The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Phil Lord and Chris Miller‘s animated sci-fi family adventure movie Connected has been one of the many movies delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Sony Pictures held on to the movie with the hopes of releasing it in theaters, but it seems like the possibility of movie theater business being stagnant for at least the first half of 2021 has forced them to send the movie to streaming. Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to the film, which has now reverted back to its original title: The Mitchells vs The Machines.

Netflix announced their acquisition of the worldwide distribution rights to The Mitchells vs. the Machines everywhere except China, where the streaming service isn’t available. It’s not clear if the movie will be released on another service in China or if Sony will be able to release the movie in theaters there, where the coronavirus pandemic has been more efficiently controlled.

In case you missed the first trailer for The Mitchells vs. the Machines, back when it was called Connected, here you go:

The Mitchells vs. The Machines is an original animated comedy 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.

Family movies are among those suffering the most when it comes to theaters not operating at full capacity. These kind of movies rely on parents bringing their kids to theaters, and since it’s not safe to be doing that at all right now, the best option is to releasing it to streaming. Since Sony Pictures doesn’t have their own streaming service, they were forced to sell it to Netflix instead. Presumably, this was enough to recoup their production cost without having to worry about box office performance.

Producers Lord and Miller offered up this statement in the official press release:

“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.”

The Mitchells vs. the Machines is directed by Mike Rianda with Jeff Lowe co-directing, and both wrote the script. Rianda added in a statement:

“This is a very personal movie about my very weird family. I’m so grateful to all the incredible artists that poured their love and passion into this project to make it a reality, and to everyone at Sony who believed in us and were on board to make a different kind of animated movie. 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.”

The Mitchells vs. the Machines also stars Maya Rudolph, Mike Rianda, Eric Andre, Olivia Colman, Blake Griffin and Doug The Pug. It’s not clear when Netflix will release the movie, and Sony Pictures hadn’t given it a new release date after delaying it from release last year, so we have no idea when it might arrive. Stay tuned.

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