This strange family consisting of a collection of monsters became popular culture in America in the 60’s until its film adaptation in the 1990s. As for the animated adaptation, the film The Addams Family doesn’t seem to be able to live up to the expectations of its big name; stray from a satirical tale of spooky and mysterious or present a light story that can be enjoyed by children.
The Addams Family film retells the time when Morticia (Charlize Theron) and Gomez Addams (Oscar Isaac) on their wedding day, were kicked out of their village. They find an ancient house and end up living there. Then 13 years later, their family grows with the presence of Wednesday (Chloe Grace Mortez) and Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard).
Conflict begins to emerge when realtor and reality show star Margaux Needler (Allison Janney) wants to renovate the Addams haunted house because the old house reduces the property value of the neighborhood. At the same time, the Addams received their relatives in Pugsley’s “Marzuka” celebration. What happens when the locals start to notice the Addams family in their neighborhood?
The old story of the Addams Family
The story does not really stand out among other children’s animated comedies. But the humor is accessible to both children and adults for almost an hour and a half of the film’s duration. Stories that are close to the daily life of today’s families: where children are very dependent on gadgets and parents are targeting what their children should do.
Wednesday develops into a teenager who begins to find a phase of rebellion and finally meets Parker (Elsie Fisher), the daughter of Margaux Needler. The two realize they are trapped by their parents’ expectations and eventually become good friends. Wednesday’s interactions with Morticia’s mother are intelligent and full of sarcasm, providing a more entertaining comedy plot.
As monsters, the Addams loved the unusual. Their house was decorated with cobwebs and dust. Their favorite pastimes include torturing each other using medieval torture devices. They love all things bad and will eventually become part of the well-heard wordplay.
Word games are an important part of jokes and family identity. Children will enjoy an upside-down world – where cleaning the house means making it dusty or when welcoming a rainstorm as a “beautiful day”. It’s just that the jokes become boring from the middle to the end of the story.
Family messages in the modern era
Technology is an important part of this iteration. Describing how smartphones and the internet have become primary necessities, like Parker grumbling about not being able to post his lunch. There is also an image of a torch on a smartphone, representing how technology and the internet are tools for gathering masses of people in the modern era.
This adaptation is aimed specifically at children’s films, but also criticizes the problems of children’s development and how to be themselves. In one scene, the town’s children sing, “Why be yourself when you can be like everyone else?”
Like most children’s films, The Addams Family shows a valuable life lesson, namely about the importance of recognizing and appreciating one’s human side, regardless of differences. The film places the story in the 21st century, depicting witch hunt culture as noisy and paranoid neighbors in cyberspace.
Moreover, the moral message of this film is how to understand yourself and your family and learn about tolerance. Unfortunately, the message given only gains little place in the final scene, and leaves the resolution ending quickly. In contrast to the plot that has been built since the middle of the story.
Drowning in the expectations and popularity of The Addams Family
The Addams Family has been a part of American culture since the one-panel cartoon appeared in The New Yorker in 1938. Its adaptation history also includes a TV series from the ’60s, two live-action films in the ’90s, countless animated adaptations. numbers, as well as Broadway musicals. This is what makes it difficult to present a fresh story for the animation this time.
When the latest iteration uses a more modern story, with cameras, smartphones, and the internet, it is enough to present a different story than previous adaptations. However, it seems that Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon and writer Matt Lieberman can’t maximize it well.
Like the comic version, the animated version feels like fragments of a story put together into 87 minutes of duration. Unfortunately, these shards actually make this film feel like a cartoon on a Sunday morning, without a coherent plot. Compare that to Abominable (2019) which presents a clear story.
Despite social criticism, the film hardly introduces any new language in the Addams Family franchise. There are some action scenes and jokes that are crisp, but do not distract from the story that is still rigid. As for the Addams extended family, they had quirky characters but felt like unnecessary additions to the plot.
Overall, The Addams Family is a brand-new animated adaptation, sometimes witty, but not significantly impactful. Although it provides a modern story with an important moral message for children, it is still too weak as a legendary American family icon for decades.