The 2021 Golden Issue Award for Best Animated Movie

We're back announcing the the annual Golden Issue Awards! Every year our staff here at meticulously combs through all of the media that we've covered over the year and looks back at what ended up being the best from what comics, movies, television, anime, and video games had to offer throughout the year.

Right now we're taking a look at the big screen, or your TV at home if you streamed it like most people, focusing on the award for Best Animated Movie in 2021 and the five nominees that we this year are just the tip of the iceberg of the quality content released this year. Earlier this month we narrowed down the titles to just five including: The Walt Disney Animated musical fantasy Encanto, Pixar's coming-of-age fantasy Luca, Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment's Justice Society: World War II, Sony Pictures Animation and Netflix's The Mitchells vs. the Machines, and Walt Disney Animation's Raya and the Last Dragon.

And the winner of the 2021 Golden Issue Award for Best Animated Movie is...


The Mitchells vs. the Machines, directed by Mike Rianda, written by Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe, produced by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, and Kurt Albrecht, and released by Netflix.

Ahead of its release there was perhaps some worry that The Mitchells vs the Machines might not live up to the hype that Lord and Miller's previously produced animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, had given the world. Rebranded with the lame title of "Connected," and then sold off to Netflix, the cards were stacked against it, but the film exceeds any possible doubt that might have been cast over it by being a bright celebration of youth, films, and even internet meme culture.

The Mitchells vs. the Machines plot focuses on the titular family on the run from killer robots, featuring the vocal stylings of Abbi Jacobson as Katie Mitchell, the aspiring filmmaker young daughter; Danny McBride as Rick Mitchell, the anti-technology father; Maya Rudolph as mother Linda Mitchell; and even director Mike Rianda as dinosaur obsessed son Aaron Mitchell.

Framed as an almost apocalyptic road trip movie, traveling the highway of a coming-of-age film, The Mitchells vs. the Machines is a takedown of telecom corporations, denouncing how "advancements" in AI and robot technology do more to divide us and doubling down on the connectivity of art and passionate creators. There are also some good fart jokes.

In a world where love letters to movie fandom and fan expectations are dominating the box office, The MItchells vs the Machines bucks all conventions by being a wholly original new movie and one whose primary motivation is the importance of creativity and storytelling.

Don't take our word for its quality either, check literally everywhere else. The film has a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a Certified Fresh distinction and has been named "Best Animated Film" of the year by New York Film Critics Circle, Atlanta FIlm Critics Circle, and the Southeastern Film Critics Association. It's also been nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Annie Awards and is among the films listed as eligible for the Best Animated Feature at the Oscars.

Congratulations to the cast and crew of The Mitchells vs. the Machines on their Golden Issues win!

The nominees for Best Animated Movie are: