"A Familiar Family in a New Animated Light: `The Addams Family` Review"
Posted Monday, Nov 27, 2023 61
The 2019 animated film `The Addams Family`, directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan, brings the beloved macabre clan back to the big screen. With their unmistakable brand of dark humor, the film follows the Addams family as they face off against a reality TV hostess intent on homogenizing their unique way of life to fit her vision of suburban perfection. It`s a culture clash with comedic overtones as Morticia, Gomez, Wednesday, Pugsley, and Uncle Fester grapple with 21st-century assimilation while preparing for a major family celebration.
The film explores themes of individuality, acceptance, and the bonds of family through a gothic lens that tingles with whimsy. It attempts to echo the witty and subversive spirit of the original material, maintaining a light-hearted and family-friendly tone amid the cobwebs and kookiness.
The voice acting is a highlight, with Oscar Isaac imbuing the role of Gomez with earnest charm and Charlize Theron voicing Morticia with cool poise. Chloë Grace Moretz gives Wednesday a deadpan delivery that shines, while Finn Wolfhard`s Pugsley captures the youthful craving for approval. Bette Midler as Grandma and Nick Kroll as Uncle Fester add layers of quirky humor.
Vernon and Tiernan steer this animated revival with a dash of novelty and a respectful nod to the Addams legacy. The film`s direction maintains a balance of kinetic visual gags and character-based comedy while trying to preserve the richly odd essence of the family.
Composer Mychael Danna provides an orchestral score that, at its best, conjures the eerie atmosphere of the Addams` manor, adorned with playful nods to the classic TV series theme.
As an animated feature, the `cinematography` relies on visual storytelling, with the animation style offering a modernized yet faithful rendition of Charles Addams` original cartoons, incorporating gloomy, exaggerated Gothic elements that enhance the film`s otherworldly flair.
The production design embraces the unique Addams aesthetic, from the sprawling macabre mansion to the vibrant outlandishness of Assimilation’s chromatic suburbia. The contrast underscores the family`s resplendent strangeness amid cookie-cutter normality.
The animation itself is the special effect, bringing a cartoonish fluidity to the antics of the Addams family. The characters` expressive movement and the slightly grotesque design enhance the film`s humor and charm.
The editing is crisp, with transitions and visual comedy timing that leverage the strengths of the medium to deliver laughs and keep the narration moving at an engaging pace.
The film’s pace is sprightly, with the storyline zipping along through a series of misadventures and misunderstandings. It keeps energy levels high, though at times it seems to skitter over opportunities for richer character moments.
The dialogue dips its quill into the inkwell of the familiar Addams brand of humor—dry, with a wicked sharp point—and succeeds in parts at recapturing the clever, darkly comic exchanges that charm fans of the franchise.
Critics of `The Addams Family` may express disappointment in its somewhat surface-level exploration of the characters, with a plot that trades the potential for deeper storytelling for a cascade of sight gags and slapstick. Furthermore, while the film is visually interesting, it might not reach the gothic grandeur or comedic heights of its predecessors.
Overall, `The Addams Family` provides a sufficiently entertaining encounter with a cast of characters that have earned their place in popular culture. The film, while not groundbreaking, is an accessible entry point for new generations to meet the iconic Addamses and offers a chuckle-laden homage that older fans might appreciate with a sense of mild nostalgia and a smile.