The Addams Family  – Blu-ray Review
Film Title: The Addams Family
Release Date: 2019
Runtime: 87 minutes
Region Coding: Region A
Audio Formats: DTS-HD MA 7.1
Aspect Ratio(s): 1.85:1
Version Reviewed: Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Release Date: 1/21/20
Directors: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Voice Cast: Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Snoop Dogg, Bette Midler, Allison Janney, Tituss Burgess, Jenifer Lewis
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Full Blu-ray Tech Specs at bottom
“The Addams Family” was a 2019 CG animated film adaptation of original characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams. Over the years, since first appearing in The New Yorker back in 1938, The Addams Family has received countless adaptations – including the 1964 TV series and the more recent 1991 live-action film (both of the same title).
This 2019 CG animated film was co-directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon. Tiernan is known for his work directing a lot of “Thomas & Friends” films (from 2009 up to 2015), as well as for his earlier work in the animation department on some hand-drawn major animated classics of the 1980s like “An American Tail” (1986), “The Land Before Time” (1988), and “All Dogs Go to Heaven” (1989). Tiernan is also known for co-directing the R-Rated CG animated feature film “Sausage Party” (2016) with his partner here, Vernon. Vernon is both equally as known for his work as a voice actor in CG animated films, and for co-directing some of them – like “Shrek 2” (2004), “Monsters vs. Aliens” (2009), and “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” (2012).
The film’s co-director Conrad Vernon worked here on the story adaptation of Charles Addams’ original characters, along with the help of Erica Rivinoja and Matt Lieberman. Lieberman then co-wrote the screenplay to the film along with Pamela Pettler.
The story to the film here involves the origin of The Addams Family and how they came from “the old country” and ended up in the United States, in New Jersey (of all places). “Morticia Addams” (Charlize Theron) and “Gomez Addams” (Oscar Isaac) were able to have a quick non-traditional (by our standards) type wedding with their extended family before the townspeople, with pitchforks, ran them out of the country entirely. We come to learn how they ended up living in their infamous mansion as well as how they met their very tall and musically talented butler “Lurch” (Conrad Vernon) within the opening of the film. Then, 13 years pass and we see that the gruesome couple has started a family, first with a bad seed daughter “Wednesday Addams” (Chloe Grace Moretz) and then a mischievous son “Pugsley Addams” (Finn Wolfhard).
Joining them you have the lovable dim-witted but high-voltage “Uncle Fester” (Nick Kroll), that lovable hand “Thing”, and of course “Grandma Addams” (Bette Midler). The family really seems to love settling down and living out to themselves surrounded by a marsh, but one day they’re surprised to find out a town has developed below them – as they’ve drained that marsh. The town is being developed by a female TV personality named “Margaux Needler” (Allison Janney) known for doing her home renovation show and she’s building your definition of the perfect cookie-cutter wholesome bright overly happy world that is the polar opposite to the dull drab style of The Addams Family. It’s here where lies the true plot, as she has the Addams’ home up on a hill right in view of her town, and she decides to remodel their home – instead of trying to run them off.
The film includes a cast of a few other characters such as Margaux’s assistant “Glenn” (Tituss Burgess) and her teenage daughter “Parker” (Elsie Fisher). Also, there’s some family that we see in the opening of the film and that drop by over the course of the film such as “Cousin It” (Snoop Dogg), and “Great Auntie Sloom” (Jenifer Lewis). Let’s just say this is a different version of The Addams Family than most of you have come to know but they share some of the very same characteristics. Seeing them in a CG animated film is a bit weird to get used to at first, but they seem to belong in this type of art – considering they were created and designed originally by a cartoonist.
Movie Rating: 3.75 (out of 5)
click to view a 1080p Blu-ray Screenshot
“The Addams Family” (2019) is presented in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, just as it was shown during its theatrical run. This comes on a BD-50 (50 gigabytes dual-layered) Blu-ray Disc. To get rather a bit technical for a moment here, the film itself is using 26.3 gigabytes itself out of the 30.41 GB total used entirely on the disc. It’s very typical of CG animated films to have rather smaller file sizes for the films than with live-action films. So, there’s some food for thought to go with those tech specs.
Now, as for the actual video quality itself. It’s downright impressive and perfect for a CG animated film in 1080p HD on a Blu-ray. It comes with a very solid black level, a slight obviously subdued color palette but with these rich vibrant colors and the city nearby being bright and very visually pleasing. The amount of detail here on characters is rather impressive when you look at things like hairs and the textures of fabric on the wardrobe, or so forth. There are some very impressive shading techniques used here that make things look much better than some older CG animated films.
The Addams Family (2019) is a beautifully detailed animated film and the Blu-ray Disc presents the film in the best that it can (given limitations) look in 1080p HD video. It’s up there with some of my other favorite CG animated films in terms of its visual presentation. That said, this earns itself a perfect 5 rating for video quality here.
Video Quality Rating: 5 (out of 5)
Audio here, on the Blu-ray debut of The Addams Family (2019), is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sound – with a DTS 5.1 core for those not capable of fully decoding the audio format.
This is filled with a pretty good amount of action that sure translates over into some really nice 7.1 lossless surround sound, that will fill your room (even in a 5.1 configuration). You’ll certainly notice the rear channels getting used for the music and sound effects, in addition to the front left and right channels. There’s a very nice amount of oomph so-to-speak here, in terms of bass, that you’ll hear from the subwoofer all throughout. Dialogue, the most important thing here, is distinctly driven from the center channel and no volume adjustments will need to be made. Just be prepared for some loud moments, like “Lurch” popping in or playing some music, and you’ll be fine.
