What a silly movie! Let me just say this movie is best viewed with your kids/family. It’s funny, it’s silly and at times adorable. The use of silly YouTube clips and the comic style action bubbles paired with the kind of weird animation style works. “The noses are funny, in a good way”, said my son and he liked the pig, I mean pug, of course. Who wouldn’t.
So what is this movie all about? Well, in an 80s Skynet, Rise of the Machines and National Lampoon’s Vacation (minus the Chevy Chase factor) action comedy mix, the Mitchell family, dad, mum, younger brother, older sister, go on a road trip to save the world, despite all their quirks and faults and against all Furby odds. It’s a heartfelt ode to the bonds of family and the strength that lies within and the searching for said strength in times when you think all is lost and you feel like you just don’t belong. OK, that may sound a bit too dramatic for a lighthearted comedy rated 7+ but on the other hand, it’s the end of the world! The machines have taken over and captured humanity, all of it!
Without the Mitchells we are doomed to float in space forever… it’s reassuring that we can make fun of it all while still sending a message. Laugh and still get the bigger picture. Trust us with your data, we will never do harm. Asimov’s three laws of robotics, yadda yadda and so forth but beyond all that, it’s about change, the ability to change. There are so many intertextual references embedded in this colorful road movie that kids might miss but the senior viewer will recognize most if not all and as such can rejoice in that fact, including the Journey album cover (although I also was thinking No Man’s Sky a bit).
I know you must think this must be the greatest animated fun movie to watch since the invention of sliced bread … but, yes there is a but. The jokes are shallow, easy exploits, yet they work, my son saw that 3 seconds screaming monkey clip on YouTube way before this movie and it was funny the way they used it. Still, it’s a cheap laugh. Sometimes that’s enough. The movie does slow down a bit in the last part but you get through it quick enough for the silly Lavender finish. Watch out for that one.
In conclusion you could say that despite its shortcomings and being predictable, it never takes itself seriously and does pull off some good laughs and at times you can even relate, as a parent and as a kid. That’s nice. We had fun watching it.