There's a lot of quirky and kooky humor to be found in Charles Addams' original Addams Family comics. The characters have a dark sense of humor that leads to enjoyable moments and they all have unique designs to be seen. This should be something that should translate well into animation though the family has been in more live-action shows and films than animation including the 60's television show and the live-action movies directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. Almost 80 years after their creation though, they're now finally in a new animated movie simply titled "The Addams Family". Unfortunately, though, this movie isn't as kooky or funny as it should be. Instead, it's rather dull and easily the biggest disappointing animated movie of the year so far. It really was a big letdown.
The creepy and kooky Addams Family including Gomez (Oscar Issac), Morticia (Charlize Theron), Wednesday (Chloe Grace Moretz), Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard), Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll), and their butler Lurch live in a creepy mansion on top of a hill in New Jersey. Their lives are pretty miserable and unpleasant like they like until the fog around their mansion subsides to reveal that a new suburban town known as Assimilation has been built below the hill by a greedy TV host named (Margaux Needler). Seeing the mansion as a threat to her town, Needler plans to try to get the people of the town against it before a TV crew arrives to show off the new town to the public. Though that's to the only thing the Addams are worried about. As Pugsley is coming of age, their extended family is coming to attend a celebration that Pugsley must prepare for involving fencing with swords and Wednesday is starting to act strange as she is hanging around with the other girls in the new town and taking an interest in their personality. I could go on with this story, but I don't think I need to since it's not very exciting.
This is a movie that was being worked on for a long time. I remember at the beginning of the decade, Illumination was working on a stop motion Addams Family film and even Tim Burton himself was going to direct it. However, Illumination scrapped the project and passed it to Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan, the two directors who also gave us "Sausage Party". Looking back, I honestly think Illumination and Burton would've given us something more interesting than this because the biggest problem I had with this film was that it was horrendously dull. This is a movie that moved so slowly and bored me. The humor didn't make me laugh very much and every plot point you could imagine for this story like this was already done before. Even the message of the film was done earlier in the year with "Uglydolls". Not only that, the plot wasn't well thought through. The whole subplot involving Pugsley goes nowhere and feels tagged onto the film to try to give it more levity and yet it fails. As for the animation, at times it's not even finished. Some of the character animations look lazy and limited and the elemental animation like smoke and water feel basic. It's not as well developed as it should be. The look of the film is also a mixed bag for me. I like the dark look of the picture with the mansion looking fun and creepy though the town built below was hideous and ugly. It looks so basic for an animated town and fake. It's certainly not a town I would want to visit. The characters though are the real problem as most of them are very boring and not developed. Morticia is a stale character as is Gomez, Fester was annoying with Kroll's vocal performance getting under my skin quickly, and Pugsley wasn't very strong or developed. The villain is dull with Needler being a stereotypical real estate agent who wants everything to be perfect and even has an evil lair. You read that correctly, an evil lair. Not only that, Allison Janney had already played this character better in "Over the Hedge". In that film, she was psychotic and insane which made her have hilarious moments. This character is just boring and stale. Even Lurch the butler has one running gag that doesn't work with him playing songs like Green Onions or the theme song for Mr. Roger's Neighborhood at random times and it just doesn't fit. Speaking of the music, the score and song choices were very poor. I'm usually a fan of the music by Jeff and Mychael Danna as they've done good work before like the score for "The Good Dinosaur", but their score was very poor and unfitting for this movie. It was easily some of their worst work to date. If I did have one praise about this movie, it's that I did like Wednesday. She was very well played by Chloe Grace Moretz and had a likable personality and good character arc. She was the highpoint of the movie but sadly wasn't enough to save the film.
Overall, "The Addams Family" is unpleasant and not funny with a horrendously boring story, animation that isn't properly finished, and characters that are stale and underdeveloped. This was a real disappointment and the biggest letdown for an animated movie this year. My suggestion instead is to watch the live-action Sonnenfeld films or even the "Hotel Transylvania" films for a better animated Halloween flick. This is about the equivalent of stale candy. It may look appealing, but overall there's not much taste or bite to it.