The Incredibles is, in a word, well…. incredible.
Easily the finest film to emerge from Pixar Studios, the folks
behind the Oscar winning Finding Nemo (2003) the film is a leap
forward in computer generated imagery as an art form and
entertainment medium. Since the release of Toy Story (1995), computer
animated films have been proving more and more popular with each new
picture released as the audiences loved the films, and the artists
behind the scenes honed their talents in what is a new cinematic art.
Following Toy Story (1995) were films such as Antz (1998), A Bug’s
Life (1998), Dinosaur (1999), Shrek (2001), Monsters Inc. (2001), and
Finding Nemo (2003), all strong hits at the box office, and for the
most part excellent films. Shrek (2001) would be the first winner of
a new Academy Award created for animated features entitled, best
animated feature film. |
This year we are all but over run with animated films, including
the summer hit Shrek 2 (2004) poised to be released on DVD and earn
even more money and the upcoming The Polar Express (2004) from the
great Robert Zemeckis.
The Incredibles surpasses them all, on every level, in every
manner. A film for both you and old, there are enough inside jokes
for the parents to love the film, and enough wildly imaginative
action for the little ones.
Directed and written by Brad Bird, the genius behind The Iron
Giant (1999), the film explores the lives of a group of superheroes
living in retirement in what is known as the superheroes re-location
program. They found that despite saving the world there were simply
too many lawsuits launched against them to continue battling evil,
and decided to hide away in what they hope will be a normal life.
Fifteen years later they are still hiding, but Bob (voice by Craig T.
Nelson) secretly longs for the old days when he was a hero to
millions. His wife, Helen (voiced by Holly Hunter) has simply erased
her heroics from her mind and attempted to settle into a life of
Bob is now a claims adjuster who punches a clock everyday and
tries to live out this new life, but he cannot forget who he once was
the excitement his life once had. When Bob is lured by the mysterious
Mirage (Elizabeth Pena) to an island for a top secret assignment, he
finds himself back in the heroic game, as does his family who follow
him once they find what he is up too. It turns out a new super
villain called Syndrome (Jason Lee) plans to do no good with his
array of weapons which make up for his absolute lack of any special
skills. The entire Incredible family is hurtled back into the crime
fighting game, somewhat reluctantly at first, but once in the doors
burst open for their special skills and their chance to use them
again for the good of the planet.
The film contains terrific action sequences that may be
frightening to force the wee ones in the audience to look away, but
will leave adults in awe of the art form. To balance the action, the
film is loaded with much comedy, including a hilarious sequence in
which Bob now sporting a massive gut tries to fit into his ultra
Equally fun to watch are the Incredibles kids coming to terms with
their super powers which they have never been allowed to use before;
the growing awareness of what they can do is both very funny, and at
times, actually moving.
The Incredibles moves at a furious pace, but is still one of the
longest animated films I have sat through. One does notice the time
because both storytelling skills and technique seem to get better
with each film.
This is Pixar's best film and considering they made the lovely
Finding Nemo (2003) that is high praise indeed.
The front runner for the Oscar for best animated film!