Mitchell vs. Machines, how Ron mishandled helpers who handled technology, AI – The Hollywood Reporter

This year, three animated films aim to speak to children and adults about the progress (and risk) represented by AI, social media and the internet – and the filmmakers all agree that the Visuals are an ideal vehicle for turning these ideas into something visual.

Michael Rianda, writer and director of Mitchells vs. the Machines. “And because you have so much control, you can really caricature things in ways that you can’t in real life.”

Netflix’s Mitchells – produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and Sony Pictures Animation – is about a robot apocalypse led by a crazy virtual assistant, PAL (voiced by Olivia Colman) who is furious at his owner. she has upgraded to newer technology.

In describing PAL, Rianda wanted to contrast “imperfect” humans with more proportionate robots by watching “James Turrell installations and Stanley Kubrick films – whatever feels perfect and proportionate,” said Rianda. “The visuals match the theme of the movie, which is that these machines can be a little too perfect.”

Rianda added that one animator even queued up for a 1999 Microsoft press conference for inspiration, as the goal was “to see what tech companies do, because some The work they do is scary and they want to create a clean, cute face on it. We want to do the same with PAL’s face. “But Rianda said that in the end Mitchells is as much about family as it is about reflecting on technology. “I think there is an innate fear of technology, but on the other hand… in COVID, we couldn’t communicate without technology. It is mandatory to be evenly hand. The technology is here in many ways. It’s already part of the family, it’s on your dinner table. ”

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From left: Writer-director Sarah Smith of 20th Century Studios and Locksmith Animation’s Ron was wrong; GKIDS’ writer-director Mamoru Hosoda’ Belle; Netflix’s Mitchells vs. the Machines Screenwriter-director Michael Rianda.
Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / Filmmagic, Borja B. Hojas / Wireimage, Cindy Ord / Getty Images

Writer-director Mamoru Hosoda’s Beauty and the Beast-inspired Belle (released in theaters January 14 from GKIDS) follows Suzu, a shy 17-year-old girl from a rural village who becomes an international singer as she enters a virtual world called ” U”, described as a large metropolis. Speaking to a translator, Hosoda noted that earlier descriptions of the internet (including his own) tended to be “full of white background, a little more fun. In 2021, I think the picture has changed and you can see that in Belle. It is becoming a different reality. … This is a problem that so many of our younger generations are facing today – where the internet has evolved into this second reality. ”

Hosoda suggests that previous hope “has waned a bit. It becomes a more toxic culture. ” Even so, he said, “I still think that newer generations should approach it with some hope. That’s what I meant in that. Belle. ”

Also set in the age of social media, 20th Century Studios and Locksmith Animation’s Ron was wrong follows Barney (Jack Dylan Grazer), a socially awkward high school student, and Ron (Zach Galifianakis), his new digitally connected “best friend” who causes chaos when he was in trouble. “We feel it’s really important that we talk to our children and help them reflect on the experiences they’re having in the virtual and online world,” said Sarah Smith, a writer and director on the film. online,” Sarah Smith, the film’s writer and director, notes that these things can turn out “both for good and for bad – extraordinary bursts of creativity, connection, and friendship… but also loneliness, isolation and its dangers”.

Smith admits there are no easy answers, but she hopes to convey through the film that “you need lasting friendships, you need relationships between people that no algorithm can match.” together. It’s an inevitable part of life.”

This story first appeared in the November 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to subscribe.

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