Editor’s Note: Deadline’s Read the Screenplay series debuts and celebrates the movie scripts that will be factors in this year’s cinematic award race.
The generation gap has inspired many animated films. From Ariel challenging his father to explore the mainland to Moana leaving his family’s island, animated films often appeal to rebellious children. the Netflix original The Mitchells vs. the Machines understands the gap but offers some hope for harmonious families.
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Katie Mitchell (voiced by Abbi Jacobson) is a movie buff who wants to go to film school. Her father, Rick (Danny McBride), doesn’t quite understand his passion and takes the family on one final bonding trip before Katie leaves. The Mitchell’s have chosen the right time to go camping, as computers and robots are taking over the world. This leaves the Mitchell family as mankind’s last hope, and also forces the father and daughter to solve their problems.
Sony Pictures Animation has come to writer-director Mike Rianda while working on the Disney series Gravity falls. Rianda based the Mitchell’s on her own family, especially her outdoor enthusiast dad who had no clue about technology. Rianda has hired Jeff Rowe, which he knew from CalArts and also worked on Gravity falls, to co-write and co-produce.
Sony Animation veterans Phil Lord and Chris Miller joined the production when they saw a rough cut. the Cloudy with a chance of meatballs directors and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse producers have become producers of Mitchell too much. The film was titled Bound until Netflix acquires it from Sony Pictures and changes it to Rianda and Rowe’s preferred name.
The animation embellishes the visual styles of the script, from Katie’s film productions to the technological world of robots. The artists also added Easter eggs for moviegoers to spot all over Katie’s bedroom. This is all based on the story at the heart of the film, which begins with the script.
Click below to read Rianda and Rowe’s script.
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