From Connected’s official site:
“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!”
Originally titled The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Connected is yet another collaboration between the production duo of Lord & Miller and Sony pictures Animation who have previously brought us Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, the Lego movies, and the highly acclaimed Into the Spider-Verse. In the lead up to this film’s trailer, the only thing I heard was the promise that this movie would utilize similar animation techniques that were used in the aforementioned Spider-Verse film.
And, looking at the trailer, it appears that we are getting another visually rich film from Sony. While the trailer’s focus was on the family dynamic (and the eventual appearance of robots) we do get quick examples of comic-esque accents over characters’ actions and in one instance a fun visualization of a teenager freaking out. I’m personally a fan of the hybrid hand-drawn CGI style here, and I’m a huge sucker for animation mimicking camera movement, which it looks like there’s quite a lot of it given that our lead character Katie is an aspiring filmmaker.
As for the movie’s actual PLOT, well… we shall see. The script is credited to Mike Rianda & Jeff Rowe with Rianda also being credited as director. Rianda was a writer and creative director on Gravity Falls and Rowe is a writer on Disenchantment and Gravity Falls as well. Which, by the way, Gravity Falls is one of my all-time favorite shows.
I’m cautiously optimistic that the movie will be able to balance the high concept science fiction stuff with the character drama as that’s their forte, though I was definitely down for the more conventional version of this story. Initially I was also a little put off when I heard that the movie was going to be “about phones” but upon seeing more of what the movie is actually about I’m a little more optimistic that the actual message and point of the movie will be more nuanced and insightful than “these darn kids and their screens!”.
To hear further thoughts on Connected, hosted above is our latest episode of Trailer Talk! Listen to Melvin and me banter about Connected and several other movie trailers!
Description: Katie Mitchell is accepted into the film school of her dreams. Her whole family drives Katie to school together when their plans are interrupted by a tech uprising. The Mitchells will have to work together to save the world.
Director: Michael Rianda, Jeff Rowe
Starring: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Michael Rianda, Eric André, and Olivia Colman
Rating: Not Yet Rated
Release Date: October 23, 2020
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Daniel Braindead is a Producer and Cohost of Cinematic Doctrine. Combining his BA of Biblical Studies, brief study in Journalism, and an overdose of film trivia and film history, Daniel brings clarity and comedy to every episode of the Cinematic Doctrine podcast! His prowess for cultural understanding and biblical application always brings something new to the table.