Before the streaming release of Netflix's Wednesday, there are several variations to watch. Charles Addams, a regular contributor to The New Yorker, illustrated around 1,300 cartoons from 1938 until his death in 1988; television and film enthusiasts have become fascinated with the eccentric family next door since the mid-60s.
What started as a one-panel individual story comic became a Halloween staple, becoming one of the most well-known families in cinema. Over the years, numerous actors have stepped into the gothic attire of the Addams family members, with a new batch coming in fall 2022.
'The Addams Family' (1964 - 1966)
The Addams Family ran for two seasons, with a total of 64 episodes, including John Astin (The Frighteners) as Gomez, Carolyn Jones (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) as Morticia, Jackie Coogan (Oliver Twist) as Uncle Fester, Ted Cassidy (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) as Wednesday.
Season 1 scores 100% with RT critics and 95% audience ratings. Season two has no critic score but a 100% audience score on Pluto TV, Freevee from Amazon Prime, and Tubi.
'The Addams Family' (1973)
The Addams Family of 1973, which ran for one season with 16 episodes, was a much darker and less dark tone, restoring the original ABC series' gothic feel for younger viewers. Lennie Weinrib (Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo) portrayed Gomez in the animated series.
For this short-lived series, there are no RT ratings for critics or listeners. The 30-minute episodes originally aired on NBC. This brief installment of the iconic family can be purchased or borrowed on YouTube, Google Play, or Apple TV.
'Halloween with the New Addams Family' (1977)
Halloween with the New Addams Family was a television series starring the original 1960s cast who reprised their roles for a color production in October 1977. A group of thieves disguised as the Addams family members disrupted their Halloween plans, confusing Gomez's visiting brother, Hanky Darrow.
There are no RT reviews on either side of the Halloween special that follows the original, but there is no other entry for the New Addams Family as IMDb and other outlets title it. This version is available for free on Tubi and Pluto TV.
'The Addams Family' (1991)
The Addams Family received its first feature film in late 1991. With an A-list cast, Anjelica Huston (The Grifters) portrayed Morticia, Raul Julia (Street Fighter) as Gomez, Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future) as Uncle Fester, Christina Ricci () as Wednesday, and Carel Struycken (Men in Black) as Lurch.
The Addams Family receives a 65% rating from critics and a 66% from audience members for its well-timed placement of gags and tricks despite a weak script.
'The Addams Family' (1992-1993)
ABC decided to do their own version of the Addams Family in the early 1990s, broadcasting 21 episodes until 1993. Nancy Linari (General Hospital) would lend her voice as Uncle Fester along with Rip Taylor (Indecent Proposal) as Wednesday and Jim Cummings (Winnie the Pooh) as Lurch.
There are no reviews or ratings for this Halloween family adaptation. Unfortunately, modern-day streaming has not purchased the rights to the limited-run series making it available for viewing. Falling down a YouTube rabbit hole may yield some results for those looking for a throwback 90s cartoon.
'Addams Family Values' (1993)
Addams Family Values is a film directed by filmmakers and stars, with this time the focus on Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd). Following the birth of a new baby, Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) try their best to exorcise the new baby while under the watchful eye of a nanny, Debbie (Joan Cusack).
Addams Family Values was praised for the addition of new characters and improved development that increased the film's comedic and satirical value. Available on Netflix, Apple TV, and Vudu, the sequel came out strong and won a home run from critics.
'The New Addams Family' (1998-1999)
The New Addams Family was launched on what was previously known as ABC Family (now Freeform). Over one season, the Addams appeared in 65 episodes, each of which was 30 minutes long. A completely new cast took their time to breathe life into the iconic characters. Glen Taranto (General Hospital) played Gomez, and Ellie Harvie (Wrongfully Accused) played Morticia.
The New Addams Family did not receive enough attention from RT critics or audience members, whether it was excellent, bad, or servicable. Fans interested in seeing all versions may find the episodes for rental or purchase on Amazon Prime.
'Addams Family Reunion' (1998)
With the Addams Family Reunion, a family of Addams people returns to TV movies after being mistakenly invited to a family reunion. Carel Struycken returns as Lurch after two successful performances.
The Addams Family Reunion was rated a 33% by critics because they didn't have enough reviews to earn a full RT score. However, Julia died in 1994 due to a stroke. Audiences were disappointed with the obvious low-budget quality and preferred the originals, despite good acting from Curry.
'The Addams Family' (2019)
The Addams have received another feature film in over two decades. In this installment of the family's cinematic catalog, they face arising difficulties from a TV personality who realizes that the family's eerie mansion is ruining her dream of selling every house in the neighborhood. With voices like Oscar Issac (Ex Machina) as Gomez, Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road) as Wednesday, the animated version leaves a legacy for a younger generation
The Addams Family is available to watch with a subscription to Paramount+ or for rental on various platforms like Amazon Prime and Apple TV.
'The Addams Family 2' (2021)
Morticia and Gomez try to reconnect with Wednesday and Pugsley in the 2021 sequel The Addams Family 2, which also includes directors Greg Tiernan (Sausage Party) and Conrad Vernon (Sausage Party). Laura Brousseau joins the cast for her first directorial debut.
The Addams Family 2 received a 28% from critics and 69% from audiences, as always. The more sympathetic audience score recognized the film's flaws but recommended it as a family-friendly option for Halloween movies.