Tag Archive: Michael Rianda


Review by C.J. Bunce

Sony Pictures Animation, the studio that made Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse and the LEGO movies brought its latest and greatest animated film to Netflix earlier this month with The Mitchells vs. The Machines–a sci-fi, apocalypse, coming of age story (reviewed here) about a normal but weird family that tries to dodge a planet-wide extermination resulting from the very technologies humans are so addicted to.  Much of the action takes place during a cross-country trip, and it’s that imagery that is underplayed on the big screen, but really comes to life as incredible art in The Art of The Mitchells vs. The Machines, a behind the scenes book of exploration coming to Amazon here and a bookstore near you next week.  Gravity Falls creators Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe wrote and directed the film, a visually stunning spectacle, with contributions by the Academy Award winning duo of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (both known for the LEGO movies and Into the Spider-verse).  Author Ramin Zahed interviews those creators and more and shares hundreds of concept art images for this next look into the development of cutting edge animation.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Surprisingly great, surprisingly real, and surprisingly… current?  Sony Pictures Animation, the studio that brought you Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse brings its latest and greatest animated film to Netflix this weekend.  It’s The Mitchells vs. The Machines–a sci-fi, apocalypse, coming of age, story about a weird family that ends up being the last family on the planet to be exterminated from the planet by the very technologies humans are so addicted to.  Gravity Falls creators Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe wrote and directed this story, a visually stunning spectacle reflecting life as we knew it in 2020… and may know it again, with contributions by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (both known for the LEGO movies and Into the Spider-verse).  The themes are influenced by Tron and Tron: Legacy, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and the Terminator movies, leaning hard on the plot of Terminator: Genisys.  It’s loud, colorful, crazy, and it gets family relationships just right, at least of the 21st century variety.  It’s also the movie I was hoping for with The Incredibles 2.

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Connected robots

If you haven’t experienced it yet, you’re missing out.  It’s the family cross-country roadtrip.  And consider it a bonus if you take your dog.  That plus the imposition of modern technology on family time, and the other downfalls of technology take center stage in the late summer release, Connected.  The new animated film hails from Sony Pictures Animation, the same studio that created the powerhouse Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse and The Lego Movie.

But you don’t need to look too close to find the framework of The Incredibles–that quirky family doing the things that all families do–which invariably is fun to laugh at.  Plus robots and, better yet, robots gone amuck.  Sci-fi plus comedy plus family fun sounds like a win to us.

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The cast of voice actors is not so much a major celebrity cast as found in many animated movies recently, but some will be familiar.  They include Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live), actor and Halloween series screenplay writer Danny McBride (Despicable Me, Alien: Covenant), Abbi Jacobson (The Lego Ninjago Movie), Eric André (The Lion King, Two Broke Girls), the film’s director Michael Rianda (Gravity Falls), and Academy Award and BAFTA winner Olivia Colman.

Check out this new, first trailer for Connected:

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