‘Addams Family 2’ disappoints despite comedic moments

Fallon Manzella-McReady, Sectional Editor

When I heard that there was going to be a second “Addams Family” animated movie, I admit that I got a bit of a childlike rush. For one, I wanted to cover it the same way that I had covered the first one, which would be a full-circle moment for myself as a critic.

But after watching it, I was left wanting more. Listen, I didn’t outright hate it like others did, but I did have to make a genuine effort to be happy while I watched it, and I think that should say enough. I left this latest “Addams Family” movie with a sense of melancholy. 

My first issue with the film started the second my once-favorite character opened his mouth. I realized that Pugsley had been recast. To say the least, it was disconcerting. To say the most, it was awful. Just awful. 

In the first movie, Pugsley was the “fun idiot” character, the comedic relief, and the hero all at once. In the second movie, in an attempt to make his recasting and completely different voice less obvious, Pugsley’s lines were few and far between, and most of his screen time was spent being somewhat of a rag doll, not really doing anything.

This, unfortunately, meant that the comedic relief had to be covered by characters that weren’t ever really meant to serve that role, and they weren’t themselves. It was a pet peeve of mine. Despite this, there are a few aspects of the film I actually liked.

For starters, there was a very brief but sweet moment near the middle of the movie where Wednesday and Lurch become allies on Wednesday’s search for herself. This moment was meant to simply be a development of the two’s relationship, but it also ended up serving as a moment of escape from the actual movie, which is sad, but it served its purpose well enough that I didn’t give up on the movie then and there.

I’m happy to say that wasn’t the only strong part. There was also a pretty cackle-worthy recurring joke of a couple that keeps trying to get engaged but the proposal is repeatedly ruined in one way or another by the Addams family’s antics. It was a bit off-beat, which is what kept it from being anything more than chuckle-worthy. 

Leading us back into my hate-fest is the fact that these aforementioned joke-moments were pretty predictable and didn’t really hit the funny bone. This isn’t just my sole opinion either. I was in a theater with majority-children and there was not one childlike chortle for more than an hour and a half of runtime. 

I think another testament to how this really missed the mark with kids is the plot was too multi-layered and complicated. There was something about a scientist, family drama, a switch-at-birth scare, DNA tests, self-discovery journeys… It was a lot.

I think the intention with this movie was clear: Age up the plot, bump up the funny, bring in new characters. Where it went wrong, though, is that the plot really didn’t need to be any more mature. It was already funny, and they already introduced so many new characters in the first movie that what people really wanted was recurrence. 

There wasn’t a huge six-year gap between “Addams Family” movies like there was between “Frozen” and “Frozen II,” and after only two years, I really don’t think the message needed to go from ‘Be yourself’ to… Whatever it was. I don’t even know. 

Not to mention, there was a distinct lack of Margaux, the old antagonist-turned-in-law who had made amends at the end of the last movie, and it was even hinted that she had a budding relationship with Uncle Fester. Parker, Wednesday’s friend from the first movie, was also absent.

I simply can’t bring myself to hate this movie, but I also can see where maybe there were a lot of ideas that got jumbled in translation.