Verdict: The dearly be-loathed family makes a fun big-screen appearance.
Created by cartoonist Charles Addams in 1938, The Addams Family has had many adaptations over the years, from animated series to live-action films and TV shows. The family has now been revived for an animated film featuring a star-studded voice cast.
What’s The Addams Family About:
After getting tired of being chased away by mobs of villagers, the ghoulish Addams decide to search for a place they can call home. Gomez Addams (Oscar Issac), his wife Morticia (Charlize Theron), and the disembodied hand named Thing come upon an abandoned asylum on a spooky hill in New Jersey and make it their home with the escaped mental patient Lurch (Conrad Vernon) as their butler. Here, they bring up their children Wednesday (Chloë Grace Moretz) and Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard), isolated from the rest of the world. When a new neighborhood is built down the hill by TV home makeover expert Margaux Needler (Allison Janney), their perfect gloomy life is interrupted by the dreadfully bright suburbia.
The Addams have more or less remained unchanged through the various adaptations and this animated film stays true to their original character designs. The Addams Family also brings back some of the other beloved family members such as Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll), Grandma (Bette Midler), and Cousin It (Snoop Dogg).
The film has a stand-alone story that works well both for those who haven’t met this odd group before and for those who know them well. The Addams Family is set in current times where their fog of despair remains strong amidst modern technology. Wednesday Addams wants to experience the world of junior high and get closer to Margaux’s cellphone-addicted daughter Parker (Elsie Fisher), who is of the same age as her. Pugsley’s Mazurka is also approaching fast – a rite of passage for which all of the Addams will be coming. Meanwhile, Margaux is intent on giving their haunted mansion a makeover so it doesn’t scare away buyers in the new neighborhood and she can have a successful finale of her TV show. These storylines work together well and the collision of the weird world of Addams and the normal world of Margaux is fun to watch. There’s even a message that stays true to the values of the Addams family – being yourself.
The music for the film builds upon the classic finger-snapping tune the Addams are known for. It provides the perfect background for the gothic setting and maintaining the balance between being creepy and upbeat. This is also true for the movie. Even with torture devices abound and explosions aplenty, the violence is comedic just like in a cartoon – it never gets too serious and it’s mostly funny.
What Could’ve Been Better:
The Addams Family in this animated film could have been more impactful. While children will find it to be an enjoyable introduction to the Addams, especially if they are fond of movies like Hotel Transylvania, it might not live up to the high expectations of the fans who have grown up with it.
Why You Should Watch:
Even though Halloween might be over, this is the sort of gothic entertainment that can be enjoyed all through the year. The Addams Family is an engaging watch with just the right amount of kookiness and comedy along with a message which is perfect for families.