable life lessons as they realize that their book knowledge would not be useful in the outside world. Vibrant visuals and a quirky sense of humor help with delivery The Willoughbys‘charm in a tight 90-minute runtime, cementing Netflix Animation’s status as a major player in the future of animated filmmaking.
8 Robots (2005): available on HBO Max
Robots is a film that takes place entirely in the universe of its titular characters. Rodney Copperbottom (Ewan McGregor) is an aspiring inventor who goes against his parents’ wishes to explore a new city and meet his idols.
In his quest to create useful and accessible tech, Rodney uncovers a plot that could change the fate of the older robot, by scamming them with expensive tech upgrades. Despite his cheerful tone, Robots also serves as a commentary on the vices of capitalist greed if they are not mastered in the hands of industrialists.
7 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009): Available on Hulu
Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (who were producers on Mitchells against the machines), Cloudy with a chance of meatballs is another Sony animation classic with sci-fi and family themes. Bill Hader voices inventor Flint Lockwood who is developing a machine capable of turning water into food. But when the device malfunctions, an unstoppable food storm sets in, putting the whole world at risk.
The movie looks like Mitchells against the machines not only in terms of character design and premise, but he also has a troubled father-son relationship to begin with. Similar to the character of Danny McBride in the latter, James Caan plays Flint’s father, a technophobic fisherman who may seem strict but cares a lot about his son.
6 Captain Fantastic (2016): available on Netflix
A couple and their six children live in the middle of nature, cut off from modern society. They seem to lead a balanced and self-sufficient life, far from the perils of consumerism and gadgets. However, when the mother of the children passes away, it is up to the family patriarch to make life-changing decisions for his family while embarking on a road trip.
There remains a conflict between reintroducing them into human society or continuing their nomadic way of life. With a formidable performance by Viggo Mortensen in the lead role, Fantastic captain goes beyond all the clichÃ©s of a dysfunctional family movie thanks to an absurdly mature and existential approach to the genre.
5 Next Gen (2018): available on Netflix
Next generation is an animated sci-fi action film that highlights the essence of friendship in the age of technology and distance, even if the friendship is between a rebellious teenager and an armed robot. For his depiction of a robotic future and the aforementioned protagonists, parallels with other animated films (such as Great hero 6) can be drawn.
Although it builds on the predecessors of its genre, Next generation still makes a fun watch while balancing multiple tones and enjoying a set of voices including John Krasinski, Charlyne Yi, Jason Sudeikis and Michael Pena.
4 Frequency (2000): available on HBO Max
In the sci-fi thriller, Jim Caviezel plays a detective who stumbles on a radio frequency that allows him to communicate with his father who died in the past (Dennis Quaid). As expected, its continuous inter-dimensional interactions end up altering the very existence of time and space.
Despite its strong atmospheric sensations, Frequency is a moving story about loss and how a son seeks refuge in unknown technological forces to overcome this loss.
3 Men, Women and Children (2014): available on FuboTV
Comedy-drama by Jason Reitman Men, women and children is a satirical look at the rise of online addiction this century among all age groups.
The film draws on Reitman’s usual observational humor and its premise seems more relevant than ever, especially since the pandemic has thrown humans back into a tech bubble affecting both their mental and physical health in it. process.
2 Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse (2018): available on FuboTV
A recent Oscar winner and another directorial endeavor by the Lord and Miller duo, In the Spiderverse packs superhero action and heartfelt drama in a visually dazzling feast of color. Shameik Moore voices Miles Morales, a boy who takes on the role of Spider-Man only to team up with Spider-Men from other dimensions to take out the bad guys and restore balance in the multiverse.
Adrenaline fueled story aside, the film also serves as a coming-of-age tale as young Morales admires his uncle Aaron Davis (Mahershala Ali) and Peter B Parker (Jake Johnson) while learning valuable life lessons, advancing the motto of âwith great power comes great responsibilityâ.
1 Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018): available on Disney +
A direct sequel to Ralph’s wreck, Ralph breaks the internet introduces its game characters into the digital abyss of the Internet. The gentle giant Ralph is at a loss to explore this new realm and his naivety with the web offers some hilarious moments, spiced up with internet humor and pop culture references.
The humor ends up turning into a heartwarming story as the two main characters Wreck-It Ralph (John C Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) struggle with loneliness in their own way. Their friendship and place on the internet is put to the test, culminating in a third emotional act.
NEXT: 10 Movies To Watch If You Love Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph
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