The Mitchells vs The Machines – Blu-ray Review

Best Animated Movie of 2021
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The Mitchells vs The Machines – Blu-ray Review
The Mitchells vs The Machines Blu-ray

A quirky, dysfunctional family's road trip is upended when they find themselves in the middle of the robot apocalypse and suddenly become humanity's unlikeliest last hope.

Movie Review

The Mitchells vs the Machines turned out to be one of the absolute best animated films of the year. I’m happy to see Sony Pictures Animation turning out some stellar material over the last few years… Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse anyone?

There are two versions of the film here; the one released on Netflix and the Katie Cut. The Katie Cut contains unfinished animatics and is highlighted by Katie popping up on the bottom of the screen. I’ll talk about it more in extra features as I want to talk about the finished release film here.

For me, the movie is easily relatable. I was like Katie, without the ability to easily makes movies due to the time in which I grew up (a VHS camcorder and 2 VCRs anyone?). It was all I thought about during my high school years with plans to head off to learn how to make animated movies. People didn’t understand me either. I didn’t end up going off to learn how to make movies, but I continued to love them, so I started this site.

The story is goofy, fun, and imaginative. While the family is trying to survive the machine apocalypse, they renew the broken bonds between Katie and her Dad… and can I just say DOG COP? The Mitchells vs the Machines is such a fun film that I know it’ll be watched frequently.

I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised with the team behind Gravity Falls involved.

Video

If you’re holding out for a 4K UHD release it’s not likely to happen. Phil Lord confirmed on Twitter that the movie was not made in 4K and did not have Dolby Vision. Everything was designed in 2K while making the movie to look as good as possible. I’m happy to see some film grain added to make it feel more film-like.

The Blu-ray, to my eyes, looks slightly brighter than the Netflix presentation. It’s just as crisp and just as clear.

Audio

Dialogue is crystal clear. The great song selection pumps the speakers, and the score fills the room. The LFE is very active through the movie with a heck of a blast when the robots land outside of the Dino stop. The spatial use of the surrounds help you to enjoy the movie even more.

For an animated film where the soundstage must be completely designed from scratch, it manages to fill the room perfectly.

Extras

Let’s kick things off with the Katie’s Extended Cinematic Bonanza Cut! Unfinished, raw, and perfect way to showcase it. The animated cinematics, or storyboards, are not always voiced by the voice cast. It’s fun to see the different scenes and deleted scenes in this method.

  • Katie’s Cabinet of Forgotten Wonders (approx. 11.5-minutes):
    • Katie-Vision! – Lindsey Olivares (production designer) talks about Katie’s perspective through her eyes.
    • Dumb Robots Trailer – Intro by Michael Rianda – watch this.
    • The Original Mitchells Story Pitch – first storyboards about the movie (intro by Michael Rianda)
    • The Furby Scene – How? Why? – How one of the best sequences in the film came together.
    • PAL’s World – How they designed the main evil building.
  • The Mitchells Vs. The Machines: Or How a Group of Passionate Weirdos Made a Big Animated Movie – The Group of first-time film makers discuss the risk in making a unique, non-IP based, animated film.
  • How To Make Sock Puppets: Want to make movies like Katie Mitchell? Learn how to make sock puppets to use in your next short film.
  • How To Make Katie Face Cupcakes: Hopefully your icing does not drip off the case.
  • Dog Cop 7: The Final Chapter: a live action puppet adventure from the mind of one Katie Mitchell. LOL. That is all.
  • Katie’s Extended Cinematic Bonanza Cut! The total run time difference is huge, but entwines the animated storyboards to make a different cut of the film. Some of the added-on portions were not voiced by the voice cast, but the filmmakers used their own voices to complete the scene.
  • 8 Deleted Scenes: over 20-minutes more footage in partially animated storyboards.

Filmmakers’ commentary – Sit back, relax and enjoy the commentary by Director and co-writer Michael Rianda, Co-Writer and Co-Director Jeff Rowe, Production and Character Designer Lindsey Olivares, Visual Effects Supervisor Michael Lasker, Producer Kurt Albrecht, Head of Animation Alan Hawkins, and Head of Story Guillermo Martinez. It’s quite an enjoyable listen and never feels overwhelming with the number of people in this group.

Conclusions and Final Thoughts

This is an easy-to-add Blu-ray to your physical media collection. The movie is racking up “best-animated movie of the year” nods from several groups. Despite not coming to 4K, which according to Philip Lord “The truth is, the 2k looks better and warmer and is a better experience. It’s how we made the movie so what you are getting is 1 to 1 with the theatrical experience.”  

I was happy with the video presentation which is supported by its strong DTS audio track. It’s been a while since I really enjoyed bonus features on a Blu-ray, but this one is jam-packed with all the kinds I love… even the cupcake tutorial. It’s obvious how much fun was had making this film.

Good

  • Fantastic movie.
  • Great video.

Bad

  • Ummm... ummmm.
9

Amazing

Movie - 9
Video - 10
Audio - 9
Extras - 8
Since seeing Star Wars on TV as a child Shane has been hooked on movies. In 2001 he decided to start up his own webpage dedicated to his new love DVD. Now, over 20-years later he continues to FEED YOUR HUNGER with the latest Theatrical, Blu-ray and DVD reviews.

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