Watch This, Do That: The Mitchells Vs. The Machines

A slightly dysfunctional family is up to the task to save the world from a robot apocalypse.

The Mitchells aren’t your perfect family. They’re weird, a bit dysfunctional and they’re going on a cross-country road trip to turn things around. But they didn’t expect this disaster to halt their plans — a robot apocalypse. Now that they’re the last family free from the machines, do the Mitchells have what it takes to save the planet? Here are a few great takeaways to discuss with your family.

  • There is no such thing as a perfect family. Some of us strive to be the perfect family whether that means to argue less, eat healthier or be more organized. Throughout the movie, the Mitchells realize that even with their quirks, they’re still a loving and happy family no matter what.
  • Appreciate each other’s differences. Rick Mitchell and his daughter, Katie, never seem to get along. They soon realize that it’s OK for them to have different interests. All they need to do is meet halfway and listen to each other. This is a great lesson to point out to siblings who might not like the same things.    
  • Working together is success. The Mitchells might not have it all together, but when they embrace who they are and work together, they can save the world (literally!). Use this movie as an example on how the family teams up to tackle every obstacle that comes their way.  

Movie-inspired activities

Photo Credit: iStock/PeopleImages

Now that you’ve watched The Mitchells Vs. The Machines (streaming on Netflix), here are some fun activities to try with your kids.

  • Play classic car games. Even if you’re not driving anywhere, you can play some of these car games suggest by TripSavvy at home. Our favorites are “I Spy,” “20 Questions” and “The Alphabet Game.”
  • Build a robot. Even if the Pal robots tried to take over the world, it doesn’t mean you should step away from any STEM learning. For your next family activity, try building a robotic toy car with this handy kit.
  • Go on a road trip. Anyone itching to go on the road soon? Explore somewhere new with these Midwest destinations for families
  • Have a family karaoke night. Sing along to some of your favorite songs by searching for lyrics videos on YouTube. Add Rick and Katie’s go-to 2008 song to the playlist — “Live Your Life” by T.I. featuring Rihanna.
  • Try a dino dig. In honor of the youngest Mitchell, Aaron, who is obsessed with dinosaurs, make your own dinosaur dig at home. And if your family loves dinosaurs too, then you have to check out these dino attractions!

Have a Watch This, Do That idea you want to share with our readers? Send your idea to with your suggestion for a movie. We’d love to share your idea on

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Katina Beniaris
Katina Beniaris
As audience development manager, Katina Beniaris digs into data to help the Chicago Parent team learn about our audiences and tailor better content for them. She has more than five years of experience in content creation.


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