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The Incredibles

Pixar's 2004 superhero film directed by Brad Bird.

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Still Solid If Not Incredible

  • Sep 7, 2010

As hard as it is to believe, The Incredibles is already six years old now! When it came out it was pretty darn mind-blowing (despite the fact that behind the scenes Disney and Pixar were bickering to the point where Pixar would try to sever the relationship entirely but be unsuccessful at finding a new distributor).

There has actually been a lot of evolution in the genre in the six years following the Incredibles’ big screen debut but you really wouldn’t notice due to the fact that Pixar was so far ahead of the curve back then.  About the only area that this film differs from most contemporary computer generated animated films is that a 155-minute runtime makes it potentially the lengthiest animated feature of them all.

The story tells of one Bob Parr (alias Mr. Incredible), and his wife Helen (Elastigirl), a pair of the world's greatest crime-fighting superheroes.

After facing a string of law suits for consequences brought about by their do-gooding, superhero activity becomes a criminal act in and of itself and fifteen years after their crime-fighting prime, Bob finds himself sharing a modest home with his wife Helen, and their three children Violet, Dash, and Jack Jack. He works as an insurance-claims adjuster, and he's fed up with his pushy boss and fairly immoral business policies.

Itching to get back into action, Bob gets his chance when a mysterious communication summons him to a remote island for a top-secret assignment. What follows is a wild discovery for the former super human that it will take the combined efforts of a super family to save the world from total destruction.

While often regarded as a superhero spoof film, the truth of the matter is that The Incredibles is really not too far off the mark in being simply a non-comic affiliated superhero action film.  Sure there’s the family slant that’s played on a bit more than what’s common in most comic hero tales and there’s visual clues that make it pretty difficult to pin down an exact time frame that the story is supposed to be taking place but realistically speaking, this is easily on par with some of the live-action efforts of Marvel and DC in recent years.

In the opinion of many, The Incredibles marks Pixar and Disney’s perilous leap toward big kid entertainment what with a PG-rated and plenty of guns, explosions, and action-driven sequences.  The change is typically credited to outsider Brad Bird (who also wrote and directed 1999’s "The Iron Giant”).

For the most part the formula he brings to the table works with a pretty even balance of domestic drama to offset the crime fighting/ action scenes.  The husband and wife do their share of squabbling and even the kids get some screen time going at each other’s throats. Dramatically speaking, it is a bit heavier handed than what’s usually found in a comic book or for that matter, a Disney film but again since the story centers on the concept of former heroes being thrust into the domestic lifestyle, it’s excusable as a necessity.

A jazzy soundtrack coupled to super crisp visuals (especially in Hi-Def) makes the flow and tone of the tale extremely easy to fall into.  The nearly 2-hour runtime goes by quite quickly for adults and children alike.

In all The Incredibles is a highly entertaining piece that still holds up well even half a dozen years after the fact.  It’s a little heavier on drama/ lighter on laughs than I expected but the formula works (especially where a slightly more mature audience is concerned).

Still Solid If Not Incredible Still Solid If Not Incredible Still Solid If Not Incredible Still Solid If Not Incredible

