When Sony gave last year’s brilliant animated movie The Mitchells Vs. The Machines to Netflix, we feared that meant we’d never get a look behind the scenes, as Netflix exclusives tended to lack such things. We’re thrilled to be wrong: there’s a Blu-Ray out now and an artbook, and get this — a completely free version of said artbook now exists on the Netflix website.
If you have an afternoon to lose, you’ll quickly get lost in this book, which has been enhanced with zoom buttons and text pop-ups. For example, here’s one story we found interesting…
Director Michael Rianda was originally hired to helm the picture due to the strength of his resume (he’d just finished a writing and creative directing position for Gravity Falls). Up to that point, he’d been writing a spec for “an R-rated 2-D animated movie,” but he “quickly learned the world didn’t want [it].” It was a family film Sony was after, and Rianda had to come up with something quickly.
Over one long car ride back to his home, he turned on a tape recorder and began brainstorming a story based on his own family. His father in particular loved the outdoors and hated technology, so Rianda wondered aloud how he’d handle a robot uprising. Patriarch Rick was the result, with wife Linda in turn being based off Rianda’s mom. He mixed in his own children to create Katie and Aaron.
Between this book and the newly released Blu-Ray packed with bonus features, what could possibly be making Sony feel so generous lately? We think it has something to do with the impending Oscar season, and puffing The Mitchells Vs. The Machines up as much as possible to stick an elbow in the ribs of Academy voters and go “Eh? Eh??” We’ll know in a couple months if the strategy works.