This cartoon, on Netflix Friday, April 29, chronicles the adventures of a dysfunctional family and their curvy bulldog, grappling with giant Furbys and killer robots
Yesterday The Trolls 2 and The Willoughby Family, today The Mitchell against the machines and tomorrow The Croods 2… More than ever, a grain of madness has seized the latest animated films from major American studios. Directed by young authors bottle-fed with the schoolboy humor of Shrek and the surrealism of Spongebob, these works bear witness to a joyful inventiveness far too often absent from Hollywood animation.
Now is the time for renewal, confirms Mike Rianda, screenwriter and director of Mitchell against the machines (April 30 on Netflix), Hilariously re-read post-apocalyptic tales where a dysfunctional family and their curvy bulldog face off against giant Furbys and killer robots: “We’re trying to bring something new and make people pay attention. We want to show the extent of it. what you can do in animation, instead of always producing the same stories with characters who all look alike. ”
The Mitchell against the machines actually looks like nothing in the American animation market – if not maybe The Great Lego Adventure and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, two recent successes chaired by producer-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. The duo, known for their sense of innovation, produced The Mitchell. “They are wonderful. They are my heroes. We had the same backgrounds. We both worked on little-known cable series. (Clone High and Souvenirs of Gravity Falls, Editor’s note) which were much better than they needed to be, “praises Mike Rianda, before adding:
“They were very kind. They put themselves at our disposal. The more the production progressed, the more they offered us to rework each scene. They freed us. It was our first film. We were a bit like film students. who had managed to hack the system to make a big budget animated film. We were throwing a completely wacky idea at them and telling us to go for it, and take it one step further! They would say to us, ‘The more unique the film will be. , the more people will notice ‘! “
Giant Furby and O-Zone
One of the highlights of the film is the scene where Mitchell’s face off against an army of Furby stuffed animals. “We realized that the more terrifying we made them, the funnier the sequence! And the more we were told it was going to be too scary for the kids, the more we went all out!” Laughs Mike Rianda. Another great idea of the film: to make the heady Moldovan hit Dragostea din tei O-Zone one of the leitmotivs of the film, the Mitchell song:
“At the beginning, we wanted I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston. It’s a fun, jazzy, sweet song. We thought it would look great in scenes where they have to destroy robots. but actually it’s also a very romantic song and to see a father and his daughter sing it is very embarrassing. We tried to find a song that had the same energy. Dragostea din tei was perfect. We tried hundreds of other songs. “
“The funny thing about animated films,” comments Mike Rianda, “is that it’s really like piloting a plane being built: it’s terrifying. We had a story that worked when we did. started, but we kept writing jokes until the very end, until the last day. We worked non-stop for five years. ” Using this method, he was able to translate exactly what he had in mind to the screen, while still having a solid third arc, where the characters take on a whole new dimension, to the delight of the audience.
Born from a proposal from Sony, The Mitchell against the machines is a very personal project for Mike Rianda, who was inspired by his childhood: “I took what I love the most – my completely crazy family – and what I loved the most when I was a child – killer robots. I also wondered what makes our humanity if robots and artificial intelligence are able to act exactly like us. What could they never take from us? The answer, c ‘is family and human relationships. ”
“I can’t wait for them to go on new adventures!”
As Spider-Man: Next Generation, The Mitchell against the machines uses 3D but also features 2D, collages, and homemade effects: “We love this effect. It works because our heroine, Kathy, is an aspiring director. We were inspired by what is done on YouTube for editing, to give the impression that it is Kathy herself who is directing the film! It also allowed us to express her expressions, her emotions “, details the director, who wanted to make his main character a queer teenager who wants to free herself from her family.
To distinguish humans from robots, Mike Rianda used different textures: “As the film is about humanity and its imperfections, we had to see them on the screen. We had to see these ugly trees with fruit. not very ripe, poorly painted walls, etc. We wanted it to look alive and human so that the robot world on the other side was very clean, very precise – too perfect. ”
Very satisfied with the result, Mike Rianda has a dream: to continue Mitchell’s adventures. “We hid a number of ideas for a sequel in the film,” he reveals. “I love that the movie is called again The Mitchell’s against … (it was called a time Disconnected, Editor’s note), so we can do Mitchell vs. reptilians, The Mitchell’s Against Time Travel, The Mitchell’s against income inequality! I can’t wait for them to go on new adventures! “