Review of 'The Incredibles'

the_incredibles.jpg An incredibly (pun intended) fun film from Pixar with a quirky animation style and brings to mind dynamic action films of the 50s and 60s, indeed, many of the characters and sets could easily have been pulled from these decades.

Once lauded superheroes have been relocated and given new, non-super, identities following concern at the collateral damage their battles in the streets have caused. Mr Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) is now Bob Parr, an rather unsuccessful insurance agent who seems determined to do the “right thing” for his clients despite what the boss says. He is married to Elastigirl (voiced by Holly Hunter), now Helen Parr, who is raising their three children, son Dash (voiced by Spencer Fox) whose supressed superpower is, unsurprisingly, super speed, the quiet Violet (voiced by Sarah Vowell) is able to create protective force fields and the infant Jack-Jack (voiced by Eli Fucile and Maeve Andrews). Missing his old days as a superhero, Mr Incredible attempts to relive his glory days sneaking out late at night heavily disguised to rescue people in distress he finds by listening to a police scanner. When accidentally showing his superpower at work he is fired then shortly afterwards contacted by the mysterious Mirage who recruits him to help destroy a maniacal robot. Mr. Incredible is invigorated, finding a new vitality at being able to use his powers again but is there a secret agenda behind Mirage and what has happened to his friend Gazerbeam?

A wonderful, whimsical and ever humorous (the image of the older, and more weighty, “Mr Incredible” attempting to get into his suit is priceless) piece of fun animation that, as with all good animation, entertains both the young and old at the same time (and for different reasons). This is not a light piece of entertainment with genuinely complex personalities and fairly complex storylines which makes for a refreshing change though, in all this, it never takes itself too seriously. All of the characters are fully fleshed out and, literally, three dimensional, each with their own unique personalities. Violet is a typically insecure teenager, Dash is the cocky early teen and their mother has overwhelmingly thrown herself into her new identity to help her forget what she has lost. The supporting characters are hilarious, for example, the mad costumer of the superhero “Edna 'E' Mode” (voiced by the director, Brad Bird) and Bob's tiny boss Gilbert Hugh (voiced by Wallace Shawn) complete with shrill voice and annoying attitude…

The animation is dynamic, vibrant, popping off the screen with equally dynamic characters. “The Incredibles” never lets up and keeps you guessing up to the climax (well, perhaps some of us could guess who the villain was before then…). The set pieces are slick, well choreographed along with some amazing superhero gadgets.

Looks great, and a lot of fun. Modern animation (echoing a classic 60s aesthetic) and storytelling at its best.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2021-05-24

Directed by: Brad Bird

Studio: Pixar Animation Studios

Year: 2004

Length: 115 minutes

Genre: Animation

Other reviewed films by Brad Bird: