“It’s hideous,” says Morticia (voiced by Charlize Theron). “It’s horrible,” agrees Gomez (voiced by Oscar Isaac). “It’s home,” they say in unison, hugging each other while admiring the broken down, abandoned asylum where they’re going to raise a family in the animated feature film, The Addams Family.
The film opens with a brief origin story featuring the wedding of Morticia and Gomez. Their nuptials are cut short because the local townspeople come after them like an angry mob for being…well…spooky and different. While being driven by the bodiless hand named Thing, Mortician and Gomez accidentally hit someone in the road in the dead of night. That person turns out to be Lurch who, once they determine is all right, immediately becomes part of the family as their butler.
Jump ahead 13 years and the Addams family is loving life in their mansion. Well, most of the family loves it. Wednesday, their daughter (voiced by Chloe Grace Moretz), doesn’t. She wants to explore the world beyond the mansion and its grounds.
Meanwhile, their son Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard) is especially talented with explosives and loves blowing things up. However, he needs to put explosives on hold as it’s time to prepare for his coming of age event in which he’ll be performing with a sword, an Addams family tradition that all the Addams relatives are expected to attend.
The Addams family soon has more on their plate to deal with when a shady TV personality Margaux Needler (voiced by Allison Janney) sets her sights on remodeling their eerie mansion or, if that’s not possible, drive them out so she can sell all the houses in the nearby neighborhood.
With ghoulish, deadpan humor and some fun and crazy antics brought to life by a talented voice cast, the 2019 animated film version of the classic television series stays true to the spirit and fun of the original show as well as the 1991 film it spawned. The Addams Family‘s a solid and entertaining animated take on the classic kooky family.
Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron do a wonderful job of voicing Gomez and Morticia. In fact, they sound just like Raul Julia and Angelica Huston from the 1991 film. Isaac brings out Gomez’s energy and spirit while Theron captures Morticia’s dry, deadpan, and almost monotone delivery. Both bring to life these classic characters and keep them true to their origins.
The script’s terrific, giving each main family member their own storyline. It also sneaks in solid messages for children including that it’s good to be different and not to try to be like everyone else just to fit in. Screenwriter Matt Lieberman’s script is full of one-liners, jokes, and slapstick humor.
The animation’s extremely effective, changing up the color pallete to bright and colorful when the Addams visit the nearby town and dark, gloomy and gray when back at the Addams’ mansion. The design of the characters stays true to how they have been presented in early incarnations.
The only misstep with the film is casting Chloe Grace Moretz to voice Wednesday. Although Grace Moretz does a solid job of voicing the character and creating her disengaged delivery, she’s just too old at age 22 to voice a character who’s supposed to be 12. Wednesday sounds like a 19 or 20-year-old trying to act like a 12 or 13-year-old. It’s painfully obvious and detracts from almost all of Wednesday’s scenes.
Still, with laugh-out-loud humor and great voice work by Isaac and Theron, this animated version of The Addams Family is a “kooky” delight that’ll entertain the entire family – and especially The Addams Family fans.
MPAA Rating: PG for macabre and suggestive humor, and some action
Running Time: 1 hour 27 minutes
Release Date: October 11, 2019
Directed By: Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan
Studio: United Artists Releasing