By Hannah F
Brace yourselves, everybody. The Addams are back, and they’re spookier, creepier, and kookier than ever. I cannot tell you how excited I was to see our favorite darkly-inclined family on the big screen- and this time animated!!
The movie starts out with a bit of a look back at Addams history, and how they found their new home in the horrid, rotten, grotesque New Jersey (a direct nod to Charles Addams’s origins). The film is full of nods like this, giving little winks to fans of the comics, animated series, and even the live action series.
Just looking at the designs of the characters, it’s clear that they drew from the comics more than any other source, which is refreshing. It’s nice to see -all- the characters being somewhat ugly instead of more conventionally attractive. Isn’t that part of the point?
I digress. The story of the movie is made up of three subplots that tie together- one focusing on Wednesday’s discovery of public school and new forms of self expression through fashion, one about the heinous Margot who wants to literally assimilate the Addams family house into her cookie-cutter picture-perfect town, and one focusing on Pugsley’s struggle to master the mazurka (sword dance) that signals his passage into Addams-family manhood to be performed before the entire extended family who have gathered for the auspicious event.
I, for one, was incredibly excited to see Pugsley finally get a chance to shine. It seems in many of the more modern Addams incarnations, Pugsley is the forgotten sibling, passed over for focus on Wednesday or even his other relatives. But in this film, he gets to show off and save the day, and I was very proud of him.
The actual Addamses are in fine form, the voice actors, designers, and animators all doing a fantastic job at giving these well-loved characters new after-life. I wasn’t totally sold on Uncle Fester, but he lent the movie some good laughs, so in the end I was alright with the slight changes they gave him. I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention Lurch, whose musical talents help make the film really shine.
The new characters are also lots of fun to watch, with the townspeople that look almost disturbingly ‘normal’ next to the unsettling Addams and Margot giving off lots of Debbie from Addams Family Values vibes. And in the end, what is 'normal?’ As is with most Addams messages, that’s what this one boils down to…but in a really nice, slightly different way than we’ve seen before.
Addams fans, you won’t be disappointed in this incarnation. There’s so many laugh-out-loud moments, and lots of surprises, as well. The scariest characters are sometimes the so-called 'normal’ ones, which is how it should be in a classic horror story. But with all the twists and new character angles, they’re still creepy and they’re kooky, and ultimately lovable. So get a witch’s shawl on and go see the new Addams family feature – probably my favorite Addams movie I’ve seen, which is a remarkable feat.
(Images courtesy of MGM)