The Addams Family: 22 Easter Eggs, References, And Things To Watch For When You Revisit On Netflix
Here are 25 details you might have missed in the kooky adaptation of the classic cartoon.
With the original '90s Addams Family movie streaming on Netflix, we combed through every frame, the special features, and more to find every nugget of info and fun trivia that will enhance your streaming experience. Now run along and enjoy another round of "Is there a God?" with Wednesday.
The Addams Family is not so much a film, but a series of dark, comedic shorts, looped loosely together by the overarching plot: a trio of con-artists rob the Addams family fortune by impersonating the presumed-dead Uncle Fester.
But it was fitting, because the original Charles Addams comic, which frequently ran in The New Yorker, was also a series of one-off, single-panel gags. And besides, these isolated, disjointed moments ended up being the best parts of the movie. Whether it was Wednesday's latest attempts to kill Puggsley, or Morticia's acid-dipped putdowns, or Gomez and Fester dancing the Mamushka, these scenes are engraved in our memories.
The 1991 film, along with the 1993 sequel Addams Family Values, set a high bar for casting. Considering the talents of Angelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, and Christina Ricci (in her star-making turn), it might not be possible to cast a film better. Here are 22 Easter Eggs and fun facts for The Addams Family, which is now streaming on Netflix.
1. Everpresent Tar
At the very beginning of the movie, Lurch pours hot tar onto the Christmas carolers outside the Addams mansion. We see the tar stains on the front porch for the rest of the movie. In fact, if you watch the beginning of the movie carefully, you can even see the stains before Lurch pours the tar, implying this wasn't the first time he'd done this.
2. First-Time Director
The Addams Family was director Barry Sonnenfeld's first feature-length film. He would go on to direct the sequel, Addams Family Values, as well as the first three Men in Black films, starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.
3. Meet Gomez
Raul Julia played Gomez Addams. Acclaimed as a Broadway actor, Julia was adept at performing Shakespeare, and he also played Don Quixote in a high-profile revival of Man of la Mancha. But he became popularly known for his Gomez portrayal and for playing M. Bison in the Street Fighter movie. He died in 1994, which made Gomez Addams one of his final film roles.
4. Meet Morticia
Angelica Huston played Morticia Addams. The cartoon character had a signature slim, angular look, and the filmmakers recreated this by putting Huston in a metal corset, and pulling her face back with string and sticky gum. As a result, Huston could not rest while on set, and was especially prone to headaches.
Huston did not initially think she would get the role; she thought Cher, who already looked like Morticia, would be an obvious first choice. But Sonnenfeld always wanted Huston; he thought Cher's starpower would overwhelm the movie.
5. Meet Wednesday
The breakout star of the film, Christina Ricci played Wednesday Addams, the sullen, dead-panned daughter of Gomez and Morticia. Extremely precocious for her age (she was ten years old and celebrated her birthday on set), Ricci is credited by screenwriter Paul Rudnick for changing the ending to the movie. She convinced the filmmakers that the "fake," impostor Fester should be the real Fester, because it would be more "emotionally satisfying." They ended up rewriting 20 pages of the script as a result.
6. Kitty Kat
When Gomez visits the Addams vault, Tully tries to spy on him. During this sequence, you can hear a lion's roar. Gomez then admonishes the offscreen lion, "Down, Kitty!" This is a reference to Kitty Kat, Morticia's pet lion in the 1960s sitcom version of The Addams Family.
7. J.P Addams
The book that Gomez removes to reveal the secret passage to the Addams vault is titled Greed. The author is credited as J.P. Addams. This is a sly reference to J.P. Morgan, one of the most ruthless, well-known American bankers during the Gilded Age.
8. Fester's Trunk
Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd) has some creepy stickers on his traveling trunk, which implies that he loves to visit morbid locations. Among them are Jonestown, where 909 people died in a mass cult suicide; the Black Hole of Calcutta, an infamous dungeon where close to 150 prisoners died; and Elba, the Mediterranean island where Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled.
9. Fester Pinnets
Additional dark-humored items adorn Fester's room. There's a pinnet for Alcatraz, the infamous former prison off the coast of San Francisco. There's also a pinnet for the Desert of Maine, an oddly barren section of land in Freeport, Maine that attracts curious tourists.
10. Train Cameo
Barry Sonnenfeld cameos as the newspaper-reading passenger aboard Gomez's runaway train.
11. Fantastical Hamlet
Portions of the dialogue during Wednesday and Pugsley's duel were lifted from William Shakespeare's Hamlet, from the duel between Hamlet and Laertes. The memorable final line, where Wednesday groans, "Sweet oblivion! Open your arms!" is an original flourish.
12. Arms Crossed
It was Christina Ricci's idea to have Wednesday fold her arms like Dracula when she slept.
13. Shark Fins
When Gomez and Fester are watching home movies together, they laugh at a clip of themselves wearing shark fins as children, about to scare other delinquent kids at Camp Custer. This was taken directly from an Addams Family cartoon, but in the original, single-panel strip, it was Pugsley and Wednesday instead of Gomez and Fester.
14. Mamushka Composer
The man conducting the orchestra during the Mamushka is played by Marc Shaiman, who actually composed the Mamushka's music in real life.
15. Mamushka Sparks
During the Mamushka, Uncle Fester and Gomez scrape their knives together to create sparks. But unlike with Gomez, you can hear the sound of electricity when Fester does it. It's part of a long-running gag, present throughout Addams Family media, that Fester can conduct electricity with his body.
16. More Mamushka?
Originally, the Mamushka sequence was longer, with more singing and dancing. But a negative test screening, composed primarily of suburban teenage boys, caused the filmmakers to chop the musical number down to its current form. The full Mamushka has never resurfaced on any DVD or Blu-Ray releases, but you can hear the missing parts on the official Addams Family soundtrack.
17. All His Possessions
When the Addams are evicted from their home, you can see Thing dragging a red wagon behind him carrying all his possessions. Most of them are hand-themed; among those possessions are a leather glove and a bottle of hand lotion.
18. Making Kids Cry
To make the kids cry during the scene where Morticia tells them the story of Hansel and Gretel, Sonnenfield told them they were all going to get measles shots. After the shoot, one of the parents tried to kick his ass, and Ruddenfeld ran to his car so he wouldn't have to throw down.
19. Product Placement
There's an appropriately macabre ad for Tombstone Pizza in the scene where Wednesday and Pugsley are selling lemonade. The company's long-standing slogan was, "What Do You Want On Your Tombstone?"
20. Girl Scout
The actress playing the Girl Scout is Mercedes McNab. She would later be cast in the sequel, Addams Family Values, as Wednesday's nemesis, Amanda Buckman.
21. New Jersey
Thing searches the classified ads for work, and they confirm the Addams Family lives in New Jersey. Original cartoonist Charles Addams was also from New Jersey, and the iconic Addams mansion was inspired by a house on the corner of Dudley and Elm Street in Westfield.
22. Hammer Time
The song that plays over the credits is "The Addams Groove." It was written by MC Hammer, most famous for his early '90s hits "U Can't Touch This" and "2 Legit 2 Quit." The new song includes a remix of Vic Mezzy's "The Addams Family Theme." The only time we hear Mezzy's original arrangement is at the very beginning of the movie, when Lurch is pouring the hot tar.