REVIEW: ‘The Addams Family 2’ a harmless animated sequel that families can enjoy together for Halloween
Oct 1, 2021, 10:17 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY — Parents of all nationalities throughout history have had to deal with their emotions about children growing up and moving on, and most have probably felt the desire to try and maximize their time with them before it’s too late. So why wouldn’t that be the case even for a family that is admittedly “creepy…kooky…mysterious and spooky?”
As it turns out in “The Addams Family 2,” the sequel to 2019’s successful animated feature “The Addams Family,” it’s just as true for them as anyone else.
“The Addams Family 2” returns most of the voice cast from the first film (Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Kroll, Bette Midler, Conrad Vernon and Snoop Dogg) and adds Javon Walton (replacing Fionn Wolfhard as Pugsley) and Bill Hader this time around.
Like the first movie, the animation style is based on Charles Addams’ original New Yorker cartoons.
Mad child genius Wednesday Addams (Moretz) wins her school science fair with an experiment that switches her pet octopus’s mind into her Uncle Fester’s (Kroll) body. That brings her to the attention of renowned scientist Cyrus Strange (Hader), who wants to combine his work with hers, but he’s rebuffed when she calls it a “family secret.”
At the same time, Pugsley is starting to notice girls but has no skills to get them to notice him, so Fester takes his young nephew under his wing–or tentacle, at least since Wednesday’s experiment.
As the kids spend more time on their own and away from their parents, Gomez (Isaac) and Morticia (Theron) long for the good ol’ days when Pugsley was trying to kill his father, and Wednesday would confide in her mother, so Gomez rolls out the family motorhome and takes everyone on a cross-country trip to see the sights of this great land–like Salem, where the witch trials were held.
But right before leaving, a lawyer (Wallace Shawn) shows up and makes a strange claim: There’s a chance that there was a mix-up at the hospital when Wednesday was born, and that despite her eccentricities, she may not actually be an Addams at all and he needs to get a DNA sample to verify. This worries Gomez, who decides to keep the information to himself and keep the lawyer away from Wednesday.
As the trip progresses, the family is forced to take more drastic measures to avoid the lawyer and his hulking helper and when she finally learns what’s happening, Wednesday will have to decide if family is just who you share genes with, or if it’s something more.
To me, the strength of the movie was in its family-friendly nature. Though the Addams Family is supposedly “scary” it never goes too much into worrisome territory for parents. Anything that could be construed as heavy is typically countered with something frivolous or silly shortly after. Even Snoop Dogg as Cousin It is once again a harmless addition to a kids film–and who would have thought that back in the early 90’s?
The voice talent is solid. Isaac, Theron and Moretz really seem to understand the DNA of their Addams Family characters, in particular Moretz seems to relish voicing Wednesday’s icy, calculating ruthlessness. But it’s Kroll who really sets the tone for the movie with Uncle Fester’s goofiness giving the kids a laugh with almost every thing he does.
Plus, the efficient 90-minute run time means even parents who aren’t necessarily enjoying the movie don’t have to wait long for it to end.
There’s really not much to warn parents about. The movie is rated PG for macabre and rude humor, cartoon violence and very mild language. I didn’t notice anything particularly objectionable as I watched.
FINAL RATING & WHERE TO WATCH
I think “The Addams Family 2” is a great movie option for families to watch together ahead of Halloween. While not quite as unique or funny as the first “Addams Family” animated movie was for me, it’s still something that kids will love and parents can get nostalgic about as they listen to the famous theme.
ANDY’S RATING: TWO & A HALF OUT OF FOUR STARS
“The Addams Family 2” is playing exclusively in theaters.
Hopefully you & your family found this review helpful! Andy Farnsworth is the movie and pop culture guy for the KSL 5 Today morning news show and also hosts the Fan Effect podcast for KSL NewsRadio. Check out some of his other in-depth reviews of movies and streaming TV series on KSLTV.com.