The Addams Family Parent Guide
If you're looking for laughs, watch the trailer. The rest of this movie drags, slowed down by jokes that don't land and heavy-handed messages.
Parent Movie Review
Everyone’s favorite creepy clan is back, this time in an animated feature film, made more horrifying by its 3D option. Fans of macabre mayhem will be pleased to know that the Addams family are still their strange, scary selves: Morticia (voiced by Charlize Theron) uses her late parents’ ashes as cosmetics, Wednesday (voiced deadpan by Chloe Grace Moretz) guillotines her dolls, Pugsley (voiced by Finn Wolfhard) sets off explosives instead of training in swordsmanship.
The plot of this film turns on two points: Pugsley’s fast approaching coming-of-age ceremony - the Addams mazurka - and the desire of Margaux (voiced by Allison Janney) a property developer/reality TV host to sell the homes she has designed and built in the neighboring community. But the Addams’ gloomy mansion stands in her way…
The trailers for this production are chock full of laughs and off-beat funny moments: sadly, the trailers have cherry-picked the best moments from the movie. Although there are a few more laughs and some action sequences, for much of its runtime, The Addams Family crawls like a cortege on its way to the cemetery. If you’re looking for a movie to make you laugh, don’t watch the trailer first, and don’t expect side-splitting comedy.
If, however, you’re looking for a movie with a message, The Addams Family comes with some big ones. The most obvious is about accepting people for who they are. When Wednesday decides to attend the local junior high, she becomes friends with Margaux’s daughter, Parker (voiced by Elsie Fisher) and they become catalysts for each other’s adolescent rebellions. The results are amusing, especially when Wednesday comes home wearing a pink unicorn in her hair. (“Pink is a gateway color!” gasps a horrified Morticia.) However, not all parents will be charmed by some of Wednesday and Parker’s defiant comments to their mothers or by Parker’s goth makeover.
Oddly enough, the main theme of this movie is political and turns on immigration policy. And it isn’t subtle. Margaux’s designer community is named Assimilation; not surprisingly this pastel-toned slice of suburbia has no room for the peculiarities of the Addams family. When the panicked residents are manipulated into seeing the Addams clan as an evil infestation bound to destroy their community, they attack the mansion. After the dust settles, one resident speaks up: “What have we done? They’re just a family.” Families who cherish cultural diversity and believe in extending a welcome to newcomers will appreciate this message. On the other hand, parents who want to “build the wall” might be less enthused - although it’s worth pointing out that their kids will be blissfully oblivious of any and all political messaging and will likely laugh at the silly scariness in the movie.
Although The Addams Family has frightening moments aplenty, none of them are gory. There are crossbows, guillotines, an electric chair, and explosives but no one is harmed by them. There are also lots of ominous moments involving eerie settings, ghostly sounds, and menacing music. Adult viewers will be most disturbed by the frequent scenes of family members trying to kill each other – although since they seem to be impervious to arrows or explosives, maybe this isn’t a problem after all. Sensitive children and preschoolers will be upset by the frightening scenes, but most kids will shrug off the scares and laugh. Parents, on the other hand, may find that what really terrifies them is having to navigate political messages in a kids’ film.Directed by Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon. Starring Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard. Running time: 105 minutes. Theatrical release October 11, 2019. Updated April 6, 2020
Watch the trailer for The Addams Family
The Addams Family
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Addams Family rated PG? The Addams Family is rated PG by the MPAA for macabre and suggestive humor, and some action
Violence: A woman uses her parents’ ashes as cosmetics. There are lots of violent moments in this film, but no one actually gets hurt. People are chased by pitchfork wielding neighbors. There are several scenes involving catapults. Sword fights take place. A man is repeatedly shot at with arrows and seems unharmed even when they lodge in his body. A man is hit by a car. A house is shown with what looks like blood dripping down a wall. There are repeated scenes involving explosions. A child escapes a guillotine; she uses it to remove her dolls’ heads. A girl shoots a crossbow at her brother. A girl buries her brother alive; he escapes. A girl grabs her brother’s tongue with pliers. A boy crawls into a lion’s mouth to retrieve his dinner. A woman squeezes a man’s head in a vise. A woman faints. A woman locks up two children. Frightening monsters are briefly seen as are creepy bugs.
Sexual Content: None noted.
Profanity: None noted.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None noted.
Page last updated April 6, 2020
The Addams Family Parents' Guide
The Addams clan is feared by their surrounding community. Why? Have you ever been afraid of people who seem different from you? Did you ever get to know them better? What did you learn from them?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Kids who enjoy the tongue-in-cheek scary comedy of the Addams Family movies or TV shows will love Deb Gliori’s Pure Dead series. It begins with Pure Dead Magic and tells the story of the Strega-Borgia clan and their adventures with magic, mischief, and mayhem.
Lighthearted magic adventures for elementary school readers can be found in Bruce Coville’s Magic Shop series. The five book series has something for everyone.
Kids who want scary reading material can try Roald Dahl’s classic The Witches.
Older readers looking for a strange and magical family can read Ray Bradbury’s classic From the Dust Returned.
Dyed-in-the-wool fans of the Addams family will be interested in The Addams Family: An Evilution. Editor Kevin Miserocchi traces the cartoons created by Charles Addams and reproduces his descriptions of the characters.
The most recent home video release of The Addams Family movie is January 21, 2020. Here are some details…
Related home video titles:
The live-action Addams Family Values was much more violent than this animated production. Only hardcore fans of the clan will enjoy this film.
Viewers who get a kick out of watching Wednesday reanimate the frogs in biology class will enjoy Frankenweenie and the story of the pup who is brought back to life.
Corpse Bride provides more macabre comedy for families who enjoy offbeat movies.
If you’re looking for a genuinely frightening Hallowe’en movie scaled down for older kids, you might enjoy The House with a Clock in its Walls.