A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while The Addams Family is based on the classic 1960s sitcom, it's a much darker comedy with more sophisticated humor. While the movie is fun, it contains violent images and strong sexual innuendo. It also contains scenes featuring the use of various weapons and torture devices. Parents also need to know that while the characters are likeable, their behavior is sometimes mean spirited. Wednesday Addams' sadistic nature is rather disturbing.
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What's the story?
Inspired by the cartoon characters of Charles Addams and based on the classic 1960s television series, THE ADDAMS FAMILY re-introduces the world to the Addamses, a ghoulishly demented family who embraces the morbid side of life. The Addams clan includes cigar-smoking, child-like dad Gomez (Raul Julia); elegant, vampish mom Morticia (Anjelica Huston); weird son Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) and somber, frighteningly sadistic daughter Wednesday (Christina Ricci). Living in the mansion with them are Grandmama (Judith Malina), Lurch the butler (Carel Struycken), and the ever-present Thing, a free-standing hand that has no body but possesses a personality of its own. After hearing Gomez pining for his estranged brother, the beloved Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd), the Addamses' attorney cooks up a scheme to steal the family fortune. As a result, the family gets caught up in a swindle full of misadventures and ghoulish fun.
Is it any good?
The Addamses are a tight-knit family who clearly care about one another, but they lack the same kind of charm and generosity featured in the original 1964 TV series. The characters, while looking remarkably like their classic counterparts, are darker and at times mean-spirited. Also unsettling are the extremes to which Wednesday goes to inflict pain on her brother, including strapping him into an electric chair and joyfully flipping the switch.
While The Addams Family fails to recapture the quirky spookiness and charm of the original TV series, it's actually fun to watch. The dialogue is quick witted, and there are plenty of funny (albeit macabre) moments. But the movie also contains its share of sexual innuendo, violence, and freaky imagery that's inappropriate for younger viewers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about family relationships. What's it like to have a close family? When does sibling rivalry go too far? How are family differences settled?
Families can also talk about the differences that occur when classic TV series are remade. Why are some things in The Addams Family the same while others are presented differently?
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