One of Netflix's Best 2021 Movies Is Getting a Treatment Most Don't

The Mitchells vs. The Machines, one of the most critically acclaimed animated movies of the year, is joining a rare group. Although it is readily available to stream on Netflix, it is getting a physical release just in time for the holidays. Sony Pictures, the studio that produced the movie, will release the film on Blu-ray and DVD on Dec. 14. It will also be available to buy or rent on other digital platforms.

The Mitchells vs. The Machines was one of the many family films to get a unique release during the coronavirus pandemic. It was originally titled Connected and was set to hit theaters in January 2020, but it was delayed until September before the pandemic. It was then delayed until October 2020, but Sony later took it off the release calendar. In January, Sony and Netflix reached a $110 million deal that gave the streaming platform streaming rights and the title was changed to The Mitchels vs. The Machines. The unique deal let Sony keep home entertainment rights, and distribution rights in China.

The movie was written by Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe, and directed by Rianda, with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller as producers. The plot involves the Mitchell family working together to save the world from a robot uprising while on a road trip. The all-star voice cast includes Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Eric Andre, Olivia Colman, Fred Armisen, Beck Bennett, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, and Conan O'Brien. It earned near-unanimous praise and was nominated for Favorite Family Movie at the People's Choice Awards.

Since The Mitchells vs. The Machines isn't leaving Netflix, the main reason for getting the physical edition for Netflix subscribers is the bonus features. There are deleted scenes, an audio commentary, and the short film Dog Cop 7: The Final Chapter. Anyone interested in the animation process will want to check out Katie's Extended Cinematic Bonanza Cut, a version of the movie that packs in 40 minutes of extra footage. There are also several behind-the-scenes documentaries.

It is very rare for a Netflix movie to get a physical release of any kind, but it doesn't look like the company had a say in The Mitchells vs. The Machines' release. Netflix did decide to release some of its own movies on Blu-ray and DVD in a deal with the Criterion Collection, which has put out physical editions of The Irishman, Beasts of No Nation, Roma, Marriage Story, and Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

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In January, Criterion will also release a Blu-ray of the acclaimed documentary Dick Johnson is Dead. Netflix also decided to release Stranger Things on Blu-ray and DVD. Shows like The Haunting of Hill House, Orange is the New Black, Peaky Blinders and The Kominsky Method have been released on DVD by their studios.