In 1938 cartoonist Charles Addams created a single panel cartoon called The Addams Family and for the next fifty years appeared periodically in The New Yorker magazine. Twenty- six years later, a live-action television series, based on the cartoon, debuted on ABC. While the show only ran for two seasons, it became the foundation for several other projects including two different animated series, several feature films, and a Broadway musical. The first two movies were live-action releases that came out in the early ninety's and the second set are animated films that came out in 2019 and 2021. This most recent one, The Addams Family 2, is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.
Wednesday Addams (Chloë Grace Moretz; Shadow in The Cloud) never felt like she belonged in her family. She always seemed to be smarter, more mature, and more serious than the rest of her family. As she continued in school this divide became more and more apparent and Wednesday started to distance herself. Unwilling to allow this change, her father, Gomez (Oscar Isaac; Dune), decides they are all going to take a vacation and travel around the country together. However, before they leave on the trip, Morticia (Charlize Theron; Atomic Blonde) and Gomez are visited by Mr. Mustela (Wallace Shawn; The Princess Bride) who informs them there may have been a mix up at the hospital and Wednesday may not actually be their daughter.
Most of the cast revise their roles from the first movie except for Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things). He is replaced by Javon Walton (Euphoria), who does a good job as the mischievous, Pugsley. Isaac is the perfect Latin lover, Gomez, while Theron has a deep and sensual voice, and exudes confidence, traits which are needed to portray Morticia. However, the standout amongst a group of very talented actors is Moretz as Wednesday. The lack of enthusiasm and empathy she displays as the young girl is the perfect combination to bring out Wednesday's personality.
The 1080p resolution is - to put it simply - excellent. No graininess from the transfer, clean lines of the animation, and colors that entrance the viewer from beginning to end are all superbly replicated onto the Blu-ray disc. Details, such as Gomez's mustache and Uncle Fester's Octopus arm, abound on this release making it almost a visual masterpiece. The DTS - HD Master Audio 7.1 is good while not completely clean. While a full and robust soundtrack sounds wonderful, the ambient noise drops off on occasion.
Perhaps the most disappointing thing about this combo pack is the lack of extras. Three featurettes, totaling approximately fifteen minutes, offer interviews with the cast about their characters, a discussion of the message the movie sends...one of love and inclusion, and a four-minute tutorial on how to pack for a trip with the Addams Family. The extras are: We're altogether Addams, Courage to be Kooky, and The Addams' Family Road Trip Checklist.
The Addams family made $200 million worldwide from a $24 million budget, making it a success despite mediocre critic and audience approval. Based on those numbers alone, the sequel was a no-brainer for MGM and United Artists Releasing. Of course, as with most sequels, it didn't do as well at the box office and earned even lower approval ratings than the original.
With a terrific cast and well-done animation, it is a shame the script wasn't stronger. The jokes (or lack thereof) fall flat, the pacing is slow, and the story is simply boring. While it made over $100 million worldwide during a global pandemic, I'm certain it was a disappointment to MGM and United Artists Releasing.
If you own The Addams Family on Blu-ray and your kids have worn it out, then you need to buy/stream the second film.