The Mitchells Vs. The Machines is the perfect family movie night movie and it hits Netflix this Friday, April 30th. I recently had the chance to take part in a virtual press junket where I sat in on two roundtable interviews, one with Maya Rudolph and Abbi Jacobson and the other with Michael Rianda and Beck Bennett. Read the highlights from these conversations and download some fun The Mitchells Vs. The Machines activity sheets.
The Mitchells Vs. The Machines Cast Interviews + Free Printable Activity Sheets
If you think you've been on bad road trips I can guarantee you the Mitchells had it worse. The Mitchells VS. The Machines is centers around The Mitchells, a family of 4 that is facing the relatable moment of sending their oldest child off to college.
The Mitchells Vs. The Machines | Maya Rudolph and Abbi Jacobson
Abbi Jacobson voices Katie, a college-bound teen that watches the world through her screen and Maya Rudolph is the voice of Linda, the matriarch of the family who is dealing with internalized pressure to look perfect on social media.
Of her character, Maya says she relates to Linda as a mom, "Linda's just unwavering love and joy of her family and the perseverance she has to make sure they see their worth and their beauty and all of those things and to try to make those moments that they can. I relate to all of that." She later went on to say that Linda, "acts as the glue for the family".
Abbi says she relates to Katie in many ways, "I was always drawing and like sort of in a sketch book and very much living in my head and creating other worlds, because yeah, I kind of didn't always feel like I fit in and it took me a while to find my people too".
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In the film Linda experiences a lot of emotions, without giving away too many details of the film and plot there are times when Linda really lets loose, of those recording sessions Maya said, "We saved all my action scenes for the end of my recording day because there was a lot of yelling."
Of the more emotional, family moment scenes Maya said, "All of the scenes I did, I did with Mike Rianda in the room so I was able to talk to him about it and I felt really lucky because he was very transparent from the beginning that Linda Mitchell is really sort of a love letter to his own mom".
Abbi also talked about working with Mike during the more emotional scenes saying, "It's great when you feel like, ya know what, we're not moving on until he really gets what he wants and what he's been thinking of for the character and same for me, we don't move on until I was like, I think that felt right too".
Watch the full interview below (look for me at minute 8:39.
The Mitchells Vs. The Machines | Maya Rudolph & Abbi Jacobson Full Interview
The Mitchells Vs. The Machines | Michael Rianda and Beck Bennett
Michael Rianda is the director and writer behind The Mitchells Vs. The Machines and he is also the voice of Aaron Mitchell. Beck Bennett plays Eric, a robot who ends up breaking from the rest of the order of the robots and helps the Mitchells.
Michael has said the Mitchells are based on his life, his family and viewers will be happy to know this also holds true for the goofiest character in the film, Monchi, of Monchi Michael said, "he is based on a real dog named Monchichi, my sister's dog growing up and I loved dearly".
As for how Michael came to be the voice Aaron he said, "it's actually something I'm sort of ashamed of". Other actors and comedian read the lines as and as Michael described them they were "10 out of 10" however there was clearly something missing. He went on to say, "there was something about the energy of the Aaron lines that when it was someone else, even if that person was really great, it was like huh, this doesn't work as well for some reason and so we just used me".
When talking about working with the cast, Michael said "It was awesome to work with Beck who I've been watching on Saturday Night Live in skits, and he like every voice record, for every line that's in the movie there's like 150 hilarious lines that he would just like rattle off".
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Beck tributes those hilarious, improvised lines to Michael saying "he's so fun to record with, he's like, he laughs a lot, and he encourages it, it's like I don't think there's ever like, you improvise and stuff and not everything is going to be funny, I don't think there was ever like alright we're good. He instilled a lot of confidence".
Audiences will also find it fun to know that not only is Beck the voice of Eric but also, according to Michael, "Beck is like every robot in the movie".
Beck talked further about recording his part saying, "the joke of these robots trying to understand humanity and having the lack of intelligence, being so intelligent in one way and so unintelligent in another is such a clear comedy dynamic so it was so fun to improvise in that".
Watch the full interview below and look for me at minute 6:42!
The Mitchells Vs. The Machines | Michael Rianda & Beck Bennett Full Interview
The Mitchells Vs. The Machines | Printable Activity Sheets
In celebration of the upcoming release of The Mitchells Vs. The Machines Netflix has created these fun activity sheets. Click on each image to download.
The Mitchells Vs. The Machines premieres on Netflix, April 30th.