Created by cartoonist Charles Addams in 1938, The Addams Family began life as a newspaper cartoon in the New Yorker before being adapted into a black and white television series in 1964.
The adventures of a creepy, spooky and kooky family with a love for the macabre was then rebooted in the early seventies as an animated TV show before being translated into a terrific live action movie in 1991 (you can read the Movies4Kids review here).
The family – glamorous mother Morticia, quirky father Gomez, kids Wednesday and Pugsley, Uncle Fester, butler Lurch and disembodied hand Thing – are so darkly fun it is no surprise that they have returned to the screen once more, this time in an animated adventure with a starry voice cast.
In this adaptation in which the characters look nicely similar to the original drawings, we see how the family got together and ended up living in isolation in an abandoned asylum in New Jersey. However, glimpses of the real world occasionally reveal themselves and Wednesday decides she wants to attend a regular school much to the horror of her parents, while local TV personality Margaux wants the family to leave as they threaten her perfect planned community of ‘Assimilation’.
While there are some moments that will make young kids giggle, there’s surprisingly few laughs for older kids and adults, and none of the deliciously dark creepiness and oddness we expect from the bizarre family. The success of movies like Hotel Transylvania, Despicable Me and ParaNorman prove that children love the darkly comic and twisted moments just as much as grown-ups, so it is a real shame – especially considering the wonderful source material of Charles Addams’ cartoons – that there aren’t any ghoulish delights here.
Is The Addams Family (2019) suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
The film has some dark themes, but nothing that should bother the over-7s.
The story includes a guillotine over Wednesday’s bed, crossbows, swords, explosives and references to death.
Young children may not like a scene at school in which Wednesday and her classmates are supposed to dissect frogs, only for Wednesday to bring them to life to attack a school bully.
Young children may find Thing, Lurch, Fester and Grandma a little scary.
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