Released on Netflix last week, The Mitchells vs. The Machines marks the latest project from The LEGO Movie and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse creators Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Like their Oscar winning Sony Pictures Animation movie, The Mitchells vs. The Machines is a hyper stylized piece of work and in a new video they actually elaborate on how their work on Spider-Verse actively influenced what they did with the film. Speaking in the video they reveal that for the movie they even took on some of the tools developed for Spider-Verse and "bent them," focusing on making the movie feel like a living painting over a comic book image.
"One of the amazing things about animation is that its only limit is the scope of the filmmaker's imagination," Miller said in the press notes for the film." It feels like only now do we have the technological tools to make it so that truly any visual style or language conceivable can be represented on screen, and we're just at the beginning of a golden age of creativity. It's kind of like when the Impressionists rejected hyper-realistic rules of art and suddenly an explosion of stylistic expression emerged, like Pointillism, Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism, etc. Animation can be the purest window into the mind of the filmmaker. Plus, in animation it's a lot easier to get away with really dumb physical jokes." Adds Lord, "We're medium agnostic really. Sometimes animation gives you the best chance to make a particular story something special."
In addition to Lord and Miller, the video also features interviews with visual effects supervisor Michael Lasker, character designer Lindsey Olivares, and director Mike Rianda about how the film's unique visual style was created.
"The Mitchells vs. The Machines, an animated action-comedy about an ordinary family who find themselves in the middle of their biggest family challenge yet…saving the world from the robot apocalypse. No big deal, right? It all starts when creative outsider Katie Mitchell is accepted into the film school of her dreams and is eager to leave home and find "her people," when her nature-loving dad insists on having the whole family drive her to school and bond during one last totally-not-awkward-or-forced road trip. But just when the trip can't get any worse, the family suddenly finds itself in the middle of the robot uprising! Everything from smart phones, to roombas, to evil Furbys are employed to capture every human on the planet. Now it's up to the Mitchells, including upbeat mom Linda, quirky little brother Aaron, their squishy pug, Monchi, and two friendly, but simple-minded robots to save humanity. Directed by Michael Rianda (Gravity Falls), produced by Oscar winners Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and Kurt Albrecht, and featuring the voices of Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Beck Bennett, Fred Armisen, Eric Andre, and Oscar winner Olivia Colman, The Mitchells vs. The Machines is about embracing the things that make us unique, learning what it means to be human in a world increasingly filled with technology, and holding tight to the people most important to you when the unexpected hits."