“The Addams Family” (MGM)

Appearing in the animated movie "The Addams Family" are Charlize Theron as the voice of Morticia Addams, Chloe Grace Moretz as the voice of Wednesday Addams, Oscar Isaac as the voice of Gomez Addams, Finn Wolfhard as the voice of Pugsley and Nick Kroll as the voice of Uncle Fester. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. (CNS/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

By Catholic News Service

Those endearing ghouls created by Charles Addams in his 1930s cartoons for The New Yorker magazine inspire yet another big-screen adaptation, an animated film directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan.

Gomez (voice of Oscar Isaac) and his wife Morticia (voice of Charlize Theron), face parenting issues with both their children, daughter Wednesday (voice of Chloe Grace Moretz) and son Pugsley (voice of Finn Wolfhard). Pugsley struggles to pass a complex sword ritual required of every Addams male when he reaches a certain age, while Wednesday ventures into the outside, technicolor world with a new friend (voice of Elsie Fisher), whose mother (voice of Allison Janney) harbors wicked intentions toward the clan.

Despite some impressive animation and a worthy, if predictable, lesson in diversity and the need to respect others, the film is bland, dreary and unfunny. Attempts at dark humor involving deadly weapons precludes endorsement for the youngest viewers.

Macabre and suggestive jokes, non-perilous action sequences. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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