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The Incredibles

Pixar's 2004 superhero film directed by Brad Bird.

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Despite some Flaws, Pixar has done it again.

  • Nov 5, 2004
  • by
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 of reality show that the closest any of us get to being a super hero is when we play the amazingly good City of Heroes computer game that allows players to create and play as heroes in a city teaming with thousands of other online players.

With the success of recent live action comic based films, animated series, and games, super hero mania is at an all time high as pending films featuring Ghost Rider and Wonder Woman as well as sequels to X-Men, Spider-Man, Batman, and Superman are on the way.

Thankfully, the creative talents at Pixar have crafted a new animated classic that blends classic superhero lore with real world realities to create a film that the whole family will enjoy.

In “The Incredibles”, audiences are introduced to Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), a larger than life hero and man about town who always has time to serve the public even if it is for something as simple as a cat stuck in a tree.

Life takes an unexpected turn for super heroes when the city and several heroes become the focal point of several lawsuits from people affected by collateral damage and other factors related to crime fighting. Unable to pay the mounting fees, an agreement is reached that all claims will be dropped if heroes agree not to practice their craft anymore and become normal members of society.

Flash forward 15 years, and Mr. Incredible is now known simply as Bob Parr, an overweight and frustrated insurance salesman who is constantly at odds with his boss as he dares to care for the common man.

His wife Helen (Holly Hunt), is the former Elastigirl, and is content in the role of housewife and caring for their three children, all of whom have powers of their own save for the youngest Jack Jack who has yet to show any abilities.

Years of frustration have taken their toll on Bob as aside for his so called bowling nights, he has little escape from his unhappy situation. Bob loves his wife and family but dislikes using the guise of bowling as an excuse to sneak out with ex-hero Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), to chase petty crooks.

While this is in strict defiance of the new laws regarding super heroes, Bob takes the risks even knowing that in doing so, he could be exposing his family and forcing them to relocate yet again to protect their secret identities.

Just when Bob is at his wits end, hope arrives in the form of a mysterious caller who claims to represent a secret government organization who needs Mr. Incredible for a series of missions. As if all of his prayers and dreams have been answered, Bob jumps back into action telling his family that he is away on business for the insurance company.

Naturally things do not go as planned as Bob soon becomes a pawn in a dangerous trap that not only has his life in peril but that of his families and the entire world as well. With no time to spare, Helen is forced to suit up and bring her family along in a desperate attempt to rescue Bob and save the world.

While the setup and characters in the film are very likeable, the film plays out very long, and there are many parts that drag out and in hindsight are unnecessary to the film. It takes almost 80 minutes for the action in the film to get going and when it does arrive it is in many ways anti-climatic. That being said, the animation is first rate and there are some great jokes in the film. The voice work is effective and it seems as if the cast is having a great time bringing their characters to life.

I also liked the way that Pixar has geared this film to appeal to older viewers as well as the younger audience that powered their past films to great box office returns. Despite some growing pains, there is a lot to like in this film as Pixar has once again set the standard for all other animation companies to aspire to.

4 stars out of 5

Gareth Von Kallenbach

International Association of Film Critics


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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 . 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
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; …
About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #111
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … 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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