PREPARE TO GET WEIRD, CAUSE THE WORLD DEPENDS ON IT.
As the Mitchell family are driving their daughter Katie from Michigan to a film school in California, machines rise against mankind. Mike Rianda, creative talent behind the animated TV series Gravity Falls, made his feature directing debut with this funny, goofy and lovable depiction of a family of oddballs who we need to save the world. The style is influenced by Katie’s sense of imagination, powered by the YouTube videos and memes of our times, adding to the fast pace; you can spot producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s fingerprints all over this. Only the final showdown feels too familiar, losing our interest in spite of its energy.
2021-U.S. Animated. 113 min. Color. Produced by Kurt Albrecht, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller. Directed by Mike Rianda. Screenplay: Mike Rianda, Jeff Rowe. Voices of Abbi Jacobson (Katie Mitchell), Danny McBride (Rick Mitchell), Maya Rudolph (Linda Mitchell), Mike Rianda (Aaron Mitchell), Eric André, Olivia Colman… Fred Armisen, Chrissy Teigen, John Legend, Conan O’Brien.
Last word: “I think you’d only get this if you were working in an animation studio: One of the things that is most valuable about having a co-director is having someone around that you trust all the time. So if you leave a meeting, you could be like ‘Was that bullshit? Am I being an asshole?’ And them being like, ‘No, no, no, no, no, that sucks, and we need to fight it’ or ‘Mike, calm down.’ We are able to sort of bounce stuff off of each other, and since we trust each other so much, if we both agree, we know it’s the right move.” (Rianda on Rowe’s contribution, A.V. Club)