THE ADDAMS FAMILY / CERT: PG / DIRECTOR: CONRAD VERNON, GREG TIERNAN / SCREENPLAY: MATT LIEBERMAN / STARRING: OSCAR ISAAC, CHARLIZE THERON, CHLOE GRACE MORETZ / RELEASE DATE: 2ND MARCH
Directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon are here to bring us their animated adaptation of one of the darkest (but coolest) families in entertainment history, The Addams Family! Forced out from the shaming society that they've grown so very tired of, Morticia (Charlize Theron) and Gomez Addams (Oscar Isaac) drive away from it all to find a place that they can safely inhabit. With the opening credits showing what's happened in the thirteen year time gap through photo portraits, the film begins as it fully establishes the classic family line-up. After comfortably living without any harassment from the outside world for years, trouble finally comes knocking when Margaux Needler (Allison Janney) discovers their home while selling fake happy properties near them. Believing that the Addams and their spooky mansion don't represent what her emotionless homes do, Margaux does everything within her greed and short-sighted mind to get rid of them.
Doing the voices for characters that many reading this probably grew up watching in the cinema, or reading about in comics (the way they look in print form has, to fans’ delight, been well respected here) is, as you'd most probably expect, no easy task. However, the cast that have been picked for this animated foray have done a marvellous job. Alongside a charming relationship between Gomez and Morticia, Nick Kroll is a growling, loud standout with his hilarious boundary-pushing take on Uncle Fester. As Wednesday Addams (Chloë Grace Moretz) discovers the outside civilization for the first time, and as Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard) gets ready for a Mazurka - all in the middle of this feud with Margaux Needler - the story starts to feel a little bit clunky, disjointed and flat. Although the creative figures behind this animated reincarnation have put their all into this by dropping in Addams Easter Eggs and even funky little interludes from Lurch (get ready to click your thumbs with Thing), we’re given a plot that just doesn't get off the starting line. In some ways, it presents itself as one very long trailer.
The extras are, sadly, extremely short, albeit informative. Those looking to see how this animation has been brought to life will find interest in the storyboard feature and the to-the-point interviews with the cast and crew. If you want a quick but funny game of charades with Thing, then that’s on the disc as well! Sure, this modern form doesn't give us anything too memorable, but the characters have been very well thought out, and going forward they could potentially live - like this family has done before - much more comfortably in a TV medium.