“The Mitchells vs the machines” discussion guide.

“The Mitchells vs the machines” discussion guide

“The Mitchells vs the machines” is a wonderful family film that can be enjoyed by all and used to guide discussion around your family device health.

Grab some popcorn and watch the film together, then chat about the film afterwards.


This family friendly animated action-comedy film is a wonderful social commentary on the effects of device dependency/addiction and how it is impacting families. The story is set in the midst of a technological global apocalypse and relies on the awkward and anti-hero type family, the Mitchells to save the world from a tech takeover.

The humour cleverly handles the subject of generational differences of engaging technology and relationships. The dichotomy of the tech-averse woodsman dad, Rick Mitchell and his You-tube film making, tech savvy daughter Katie, guides us in a wonderful challenge of “how do we embrace technology without it taking over our lives and negatively affecting our relationships?”

Other topics covered include:

  • Family comparisons through social-media platforms.
  • Perceptions of what is acceptable and what is not.
  • The influence of big tech companies’ profits compared to true concern for humanity.
  • The disconnect in family relationships that is enhanced through not hearing one another while enforcing your own paradigm or ideas.
  • How can tech be helpful and when is it dangerous?
  • Being present in the moment.
  • How social media does not always portray the truth, only what we want other people to think about us.
  • Technology must submit to us and not us submit to technology.
  • We are challenged to what is important to us and ultimately the value of family.

Valuable lessons:

  • The value of family.
  • The uniqueness of every family.
  • The importance of listening to one another.
  • The importance of considering each other’s opinions.
  • Never dismiss what somebody else can contribute because of their idiosyncrasies.
  • We can all change the way we see the world.
  • Relationships might be difficult, but worth the effort.
  • Taking an interest in your children’s interests even if they are not yours.
  • If you feel like you are no longer connecting with your children, be there for them. They need affirmation. They need engagement. They need to be appreciated. They need to feel included.

Some questions to consider:

Family related questions

  • As a parent, what are you prepared to do to engage your children?
  • As a parent what are you prepared to do to protect your children against the dangers of technology?
  • What is most important to you as a family?
  • How do you engage as a family?
  • What activities can you do together as a family?
  • What memories have been meaningful and impactful in the lives of your family that you can share?
  • What was the last meaningful experience you had as a family?
  • What do you appreciate about each other in the family?
  • What impact have devices had on your family relationships?
  • What are the strengths of your family?
  • What are the idiosyncrasies that make your family members unique?
  • Do you feel like you meet each other “half-way” when having discussions?


Technology/devices related questions.

  • What do you need to change in the way that you engage technology?
  • How can you, subject technology to serve you, rather than you serve it?
  • Can you survive without the wi-fi?
  • Do you have device free times like at meals?
  • Do you and your family compare yourselves to other families social-media portrayals?
  • Do you ignore each other when distracted by devices?
  • What do your children watch on You-Tube?
  • Have your children experienced any cyber-bullying?


There are many more questions and discussions that you can have based on the content of the film. Allow the different scenes to spur ideas. Pay attention to your children’s reactions to the scenes. Discuss the scenes that they respond to.

Have fun watching the film and lead your family into a healthier space.

If you require assistance in managing your family’s devices, click here.

If you need the guidance of a counsellor to facilitate a family digital wellness discussion, click here.








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