It appears that Sony Pictures has set a new destination for the Mitchells. Variety reports that Netflix has acquired worldwide distribution rights (excluding Mainland China) for Sony Pictures Animation’s Connected, in which it has reverted to its original (and more catchy) title The Mitchells vs. The Machines. Netflix will stream the film exclusively later this year at an unspecified date.
The animated flick had originally been intended for a theatrical release last September by Sony Pictures. But the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caused the film to be initially delayed by a month, then later pulled from the schedule indefinitely. Sony had reportedly sold the film (estimated to be budgeted between $50 million and $100 million) to Netflix for a grand sum that exceeds $100 million.
Though the reason for going back to the original title isn’t specified, Netflix already hosts an exclusive docuseries titled Connected: The Hidden Science of Everything. This renaming was possible done to distinguish the two projects and avoid consumer confusion.
Through interesting coincidence, the announcement of Mitchells‘ arrival on Netflix comes one week after the streaming giant revealed that Wish Dragon, another upcoming animated feature by Sony Pictures Animation, will be among their 2021 animation lineup. Sony Animation also has Vivo and Hotel Transylvania 4 scheduled for this year, although the fate of those two movies is yet to be determined.
The Mitchells vs. The Machines is an original sci-fi comedy in which debut director Mike Rianda calls “a very personal movie about my very weird family”. Rianda also wrote the movie alongside co-director Jeff Rowe, both of whom were writers on Disney’s Gravity Falls. The Lego Movie duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller serve as producers.
The film’s story focuses on father Rick Mitchell (voiced by Danny McBride) and his tech-obsessed family. Before his creative daughter Katie (voiced by Abbi Jacobson) begins her dream college studies, he decides to drive Katie and the whole family to the school in order to bond together for one last time, all while technology worldwide is turning against humanity.
Rianda, Lord and Miller, and Netflix VP of Original Animation Melissa Cobb gave the following statements regarding the announcement:
“I’m so thrilled that everyone at Netflix has been totally in sync with us creatively and are just as excited about the movie as we are. Not only because it’s an original story with a creative visual style that we’re extremely proud of, but also so I can prove to my friends that this five-year journey wasn’t an elaborate delusion on my part.”
Mike Rianda, Director/Writer, ‘The Mitchells vs. The Machines’
“We are overwhelmed by the enthusiasm Netflix has expressed for this movie with this acquisition and grateful to everyone at Sony for making a great picture with us and finding a big way to bring it to audiences. We’re really proud of the film we all made together, plus we understand our subscription fees are waived in perpetuity as part of the deal? We’re not lawyers but it does sound right to us.”
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, Producers, ‘The Mitchells vs. The Machines’
“We want Netflix to be the place where families can come and enjoy stories together. And while we know no two families are the same, we think the Mitchells will immediately endear themselves to yours. It’s an honor to work with Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Mike Rianda to bring this incredibly special film to members around the world.”
Melissa Cobb, VP of Original Animation, Netflix
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Are you excited to finally join the Mitchells’ wild road trip in the comfort of your home on Netflix? Be sure to upload your thoughts in the comments!
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).