If You Like ‘The Addams Family’ You’ll Love the ’90s Movies
The new animated Addams Family will introduce a whole new generation to Gomez (Oscar Isaac), Morticia (Charlize Theron), Wednesday (Chloe Grace Moretz), Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard), Fester (Nick Kroll) and Grandma Addams (Bette Midler). When I was a teenager in 1991, it was a big deal that there was a live-action Addams Family movie. It was one of the first big screen movie adaptations of a TV show and without it we might not have 21 Jump Street or The Equalizer.
Sony is releasing the animated movie this weekend and Paramount just released a double Blu-Ray with The Addams Family and Addams Family Values. The ‘90s films look like they were just made this year. All the detail of the Addams house and it’s gothic stone and contraptions are exquisite in HD. If you’re a new Addams fan you should definitely discover the live-action movies.
The cast of ‘The Addams Family’ was amazing
Gomez Addams might be the second best role the acclaimed Raul Julia ever played. His best of course was M. Bison in Street Fighter: The Movie. Julia relished Gomez’s gusto and never played down to the material.
Angelica Huston was elegant as Mortician. Christina Ricci already had impeccable sarcasm as Wednesday. Jimmy Workman didn’t do much else so he forever embodies the quiet Addams child Pugsley. Christopher Lloyd and Carol Kane immersed themselves in character makeup as Fester and Grandma and Carel Struyken was the ultimate silent comedian as Lurch.
The Addams Family loved each other
The outside world looked down on The Addams Family but who were they to talk. The Addamses may have been into death and ghouls but they stood by each other. Gomez and Morticia had a passionate marriage and Gomez treated his brother like a soul mate. Gomez and Morticia going to parent-teacher night sets an example for all parents to support their unique children.
The first movie was really about setting up the household. The plot about Gomez reuniting with a long lost Fester may have been thin, but the point was to introduce the family and their interactions with the world. Values really let them loose on the ‘90s.
Who were the weird ones really?
The Addams movies skewered ‘90s society. The title of the sequel was a reference to politicians’ plea for family values. The Addamses didn’t fit in the box they were talking about and that made the important point that there’s no one size fits all definition of family. That would become even more important as LGBTQ families, single parent families and blended families became ever more ostracized.
Wednesday’s takeover of the summer camp Thanksgiving Play was a hilarious takedown whitewashed history. Fester taking a wife showed how new partners can threaten family bonds, although she was doing it on purpose.
Barry Sonnenfeld directed The Addams Family and Values. He really created a surreal macabre world that contrasted with 1991 and 1993 America hilariously. The films coincided with the rise of goth, so young audiences were ready to accept a family that dressed all in black and gray and shunned the outside world. Perhaps we still are.