I adored the original television show and was excited to see this new rendition, based on the comics by Charles Addams. I wasn’t certain that it would live up to my expectations but it was delightfully spooky, the characters are as kooky as I remember and the writers have blended elements from all the different versions to create a new modern version of The Addams Family.
In this animated movie, Morticia (Charlize Theron) and Gomez (Oscar Isaac) on their wedding day get run out of town by a mob. Tired of being unaccepted, they head for New Jersey, theorizing that few people want to live there. They find an isolated home from which they can hide from the outside world and raise a family with the help of Lurch (Conrad Vernon), their butler, Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll), and Thing. Thirteen years later, they have a daughter Wednesday (Chloë Grace Moretz) who is bored with her mansion and son Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard) who is learning a sabre dance to demonstrate his step into adulthood. The entire family will be arriving for the celebration, including Grandmama (Bette Midler) and Cousin Itt (Snoop Dog).
However, they soon learn they are surrounded by the town of Assimilation. Wednesday is intrigued and befriends a young girl, Parker (Elsie Fisher) whose mother Margaux Needler (Allison Janney) is attempting to sell all the houses in the neighborhood. Their mansion is the only thing that stands in her way. Morticia and Gomez must prepare Pugsley, find a way to understand Wednesday’s desire for change, all while preventing Margaux from getting rid of them.
There are several aspects I really enjoyed. One of the first is the comedy and jokes within the movie. There are several layers to it. You have jokes like Pugsley trying to throw knives at his sister and bombs at his father. When the family meets the town of Assimilation (one for the adults), there are jokes about neighbors watching and songs about having no choice but to be happy. Wednesday’s commentary on Margaux is hilarious. There are also silly points, like concerts by Lurch and references to other horror movies. The silly humor the children will love while the adults will enjoy the commentary on Margaux and how the town wants everyone to be the same.
The animation is bold and upholds the style of the original tv show. The writers have included characters like Kitty and Thing as well as keeping the house much in keeping with the original show. The family is in black and white but then the town of Assimilation is all in color. That contrast is part of what makes the movie so interesting. The style of the characters is a blend between the comics, the tv show, and the movies. The theme of the movie reflects the comics and the show, showing that differences are okay and that we need to accept others even when they aren’t like us.
Even though the voices will never match the tv show, the voice actors from this movie do a delightful job with their characters. Oscar Isaac has the style of Gomez with his exuberant love affair with Morticia and his desire to protect his family. Charlize Theron imbues her voice with all of the original Morticia’s grace and dark elegance. Chloë Grace Moretz epitomizes Wednesday, her intelligence, wit, and morbidness as perfectly as Christina Ricci did in the movies. Finn Wolfhard is a fun Pugsley struggling with being the son his father wants. The rest of the voice actors do an incredible job with their parts. I felt like they hit all the right notes.
The story is layered but there is nothing majorly surprising. It is an interesting story with a few twists. But if you’re looking for something super different, look elsewhere. This is all about referencing the original comics and television show but it is done well.
If you love spooky and charming, an homage to the old television show with a wonderful animation style and great acting, you will love The Addams Family. It is funny, it is as ooky as any version of The Addams Family, and it embraces all the strangeness while making you love them for all their weirdnesses. I loved it because it reminds me so much of the cast I watched as a child. Now, excuse me, while I go find the original Addam’s Family TV show so I can reminisce a bit.