They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, and this fall, a new generation of moviegoers will meet the Addams family. THE ADDAMS FAMILY, a new animated film featuring the iconic characters, comes from the makers of SAUSAGE PARTY. As a result, this is the Addams Family as we’ve never seen them before.
While it’s hardly the first time the Addams clan has been animated, directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan have put a modern spin on the frightening fam with a cast that includes some of today’s most beloved actors, like Charlize Theron and Oscar Isaac. Whether you're unfamiliar with the Addams Family, or just want of a quick refresher about who's who in this creepy crew, we’ve put together a quick guide to the kooky world of THE ADDAMS FAMILY.
Before we explore the characters and cast of the new film, it might be helpful to take a brief look back at who they are and where they came from. Created by cartoonist Charles Addams, the Addams family made their debut in 1938 via a series of single-panel cartoons in "The New Yorker" magazine. Addams wrote the clan as the complete opposite of the traditional, suburban family. Dressed all in black, the family embraced morbid and creepy elements of life, and didn’t seem to care (or even notice) when other people thought they were weird.
It wasn’t until the 1964 live-action TV series that the members of the family were given names and backgrounds. That's also when the iconic theme song was written. The kooky sitcom became a hit, spawning a few more TV shows (two of which were animated) and a pair of popular movies in the ’90s.
The patriarch of the Addams family is a suave, smooth-talking Romeo type who is madly in love with his wife, Morticia. Gomez is enthusiastic about the macabre games he plays with his family, particularly his son, Pugsley. In the ’90s films, Gomez was played by the late Raul Julia. The new ADDAMS FAMILY is the clan’s first film in over 20 years, and features several familiar voices, like STAR WARS favorite Oscar Isaac as Gomez.
Tall, witchy, and stunningly beautiful, Morticia is Gomez’s beloved wife, to whom he’s been married for decades. Actually, it’s unclear exactly how old the family members are. (There are occasional jokes about their mortality or lack thereof, and they often romanticize death.) Morticia was played in the previous films by iconic actor Anjelica Huston; in the new version, she’s voiced by a modern icon: Charlize Theron.
The youngest of the two Addams children, Wednesday is a gloomy girl who shares her parents’ obsession with morbid things. She loves to (literally) torture her brother, as well. (It’s okay, though, because he enjoys it.) Wednesday’s look has become iconic over the decades, inspiring countless Halloween costumes. That's thanks, in part, to Christina Ricci’s portrayal of the character in the ’90s. Chloe Grace Moretz, star of SUSPIRIA and THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST, voices Wednesday in the new ADDAMS FAMILY movie.
The eldest Addams children, Pugsley is, much to his father’s delight, an inventive kid who loves to create all sorts of demented contraptions. Pugsley was previously played by ’90s child actor Jimmy Workman. In the new film, he’s voiced by a young actor who knows a thing or two about spooky stories: "Stranger Things" and IT star Finn Wolfhard.
Voiced by character actor and comedian Nick Kroll, Gomez’s brother is known for his bald head, tall stature, and the giant fur coat he wears year-round. He’s a bit of a mischief-maker, who is prone to using dynamite, taking scalding hot showers, and watering the garden with blood. (Where he gets *that* from, who knows…). When played by Christopher Lloyd in the live-action movies, Uncle Fester had a peculiar party trick: His body seems to be a source of electricity, and he enjoys freaking people out by using his mouth as a socket for a light bulb.
In some iterations of THE ADDAMS FAMILY, Grandmama is Morticia’s mother. At other times, she’s depicted as Gomez’s mom. Either way, Grandmama is a delightful old witch, who is fond of brewing potions. After being played in the ’90s movies by Judith Malina and Carol Kane, Grandmama is now voiced by character actress Catherine O’Hara (HOME ALONE, "Schitt's Creek"). Oh, and this time around, she is Morticia's mother, once again.
The Addams’ loyal butler is an extremely tall drink of creepy water who doesn’t speak much, if ever. He’s voiced by co-director Conrad Vernon in the animated movie, and was played by Carel Struycken (STAR TREK) in the previous films.
Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes. In the case of the Addams family, that hand is literally just a hand with no body attached. They call it Thing, and it helps the family with various, um, things around the house.
Finally, we reach the extended family. Covered in hair from head to toe, Cousin Itt speaks in a high-pitched gibberish that only the Addams family members can understand. Rapper Snoop Dogg (yes, really!) voices the character in the new movie.
All images courtesy of MGM.