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Into the Spider-Verse Producer Details How the Film’s Animation Inspired New Netflix Movie

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If you loved Into the Spider-Verse’s unique animation style, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s upcoming The Mitchell’s vs. The Machines has plenty in store to surprise you.

The new comedy film, which focuses on an incredibly dysfunctional family as they fight off the robot apocalypse, utilized some of the talents from Spider-Verse in order to give the world a painterly look that blends similar comic book and action movie vibes. Miller took to Twitter Wednesday to explain how the new trailer does it.

Much like Spider-Verse, a lot of the beauty is hidden in the details. It makes sense, considering Michael Lasker, CG supervisor on Spider-Verse, was brought on as VFX supervisor on The Mitchells.

Miller points out that father Rick Mitchell’s fur collar is just brown painted squiggles rather than a realistic fur/hair simulation, something that Miller says is harder to pull off.

Inversely, some trees and bushes seen in the background of a suburban yard may look like watercolor paintings, but are in fact traditional 3D CG.

A lot of love for Spider-Verse’s character designs stemmed from how each character was highlighted like a traditional comic book character, with thick outlines. In The Mitchells, characters, environments, and even hair have hand-painted outlines to help define each character. Character Katie Mitchell’s hair is drawn with watercolor-washed shapes, then accented with thick lines throughout.

Katie’s design carries over into the overall world, too. As an indie filmmaker, her exaggerated personality gives life to comical 2D animations that spring up around her, such as the cartoon smiley faces that appear when her dad catches her in the air. It bears the most obvious similarity to Spider-Verse’s comic book “pow!” and “bagel!” animations.

The titular machines that threaten humanity are also drawn with watercolor aesthetics, but are given a much more different color palette and drawn with a somewhat cleaner look to reinforce the idea that they’re a singular intelligence focused on one goal.

There are sure to be some other animation tricks and easter eggs spread throughout The Mitchells vs. the Machines, so keep an eye out when it hits Netflix on April 30.

The film is directed by Gravity Falls’ Mike Rianda and stars Eric Andre, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson, along with guest stars like Chrissy Teigen and Conan O’Brien. Lord and Miller are both serving as producers.

Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer/furby-phobe for IGN. Harvest him on Twitter.

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