The music that “Lurch” plays on the piano as well as the original music both sound very nice and set the mood to the films almost perfectly. It could have benefited from getting a Dolby Atmos or DTS:X object-based lossless surround sound mix with height speakers, and that’s my only real complaint here in terms of sound. This kind of makes sense to point out too, as IMDb shows this film received a Dolby Atmos sound mix during some theatrical showings – depending on the theater.
I’ll easily give this a very impressive 4.75 rating for overall audio quality. These CG animated films tend to have very nice surround sound and it has pretty much become normal and even often expected of them to sound almost if not as impressive as they do visually. This almost pushes things nearly over the top to earn an even higher rating near the end of the film, if only for a brief bit. It’s definitely a sound mix that will get your attention, much like The Addams Family do themselves, as some very unique characters.
Audio Quality Rating: 4.75 (out of 5)
Bonus materials on this release, are presented in HD video quality with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo – unless otherwise noted below.
A Digital Copy of the film is included which is only redeemable via the iTunes service. However, once you do redeem it you’ll be happy to find out that you now digitally have a 4K UHD version of the film with both HDR10 and Dolby Vision forms of High Dynamic Range (HDR).
Here’s a list of the extras included on the Blu-ray Disc:
- “Deleted and Extended Scenes (6:15 – HD)
- “Welcome to the Family” (6:02 – HD) includes interviews with Greg Tiernan (co-director), Conrad Vernon (co-director), Alison O’Brien (producer), Oscar Isaac (“Gomez Addams”), Charlize Theron (“Morticia Addams”), Chloe Grace Moretz (“Wednesday Addams”), Finn Wolfhard (“Pugsley Addams”), Allison Janney (“Margaux Needler”), Nick Kroll (“Uncle Fester”), and Alex Schwartz (producer). There is also a tiny bit of behind-the-scenes footage from the voice acting recording sessions shown here as well.
- “Life of a Scene” (3:21 – HD) starts with simple black & white storyboards, layout, animation, and the final stage of lighting. All four stages of the scene are shown at the end to give you side-by-side references to the stages.
- “Charades with Thing“ (3:32 – HD) is a pretty short and simple game that is aimed at the family audience of viewers. It’s not something you’ll want to play again, as it would almost be cheating if you’ve memorized the answers.
- “Addams Family Throwback” (1:05 – HD)
- “Haunted Heart” Lyric Video – performed by Christina Aguilera (2:50 – HD)
- “My Family” Lyric Video – performed by Migos, Karol G, Rock Mafia & Snoop Dogg (1:05 – HD)
Overall, this is one very short set of extras – totaling up to a little over 24 minutes in length. The biggest extra, to me, is getting that 4K digital copy of the film with HDR (HDR10 & Dolby Vision). Admittedly, that 4K digital version looks superior in ways to this HD Blu-ray version but comes with some obvious compression from streaming and it lacks the true lossless 7.1 surround sound mix that this has.
Regardless, for a family film, the extras will do and even include a couple of short lyric sing-along type videos of songs featured in the film. There’s a tiny bit for the kids, a tiny bit for adults that are still kids at heart, and just a little bit more thrown in to make it a way too short but somewhat worthwhile set of bonus materials.
Bonus Materials Rating: 2 (out of 5)
“The Addams Family” (2019) animated film adaptation, regardless of what critics or moviegoers thought of it, sure seems to have been rather really a successful film. This is considering it reportedly had a 40 million dollar budget and then ended up grossing a little over 200 million worldwide at the box office during its theatrical run. That said, a sequel for this film has already been announced, tentatively titled The Addams Family 2, expected to receive an October 2021 theatrical release.
This film really is more funnier upon a second viewing and I can explain why I already have viewed this twice at home, and that’s because I’ve also decided to watch the digital version (in 4K) on iTunes as well. It seemed to get me more another time around that it did on my first viewing, especially in terms of its comedy and not to mention its complexity of the CG animation. Sure, it’s not anything like the old Black & White TV show or the 1991 feature film adaptation, both of the same title, but it still manages to use the characters for a pretty nice dark comedy animated film. Some parents might not feel comfortable letting their children younger than teenagers probably watch this, but then again who am I to tell you how to raise your kids? Kidding aside, the comedy gets a little dark but nothing that the kids won’t get too creeped out by and the parents will hopefully get the jokes, use of sarcasm, and such.
In terms of video quality, this looks gorgeous in a very unique way in terms of the CG animation here in 1080p HD (high definition). There are some really nice detail on the characters and set pieces here in terms of the animation itself, and they’re able to show off pretty well (as HD will allow). This earns itself a perfect rating for video quality. Now, in terms of audio the lossless 7.1 mix you get is very impressive and certainly seems to be enough to do the film justice and will leave you pleased (even if you’re just on a 5.1 speaker setup). The only downside to the audio here to me was that it didn’t get a Dolby Atmos mix, considering that it had one during its theatrical run.
Lastly, and sadly least in terms of bonus materials, this doesn’t get many featurettes and the ones that you get aren’t very lengthy at all. It’s a shame there we don’t get a lot of extras but there’s one bright side to that here for the consumer and that’s the fact that we get an iTunes digital copy of the film that is in 4K with HDR10 and Dolby Vision. So, you’ll also get to see the film digitally in 4K if you are willing to use iTunes on your iPhone, Apple TV 4K, Roku Ultra 4K (via the app), or so forth. Finally, this Blu-ray Disc release offers up a great presentation for what I’d call a decent film.
In terms of Blu-ray release, this gets:
5 (out of 5) for video quality
4.75 (out of 5) for audio quality
2 (out of 5) for bonus materials