I took my son to see The Addams Family 2 – in the theater! – because he asked, and I’m glad he sort of enjoyed the movie, because I… didn’t. (Even my son didn’t love it; he wanted to leave as soon as the credits hit the screen, when he’d usually stay until every last word had scrolled by and the house lights have come on.) It should have been great. It’s The Addams Family, one of my favorites. I loved John Astin and Raul Julia as both Gomezes, and in this movie he’s voiced by Oscar Isaac! And Cameron Diaz is Morticia! That alone should have sold me on it. AD2 tells the story of Wednesday hitting those awkward teen years, with Gomez particularly troubled at the distance he thinks is growing between them. That’s in keeping with who Gomez has always been: passionate, deeply involved in his family’s lives and emotions, to the point of being clingy and a bit overbearing. So the evolution of that into Wednesday pushing her dad away (a bit) and his overreacting made perfect sense.
But what was probably a good idea on paper became a bloated trainwreck when it got stuffed full of “big name cameos” and “how many toys can we sell off this movie?” On top of that, someone much have decided that letting Wednesday evolve meant scaring off old-school fans, because they kept some of the worst, out-dated “jokes” from the older shows. (The most cringe was pretty much every time Pugsley and Uncle Fester interacted.)
There were a couple of transcendent moments though, and the one that I remember best had nothing to do with the main cast. It’s the unnamed bit-part character above, a motorcycle biker wearing a deer head. The sad dead eyes, the impossibly-long neck, the realization that the biker must have suddenly found himself comfortable wearing this deer head (maybe comfortable in his own skin for the first time?) because he kept it on the rest of the time we see him onscreen. It’s a sweet moment that no one acknowledges in any way. It’s meant to be a throwaway laugh, I think, but to me it felt more like the old Addams Family than most of the movie.
In the picture above you can see the original sketch I did right after the movie, which has a disjointed demon-deer quality because I changed the sketch several times trying to get the pieces in the right place. I ended up drawing a new one a couple of weeks later, which is the one I finished. But I’m holding on to the first drawing. It gives me ideas for later…