Bucking the trend of live-action remakes of our animated favourites, spooky family film The Addams Family has had an animated reworking just in time for Halloween, and it’s pretty good at that.
Star Wars’ Oscar Isaac and Mad Max: Fury Road’s Charlize Theron are perfectly cast as the flamboyant Gomez and steely Morticia – so well cast in fact that it’s a shame the film isn’t live action only because we’re denied looking at their beautiful faces. Morticia is statuesque and grotesquely slender while this incarnation of Gomez is, well, ugly. Which is offensive to both the original Gomez, Raul Julia, and Oscar Isaac. They do make a charming pair though, despite the fact that their usually steadfast relationship undergoes a few bumps along the way.
Chloe Grace Moretz (The Miseducation of Cameron Post) and Finn Wolfhard (It: Chapter 2) round out the core family as Wednesday and Pugsley, the warring siblings who care for each other deep down, even though they like trying to stab and bomb each other at the dinner table.
Yet another brilliant young actor, Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade) plays Parker, a little girl from the local town who stumbles upon the Addams’ spooky mansion and befriends Wednesday. Parker’s mother Margaux, voiced with glee by Allison Janney (I, Tonya), is a TV home makeover host who’s built a perfect town unsubtly called Assimilation and she’s determined to force the Addams to fit in.
A family who look and dress differently, who have different customs and a different culture, feeling ostracized by the community and isolating themselves in response to eventually violent discrimination is certainly a topical take on immigration that works really well to teach kids that differences should be celebrated, not feared.
Heartwarming coming of age stories balance well with some hilarious comic pieces – no aspect of the premise is wasted, and animation allows for some more outlandish occurrences to fit in seamlessly.
If you’re a fan of the original films this won’t blow your mind, but it won’t ruin them for you either. A sure fire hit with the kids this spooky season, and keep your ears peeled for a crazy cameo or two.
The Addams Family is in cinemas now.