Created by cartoonist Charles Addams, “The Addams Family” debuted in the New Yorker Magazine in 1938. Through the years, “The Addams Family” has been adapted into a live action format several times. The 1960s TV series starring John Astin as Gomez and Carolyn Jones as Morticia, is probably the most beloved, but two 1990’s feature films were also well received. Animated TV adaptations popped up in 1973, 1992 and 1998, but none of them lasted very long.
I’ve been a huge fan of 1960s TV series since I discovered reruns on SuperStation WTBS in the mid-eighties. I enjoyed the 1990’s adaptations too. This latest animated iteration has a terrific voice cast on hand and uses the film as a kind of origin story. After a short introduction showing how Gomez (voiced by Oscar Issac) and Morticia (Charlize Theron) ended up in their creepy mansion, we get the basic story. Margaux Nadler (Allison Janney) is the sunny host of a home renovation program for television; also a real estate developer, she has created a prefab community near the Addams Family mansion and objects to the eyesore caused by their gloomy abode. Margaux plots to drive them out.
Meanwhile, the Addams’ children face their own issues. Wednesday (Chloe Grace Moretz) dorms an unexpected friendship with Margaux’s daughter Parker (Elsie Fisher), Gomez readies Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard) for a rite-of-passage ceremony which seems could end in disaster and Cousin It arrives for a visit.
Some familiar voices turn up in small parts. Bette Midler offers a fun take on Grandmama and Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short nearly steal the film in their brief turn as Morticia’s parents.
Despite what seems like a lot of plot threads for a film coming in at 87 minutes, there handled pretty well here. As any Addams Family fan can attest, the basic plot stems from the way they view the horrible as delightful and vice versa. No matter the remake, that always stays true and there’s always humor to be found in those concepts. Computer animation works remarkably well too. It captures the characters in a slightly exaggerated way that adds to their visual appeal and the world around them. Director Conrad Vernon and his crew are careful to maintain Charles Addams’ original mix of humor and the macabre.
While The Addams Family doesn’t cover any new ground, it does provide a few laughs and a solid animation experience. As a longtime fan of the franchise, I could find nothing to really dislike here and even got a few laughs. For those new to the family, the film provides a sufficient origin story.
Presented in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the 1080p transfer is a strong visual experience for a CGI animated film. The image is sharp throughout, with no apparent flaws. The largely teal/gray color palette is bright and vivid. Blacks are deep and inky. Shadows appear clean and concise. Viewers should be very pleased with this presentation.
The DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio is strong. While action beats are limited, when they arrive, they stand out. The atmospherics of the creepy setting shine in the involving setup. Effects are dynamic and strong. Dialogue is clean, clear and concise throughout.
English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles are included.
The following extras are available:
- Life of A Scene (HD, 3:22) A quick look at the animated films stages of completion.
- Welcome to the Family (HD, 6:03) Comments from co-directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan, producers Alex Schwartz and Alison O’Brien, and actors Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Allison Janney and Nick Kroll. Essentially, an EPK.
- Addams Family Throwback (HD, 1:05) Director Conrad Vernon and actor Oscar Issac offer quick thoughts on Charles Addams.
- Lyric Videos
- Haunted Heart (2:50)
- My Family (1:05)
- Charades with Thing (HD, 3:32) An animated game.
- Deleted/Extended Scenes (HD, 6:14) Four in total.
- DVD Copy of the film.
- Digital Code
The Addams Family (2019)
Movie title: The Addams Family (2019)
Duration: 87 min
Director(s): Conrad Vernon, Greg Tiernan
Actor(s): Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll , Bette Midler
Genre: Horror, Animation, Fantasy, Family, Comedy