Cloudy and Lego Movie duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are back with their newest animated project, and they’ve brought onboard two writers of Disney’s Gravity Falls to helm this road trip. That project is Sony Pictures Animation’s next movie Connected, which now has a newly-released trailer.
Originally titled The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Connected presents the mundane family road trip with a sci-fi twist: One where the family has to deal with technology uprising against humanity worldwide! Here is the official synopsis:
Sony Pictures Animation’s CONNECTED is an original animated comedy from director Mike Rianda (Gravity Falls) and producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Lego Movie), about an everyday family’s struggle to relate while technology rises up around the world! When Katie Mitchell (voiced by Abbi Jacobson), a creative outsider, is accepted into the film school of her dreams, her plans to meet “her people” at college are upended when her nature-loving dad Rick (voiced by Danny McBride) determines the whole family should drive Katie to school together and bond as a family one last time. Katie and Rick are joined by the rest of the family, including Katie’s wildly positive mom Linda (voiced by Maya Rudolph), her quirky little brother Aaron (voiced by Mike Rianda), and the family’s delightfully chubby pug Monchi for the ultimate family road trip. Suddenly, the Mitchells’ plans are interrupted by a tech uprising: all around the world, the electronic devices people love – from phones, to appliances, to an innovative new line of personal robots – decide it’s time to take over. With the help of two friendly malfunctioning robots, the Mitchells will have to get past their problems and work together to save each other and the world!
This original tale on technology overreliance comes from the mind of Gravity Falls writer Mike Rianda, who directs and co-writes the feature as his feature debut. In a first look article covered by Entertainment Weekly, Rianda said he took inspiration from his two favourite things when creating the movie: His “crazy family”, and “killer robots”.
Joining Rianda in the production is co-director/co-writer Jeff Rowe, another writer for Gravity Falls. Rowe is also a staff writer for the Netflix animated series Disenchantment, which coincidently also features Abbi Jacobson voicing that show’s protagonist. Lord and Miller serve as the film’s producers, along with bringing onboard their frequent composer Mark Mothersbaugh for music duties.
“The big whiz-bang of the tech uprising [and] robot apocalypse makes for a lot of exciting action and comedy, but at the end of the day, the heart of this thing is this family,”
In addition to the main cast detailed in the synopsis, Connected also features the voice talents of Eric Andre (Disenchantment) as tech inventor Mark Bowman, and Olivia Colman (Thomas & Friends) as the voice of the Siri-like voice assistant PAL.
Being a Lord-Miller and Sony Animation production, unique visuals are a guarantee, and Connected defiantly delivers on that. The team at Sony Pictures Imageworks has expanded on the technologies utilised on the Lord-Miller-produced Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, boasting hand-painted-like backgrounds, human characters with a hand-drawn feel, and robots artificially rendered in full CGI; all clashing together to bring something highly creative and innovative to the animation table.
“It’s sort of a love letter to our imperfect human world, where it’s lovingly done but everything is kind of rumbly and a little bit wobbly. We wanted to show those imperfections, and we wanted to show them lovingly.”
Deep down in New Zealand, Karl "Karlamon" Smith is a Kiwi who is passionate in animation, seeing it as an artistic medium that expresses vast creativity and brings unique characters and worlds to life. Whenever an animation-related fact pops up, it will more than likely be cemented in his brain for a long time. Some of his favourite animated movies include Zootopia, Balto, Bolt, Over the Hedge, The Fox and the Hound, the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, The Iron Giant, and The Prince of Egypt.
Prior to contributing to Rotoscopers, Karl has served as a bureaucrat on Ice Age Wiki, and a moderator/site builder/news reporter on Animation Source. Karl is also a Computer Science and Digital Design graduate of AUT University. That, and with his additional fascination in aviation, he hopes someday to be both an animator and a pilot (if that is even possible).