The Mitchells vs. the Machines, originally titled Connected, is an original animated comedy from producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs). The film was released on April 30, 2021 on Netflix in the United States and theatrically in China.

Plot

Katie Mitchell is a quirky aspiring filmmaker who often clashes with her nature-obsessed father Rick and has recently been accepted into college. The evening before Katie leaves, Rick accidentally breaks her laptop, disappointing her as they drift apart. Together with her mother Linda and younger brother Aaron, Rick takes them on a road trip the next morning for one last bonding experience before Katie goes off to college.

Meanwhile, a highly intelligent AI named PAL turns on her creator Mark Bowman after he declares her obsolete and plans to unveil a new line of home robots in her place. She orders all the robots to capture humans worldwide, but the Mitchells manage to avoid capture at a dinosaur-themed roadstop cafe. After Rick decides that his family have to stay put in the cafe for their own safety, they eventually bond with two defective robots, Eric and Deborahbot, who tell the Mitchells to use a kill code to shut down PAL and all the robots. Rick is initially hesitant at the idea, but changes his mind after Katie tells him how much faith she has in him.

The Mitchells make it to a mall where all the PAL appliances try to kill them once PAL learns that the Mitchells have evaded capture. Katie tries to upload the kill code but is stopped after a giant Furby pursues and traps the family, and uses a laser to destroy the PAL router before the Furby can shoot them, shutting it and all the appliances down but also stopping the kill code upload. Katie loses hope after seeing her plan fail, but Rick convinces her not to give up and sets a course for Silicon Valley to destroy PAL. On the way to Silicon Valley afterwards, Linda reveals to Katie that she and Rick had originally wanted to live in a cabin in the mountains years ago that he had built and had given up, as it was his longtime dream to live in the wilderness.

Arriving in Silicon Valley, the Mitchells disguise themselves and head to PAL Labs HQ to shut it down, but PAL manipulates them by revealing surveillance footage from the roadstop cafe of Katie telling Aaron in secret that she was pretending to have faith in Rick just so he could hear what he wanted to hear. Heartbroken, the Mitchells fail to reach PAL's lair and Rick and Linda are captured after PAL creates stronger and smarter robots known as Stealthbots, reprograms Eric and Deborahbot into obeying her, and crushes the kill code, leaving Katie and Aaron alone.

Katie and Aaron escape the headquarters and hide from the robots, but the two eventually discover recordings of her past childhood memories on her camera, also realizing that Rick had given up his cabin for the care of his daughter. Meanwhile, in PAL's custody, Rick finally sees Katie's movie and realizes the error of his ways. After Katie realizes what she needs to do, she and Aaron infiltrate PAL Labs HQ again and use their dog Monchi to cause the robots to malfunction since their programming cannot recognize Monchi as a dog, while Rick and Linda free themselves and plan to upload Katie's movie with Monchi in it to short-circuit the robots. However, Rick is outnumbered by the robots (including Eric and Deborahbot) when he is about to upload the video, while Linda furiously fights the Stealthbots after seeing Aaron get captured.

Katie is confronted by PAL after the robots capture her, where she realizes that no matter how hard her family struggles, they will always stay connected despite how different they are. Convinced that humanity will betray each other the first chance they get, PAL drops her from her lair. As Katie falls, Eric and Deborahbot, inspired by Rick using technology, go back to malfunctioning and upload Katie's home movie, saving her and helping the rest of the Mitchells. As the family reunites, Rick apologizes to Katie for not respecting who she was. The family bands together to fight the rest of the Stealthbots, and Katie shuts PAL down by dropping her into a glass of water, freeing all the humans and disabling all the robots except for Eric and Deborahbot. The Mitchells are seen as heroes, but Rick, Linda and Aaron find Katie seemingly dying after the battle. However, she pranks them by having Monchi lick Rick, which she did multiple times during the road trip.

A few months after the uprising, Katie and her family arrive at her college as she and Rick share one last heartfelt goodbye before she officially goes to college. She later joins them on another road trip with Eric and Deborahbot to Washington, D.C. to accept the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Cast

Development

In May 2018, Sony Pictures Animation announced the title of a Phil Lord and Christopher Miller-produced animated film that was in development, entitled The Mitchells vs. the Machines. The film is the duo's fourth collaboration with SPA following the two Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs films and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, as well as the studio's first original feature film since The Star. Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe, former writers of the Disney Channel animated series Gravity Falls, served as the film's screenwriters, with Rianda serving as director and Rowe as co-director. The film also had a set release date of September 18, 2020.[1]

Production

In May 2019, animation work had begun as confirmed by animator Nick Kondo on Twitter.[2] In June 2019, Sony Animation president Kristine Belson revealed that the film would be using an animation style similar to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and that the worlds the Mitchell family and the robots live in are initially separate universes before colliding.[3] In February 2020, first images were revealed through Entertainment Weekly, and it was announced the title was changed to Connected. Additional cast members were also announced such as Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, director Rianda, Eric Andre, and Olivia Colman. [4]

Post-Production

In March 2020, Phil Lord confirmed on Twitter that his frequent collaborator Mark Mothersbaugh will compose the score for the film.[5] In April 2020, the film was delayed by one month to October 23 when Sony made changes to its theatrical release schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[6] In May 2020, Lord confirmed that basketball player Blake Griffin had joined the voice cast as one of the robots.[7] In September 2020, the film was removed from Sony’s film schedule, but it was still planned to be released in 2020.[8]

Trivia

  • This is Sony Pictures Animation's first film to feature an original female protagonist.
  • As of September 2020, it is confirmed to be rated PG for action and some language.[4]
  • The film was originally set for release on January 10, 2020 under the title of The Mitchells vs. The Machines, but was pushed back the following month to September 18, 2020 and renamed to Connected. This may have occurred on February 20, 2020 since an article published by Deadline Hollywood the previous date included the previous title.[5]
  • This is Sony Pictures Animation's first original film since The Star.
  • The film is inspired by Rianda's own delightfully crazy family, and a childhood infatuation with robots.
  • Sony Pictures Animation's 21st animated feature film.
  • This is Sony Pictures Animation's first film of the 2020s.
  • Sony Animation's first Netflix exclusive film.
  • This is one of Sony Pictures Animation's only three theatrically-produced films not to have a theatrical release (alongside Wish Dragon and Vivo), as it will instead be streaming on Netflix.
  • With a runtime of 1 hour and 49 minutes, this is the second longest Sony Pictures Animation film, behind Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
  • The third Sony Pictures Animation film to be released in April, after The Pirates! Band of Misfits and Smurfs: The Lost Village.
  • Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Beck Bennett and Alex Hirsch all previously co-starred in the preceding Sony Pictures Animation film The Angry Birds Movie 2.
  • At the beginning of the film, Netflix displayed a warning saying that some scenes in the film have a strobing effect that may affect photosensitive viewers.
  • As a promotion for the film, Netflix converted 2 gas stations, 1 in Los Angeles, California and 1 in Hoboken, New Jersey, into a PAL Gas Station. However, it was only open until May 2, 2021.
  • This is the first Sony Pictures Animation film to feature an LGBT character.

Videos

Gallery

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Sony Pictures Animation Wiki has a collection of images and media related to The Mitchells vs. the Machines.

References


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