Scratch That Post-‘Wednesday’ Itch With This Definitive Watch List
With the release of Netflix’s Wednesday, there has been a resurgence in everyone’s love for our favorite macabre but lovable Addams family. And if you’ve just finished watching the entirety of Wednesday’s first season or are looking to go through every single Addams Family movie and TV show out there to gear up for Wednesday, then you’ve come to the right place.
A brief history and The New Yorker
The fictional Addams family has its roots in single-panel cartoons first published in The New Yorker. Created by cartoonist Charles Addams, the family had a 50-year run with the publication and was intended to be a satire of a weird old-money family from the American middle class. Charles Addams primarily drew inspiration from the ornate Victorian mansions and graveyards of his hometown in Westfield, New Jersey.
The Addams Family (1964-1966)
The Addamses were first adapted for the screen in 1964 with The Addams Family, a television show which aired on NBC. It was the show that brought us the iconic finger-snapping, which to this day remains a staple for every Addams family adaptation. Each episode ran for 30 minutes and was shot in black and white. The show is mainly credited for being the adaptation responsible for giving the originally unnamed characters their names. All in all, the show has 64 episodes that mostly give each of the family members brief backstories and anchor each of their storylines in a household setting.
Scooby-Doo Meets The Addams Family (1972)
If you loved watching Scooby-Doo reruns as a kid, then you can probably remember how much they loved doing crossovers, so naturally, they had to make one with the Addams Family. Otherwise known as Wednesday Is Missing, this 1972 episode of Scooby-Doo follows Scooby and the gang stay in the Addams family’s mansion after the Mystery Machine breaks down somewhere nearby. While there, Wednesday disappears after apparently being kidnapped, leaving Scooby, Velma, Shaggy, Daphne, and Fred with no choice but to help out the Addamses.
Fun fact: THE Jodie Foster voiced Pugley Addams for this episode.
The Addams Family (1973)
The cameo with Scooby and his friends served as an unofficial pilot for the 1973 Hanna-Barbera Addams Family cartoon. It ran for only one season with 16 episodes and followed the family on a cross-country road trip aboard a camper that somehow resembles their gothic mansion. The series saw them going from New York to Nashville and even New Orleans.
Halloween with the New Addams Family (1977)
Halloween with the New Addams Family served as a mini-reunion for most of the original actors of the 1964 TV show with the return of John Astin and Carolyn Jones. The plot primarily centers on Gomez and his brother Pancho, who is temporarily staying with the family, and the chaos that ensues throughout his visit.
The Addams Family (1991)
Ah, yes, the adaptation that started it all for most of us.
The 1991 version of the Addamses featured an iconic ensemble cast with Anjelica Huston as Morticia (who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance), Raul Julia (rest easy) as Gomez Addams, Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Fester, Jimmy Workman as Pugsley, and of course, our queen and a staple of almost every film we loved from the ‘90s, Christina Ricci as Wednesday. The film’s plot focuses on the return of Uncle Fester after a 25-year disappearance in the Bermuda Triangle but leaves the family wondering if this person actually is him or an impostor.
The Addams Family: The Animated Series (1992-1993)
Once again produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, the return of the Addamses as an animated television series ran for two seasons. Unlike the 1973 show, this series did not revolve around the family going on a road trip but rather focused on them and their life in the fictional town of Happydale Heights. There, they have to deal with the Normanmeyer family, who are on a quest to get them out of town, only to be thwarted each time.
Addams Family Values (1993)
The sequel to Barry Sonnenfeld’s 1991 The Addams Family, Addams Family Values shows a new addition to the family: Pubert. After several foiled attempts to kill their new sibling, Morticia and Gomez decide to send both Wednesday and Pugsley off to summer camp and get a nanny (who turns out to be a raged killer) to look after their new baby. While in summer camp, Wednesday and Pugsley, of course, get up to more shenanigans, with the former coming up with a banger speech during a play for the entire camp to watch on the story of the very first Thanksgiving.
Although it didn’t perform as well at the box office as its predecessor, it did receive rave reviews from critics. Raul Julia, who had reprised his role as Gomez, would unfortunately pass away just a few months later in 1994.
Addams Family Reunion (1998)
Originally intended to be a pilot for a television show, Addams Family Reunion featured Daryl Hannah and Tim Curry taking on the roles of Morticia and Gomez. The plot was anchored on the family arriving at the wrong family reunion being hosted in a luxury resort.
The New Addams Family (1998-1999)
The New Addams Family ran for 65 episodes and served as a revival of the original adaptation from the 1960s. John Astin, who had played Gomez in the previously mentioned original, made a comeback here as Grandpapa Addams.
The Addams Family (2019)
A lot can be said about 2019’s The Addams Family. It received mixed reviews from critics, but its animation was superb and was very much reminiscent of the original cartoons from The New Yorker. It also chose to cast Oscar Isaac as Gomez. Oscar Isaac. Don’t get me wrong, because, like I said, the animation for this one was excellent, but it’s Oscar Isaac we’re talking about here. We could have seen him with the goatee and cigar alongside Charlize Theron. WE WERE ON THE VERGE OF GREATNESS.
The Addams Family 2 (2021)
The sequel to 2019’s The Addams Family saw the return of the original cast (yes, Oscar Isaac, yes still in animated form) and follows the family on a vacation after Gomez starts feeling as though the children are straying further and further away from him and Morticia.
All this, of course, brings us all to Wednesday. Now streaming on Netflix, the show is marketed as a macabre coming-of-age comedy that reimagines the usual plotlines we see about the Addamses with Wednesday as its star. After getting expelled from her school, Morticia and Gomez make the decision to enroll Wednesday in their alma mater, Nevermore Academy. The show stars Jenna Ortega as its titular character, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia, and Luiz Guzmán as Gomez. It also features Game of Thrones’ Gwendoline Christie, and a supporting role from one of our favorite Wednesdays growing up, Christina Ricci.
(featured image: Paramount Pictures)
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