From the pages of magazines to the television to the big screen, America’s favorite gothic and macabre clan have experienced their fair share of trials and tribulations. Created by cartoonist Charles Addams in 1938, this dynasty of freaks, fiends, and weirdos is the subject of both animated and live-action cinematic projects.
In October, director Tim Burton announced he’s bringing the Addams Family back yet again for a live-action TV series. While the world speculates about who will play Gomez, Morticia, and Uncle Fester, there’s a deep, dark trove of older Addams Family TV shows and movies to dive straight into.
12 The Addams Family (1964 – 1966)
ABC is the first network to bring the Addams Family to life on the screen. The Addams Family aired for two seasons, billing itself as a ghoulish, but family-friendly, situational comedy that explores the many ways in which the titular tribe clashes with the outside world.
The series stars the central cast of characters seen in all subsequent dramatizations: Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, Grandmama, Uncle Fester, Lurch, and Thing. It’s also the first to include Vic Mizzy’s iconic, finger-snapping theme music.
11 Scooby-Doo Meets The Addams Family (1972)
After The Addams Family ended, the family didn’t return to television until 1972, guest-starring in one of Hanna-Barbera’s The New Scooby-Doo Movies. In Scooby-Doo Meets the Addams Family, also known as Wednesday is Missing, Scooby and his gang get tricked into babysitting Wednesday and Pugsley so Gomez and Morticia can go on a second honeymoon.
Trouble arises for Scooby and Shaggy when Wednesday goes missing from her family’s gothic estate.
10 The Addams Family Fun-House (1973)
The Addams Family Fun-House didn’t make it past a pilot episode, but it’s an infamous contribution among fans. This ABC project hoped to add a musical spin to the chronicles of the Addams Family, employing live actors to play the family members, who also serve as hosts to a spooky variety show.
A new generation of actors, including Jack Riley and Liz Torres, were cast, but the project was never picked up as a series.
9 The Addams Family (1973)
Thanks to the popularity of Scooby-Doo Meets the Addams Family, Hanna-Barbera Productions launched the first animated Addams Family TV series in 1973. In the show, which aired for only one season, the Addams embark on a cross-country road trip in their aptly-titled Creepy Camper.
Even though the series fell into obscurity, it does contain voice acting from an 11-year-old Jodie Foster, who plays Pugsley.
8 Halloween With The New Addams Family (1977)
NBC paid homage to the original live-action series with this 1977 Halloween special. Halloween with the “New Addams Family” brings together most of the original actors, including John Astin and Carolyn Jones. In the made-for-TV feature-length film, Gomez and Morticia are targeted by a group of thieves while Gomez squabbles with his brother Pancho.
7 The Addams Family (1991)
It would be almost 15 years before The Addams Family was revived, and they came back with a bang in Barry Sonnenfeld’s 1991 theatrical film. Updated for modern audiences, it includes memorable performances from Anjelica Houston, Christopher Lloyd, and Christina Ricci.
The plot revolves around a loan shark who attempts to defraud the Addams clan of their vast wealth and material possessions.
6 The Addams Family: The Animated Series (1992 – 1993)
Coinciding with the popular movie, The Addams Family: The Animated Series debuted on ABC in 1992 as part of their Saturday morning cartoons. Lasting two seasons, it sees the family conducting their usual sitcom antics at home.
As with other family sitcoms, everyone usually comes together at the end to resolve their issues and concerns.
5 Addams Family Values (1993)
Barry Sonnenfeld also helms the big-screen sequel to 1991’s The Addams Family, which is titled Addams Family Values. After giving birth to a new edition, Pubert, Morticia and Gomez hire a nanny named Debbie — who turns out to be a gold-digging serial killer.
Debbie sends Wednesday and Pugsley off to summer camp while making moves on Uncle Fester in hopes of absconding with his fortune.
4 Addams Family Reunion (1998)
Filmed as a pilot for a new live-action Addams Family series, Addams Family Reunion is a direct-to-video movie that sees Tim Curry and Daryl Hannah playing Gomez and Morticia, respectively. Director Dave Payne hoped to make a dark comedy, but the movie’s production company Saban Entertainment insisted the story be geared specifically toward children.
Even though Curry shines as Gomez here, the movie was lambasted by critics as one of the worst in the franchise.
3 The New Addams Family (1998 – 1999)
Saban and Shavick Entertainment are behind this American-Canadian revival birthed from the 1998 movie. A 65-episode sitcom, The New Addams Family was canceled after its first season. John Astin, the first actor who ever played Gomez, returns here as Grandpapa Addams.
2 The Addams Family (2019)
Universal Pictures brought the Addams Family to a new generation of kids with their successful 2019 computer-animated venture that far surpassed its budget at the box office. In The Addams Family, a star-studded cast — including Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron — gives voice to the infamous crew.
The Addams Family is harassed by a reality TV producer in the film, who hopes to rid the town of Morticia and Gomez to make her show Assimilation a reality.
1 The Addams Family 2 (2021)
In 2021, the computer-animated Addams Family will return to the big screen. This sequel continues the legacy with many of the same voice actors from the previous film. Bill Hader and Javon “Wanna” Walton will also be joining the cast.
NEXT: 5 Reasons Tim Burton Is The Perfect Person To Remake The Addams Family (& 5 Better Alternatives)
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