Now Showing: The Addams Family

The Addams Family has been rebooted a number of times, and this incarnation captures more of the original 1960’s T.V. series’ charm than several previous attempts.

In particular, Charlize Theron as Morticia and Oscar Issac as Gomez, play the dreadful-ever-after husband and wife duo, alternately expressing their affection with headless roses and skull crushing. Also carrying more than his weight is comedian Nick Kroll, who gives his Uncle Fester the perfect amount of Jackie Coogan silliness with his slurred speech affectation.

The plot revolves around a home improvement show that aims to build the perfect suburb in the shadow of The Addams Family’s mansion. Conspiring to run the weirdos out of town is show host Margaux Needler, voiced by Allison Janney. Needler’s quest to build, and ultimately profit by selling, the perfect town, leads her to fall out with her daughter, who is a teenager struggling at school with a Taylor Swift look-a-like bully. Needler’s daughter becomes fast friends with outcast Wednesday Addams, as the two learn in tandem just how cruel or nice the world can be.

The animation is first-rate, and in some sweeping scenes, even the 2D version I saw gave me a touch of vertigo. Though not quite Pixar-level greatness, it is definitely a visual feast. Produced by Bron Creative and Nitrogen Studios, it’s definite proof that the competition is improving, which is good news for animation fans.

My only negative feeling about the film was the running time. Although it clocks in at the standard hour and a half, the story did have moments when it dragged, which might make younger viewers a little restless. Other than that, it’s a pretty strong entry in the family entertainment category.

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