Netflix’s The Mitchells vs the Machines, produced by Sony Pictures Animation, received an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature this morning. Along with Flee, Mitchells is one of only two animated films nominated that aren’t made by Disney.
Co-writer-director Mike Rianda, along with producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, spoke to Deadline after their nomination was announced.
“One of the main things that drew us to the project was Mike,” says Miller. “He showed us an early animation of what the movie might become and, even in its rough form, you could tell that it was really sweet and heartfelt and emotional and funny. And he and his buddy Jeff Rowe, who was the co-writer and co-director, seem like us from 10 years ago, with this level of passion and excitement and wanting to break down the walls of animation and try new things.”
“It was obvious from the get go that it was trying to break new ground,” says Lord. “It was pushing the medium visually and telling a story in a way that was really contemporary and taking all kinds of risks. It’s guided by a young film student whose personality is in every frame of the picture, and she’s gay, and her family is not a typical movie family, and yet the movie makes me laugh and cry and it still has all the movie values that make us want to go to the movie theater. So, immediately we were like, oh, this is a kindred spirit. He doesn’t want to make anything formulaic.”
Lord and Miller both worked with Sony Pictures Animation previously on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and brought along their animation team for Mitchells. “It was wonderful,” says Rianda. “They broke so much ground with Spider-Verse and they were so excited to keep moving forward.”
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