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September 08, 2010
This one actually is one of my Pixar faves. Some devices were reminiscent of Fantastic Four but I truly liked this one--Elasti-Girl was hot! LOL!
September 08, 2010
Woo Hoo - you can always count on me to appreciate such intricacies with you William. Loved it.
September 07, 2010
Yeah really enjoyed this one as well, and of course you have to love Jason Lee in this. Great review.
September 08, 2010
Thanks for the feedback FM_A! I took my sweet time getting around to this one but I guess better 6-years late than never lol.
More The Incredibles reviews
review by . March 16, 2011
The Incredibles is the first action-based film that Pixar has done and may I say, they did a very good job and this is another animated classic to add to their collection. The Incredibles has the style and score of a James Bond film, but all the other elements of a superhero film. As is Pixar standard, it has great animation, a creative story, memorable characters, and a greater emotional context to it. Again, it doesn't quite have the pedigree of the Toy Story films, but its still a total …
review by . July 13, 2010
In my honest opinion, there have been far too many superheroes leaping, bounding and flying across our movie screens lately, and yet I think that even Sam, Tobey and Kirsten would agree, with no shame attached whatsoever, that they had the SECOND best comic book crusader movie of 2004. (Hellboy was an honorable, if distant, third.) The crown, if not the cape, has to go to Pixar's and writer/director Brad Bird's endlessly clever, exciting and eye-filling account of the Parrs, a family of …
review by . November 12, 2008
The Incredibles
Ever wonder what happened to all of your favorite childhood super heroes? Well, perhaps they have retired into normal lives with normal families. Perhaps.     Not long after Mr. Incredible marries Elastigirl, a mountain of lawsuits pile up against all the super heroes from the destruction they leave behind while saving the world and the people who inhabit it. Forced into retirement, the Incredibles settle down to lead a normal life, working normal jobs and raising their children. …
review by . June 23, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: witty, fun, good action, great animation, plenty of extras     Cons: no sequel in the works, and I have Never said that as a Con before!     The Bottom Line: "No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved!"      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. In the Golden Years, life was good and superheroes were always …
review by . November 29, 2005
Now along with "Finding Nemo" this is one of the best animated filmed. It is smart, funny and delivers a great family values message. The kids had worned out this DVD over the summer. It would appeal to all audiences, no matter how old or young you are! Samuel L. Jackson and all the cast members deliver their voices with enthusiasm and really get into character!  This movie is great. For me this movie is, without ANY doubt, one of the greatest super-hero movies made to date. This film …
review by . July 17, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
I hate cartoons. Never have liked them. So, I was somewhat hesitant to watch this one because it is just a "grown up" cartoon. Absolulely loved it! It was funny, entertaining, interesting, dramatic, etc. I was totally shocked at the plot, and found myself totally engrossed in what was happening. The characters were fantastic, and the good superhero/bad superhero plot was great. While I don't have kids, I think older kids (maybe 8 and up) will enjoy this. Just the right mix of fun, excitement, but …
review by . March 17, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
I won't go into reviewing the film itself. Hasn't everyone seen it!! It is terrific, deserved the Oscar and featured particularly high quality voice-work. Craig T. Nelson was a blast, Samuel Jackson was clearly charged up, Holly Hunter shows her funny side, and creator Brad Bird is terrific as Edna. The visuals are typically stunning, groundbreaking work from Pixar. The glossy '50s era sensibilities mixed with modern is just perfect for computer generated films. Pixar, better than anyone, seems …
review by . November 18, 2004
Pros: Story, animation, animation, animation.     Cons: None     The Bottom Line: The true test of a movies appeal is whether or not I would shell out another $6.50 to see it again. Absolutely! Pass the popcorn and M&M’s, plain not peanut.     We live in an age of ever expanding possibilities, where quantum leaps in technology are the norm. But at the same time the quintessential human story remains the same: a timeless loop of emotions; …
review by . November 05, 2004
Pros: Great animation and premise.     Cons: Long, drags in many places.     The Bottom Line: Despite some Flaws, Pixar has done it again.     Super Heroes hold a special place in our popular culture and have providing countless hours of enjoyment for fans the world over. Children in years past often dreamt about being Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, or Wonder Woman and what they would do if they had super powers.   Sadly the facts …
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Ranked #14
Jason Rider (AKA OneNeo on Amazon.com) is the author of the successful children's fantasy novel series The Uncommon Adventures of Tucker O'Doyle from Bellissima Publishing.      … more
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About this movie


Starring Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Lee
Directed by Brad Bird
Writer:  Brad Bird

Product Description
From the Academy Award(R) winning creators of FINDING NEMO (2003 Best Animated Feature Film) comes the action-packed animated adventure about the mundane and incredible lives of a house full of superheroes. Bob Parr and his wife Helen used to be among the world's greatest crime fighters, saving lives and battling evil on a daily basis. Fifteen years later, they have been forced to adopt civilian identities and retreat to the suburbs where they live "normal" lives with their three kids, Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack. Itching to get back into action, Bob gets his chance when a mysterious communication summons him to a remote island for a top secret assignment. He soon discovers that it will take a super family effort to rescue the world from total destruction. Exploding with fun and featuring an all-new animated short film, this spectacular 2-disc collector's edition DVD is high-flying entertainment for everyone.
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Director: Brad Bird
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: November 5, 2004
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: Brad Bird
DVD Release Date: March 15, 2005
Runtime: 1hr 55min
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios
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