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WOW! What a movie. I can honestly say this is in my top ten movies of
all time, how do Pixar continue to out do themselves at every movie
The Incredibles is a fantastic story, wonderfully scripted and with the most stunning animation you have ever seen, it provides a perfectly rounded story with plenty of action, laughs and (almost) tears.
Basically, this is a story of a man encountering a mid life crisis and leaping headlong into it without a care or a thought for his family, proving exceedingly selfish and failing to see the good in his life. Meanwhile the wife is left to try and look after the family. Really, that's the story. Now, what Pixar have done is drop in the idea that the parents are Superheroes, banned from being Super many years previously by the Government and the people, trying to live a normal life. Add to the mix that some of their children have inherited their own powers and that the Super villains are planning a comeback, and you have this wonderful movie.
I can't begin to convey how wonderful the animation is, it's perfect. I mean you'll always be looking at it knowing it's animation, but when the story takes you along you'll suddenly realize you're still watching animation. The subtle difference is that you forget, and there are parts (for instance when the father is cheering his son during the race) that you actually think it is real. The effects for water, fire (two of the hardest things to recreate in animation) and lava are wonderful to watch and caught me drawing a breath when I first saw them.
The characters and acting are wonderful, and you will find yourself caring about them as real people. At some points I could feel a big swallow coming up and a wavering adams apple, obviously due to the food earlier, nothing to do with the movie.
I often find that movies aren't paced well, that they either have too long or too short an introduction to the characters, or the events that lead up to the pivotal point of the movie are unbalanced against the climax, all sorts of combinations. Not here, this move is perfect and well balanced, the story takes you along just when you are ready, and there were no points where I wished we could move on, or something could happen quicker. My only frustration were at the kids, and this was only because they were behaving exactly as real kids would.
It was interesting to see the comparisons and links to other famous Superheroes through comic-lore. Definitely with nods to The Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer and huge nods to The Watchmen. My only concern is that there is so much similarity to The Watchmen that those who haven't read the graphic novel will be saying "That's the Incredibles movie" when Watchmen finally comes to fruition.
The short film showing before this was wonderful in itself, and had the audience laughing out loud loads. Excellent, and once again, outdoes every short that they've produced before. Boundin' was beautifully animated and wonderfully told. Guaranteed to bring a huge big smile to your face.
All in all I think this movie is perfect and truly incredible.
I hope that this movie does really well because this has to be one of
the best animated movies I have ever seen. The story is really cool and
it's obvious that there is a lot of respect here for the source of
superheroes, whether it be comic books, serial flicks or Saturday
The movie has an undeniably cool retro feel to it and it shows not only in the design of the picture but also in the music, which definitely sounds like something out of a 60's 007 flick. It is also unusually dark, especially for a Pixar flick. I'm not saying it's dark where people are getting their heads delivered to someone in a box or family members are sleeping with each other or anything like that but there were moments where I found myself wondering if a little kid might be able to deal with the intensity of what was going on on screen. Maybe it was the fact that the heroes were in very real danger most of the time. The bad guys weren't out to catch them as much as they were out to kill them. When you discover who the film's villain is, you can literally feel his anger coming off the screen. I may be over-exaggerating a bit but then again, it really is to the film's credit that it deals with human emotions in the way that it does.
Even though you are watching a film that is populated by CGI characters, the emotions they convey in what they say and do come across as purely believable. Whether watching Bob Parr interact with people at his job or just sitting at his desk was something that rang true to me, just in the feeling of it. Everything about this movie has a very concrete feel to it, even while looking like something you'd see in a comic book. The computer graphics in general were absolutely amazing and the voice acting is excellent across the board, so good in fact, that I really can't pick a favorite from the entire cast. I have to say that Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter were very good as Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl respectively. They had a moment near the end of the film that actually touched me but you can see that for yourselves. Samuel L. Jackson was hilarious and thankfully, he wasn't overused. Dash and Violet were realized so well that every time they came up on screen, I loved every minute of it. Dash, in particular was one of the funniest characters in the movie. Jason Lee made for a formidable villain as Syndrome. I loved the fact that he was your typical antagonist but was also aware of the conventions surrounding such a role, like when he chides himself for 'monologuing'. He was also one ruthless bastard, I'll give him that. Even the bit part characters were hilarious. There was a kid on a tricycle in this movie who comes out twice and made me laugh out loud both times.
In fact, this movie reminds me of why I like Finding Nemo over Monsters, Inc. In Finding Nemo, not only are the main characters great but every other character they run into makes some kind of impression on you. Remember all the characters that Marlin and Dory ran into on their adventures together? Of course you do. Whether it was that crazy pelican with the Australian accent, Willem Dafoe as Gill, leader of the fishtank crew, or Bruce the Shark, you remember them after all is said and done and it makes the viewing experience that much richer. That's exactly how The Incredibles is. Every character that appears will make you laugh or intrigue you in some way. I have to admit that I was laughing myself throughout the entire movie, especially with the character of Edna Mode who almost steals the movie. Man, even the end credits are awesome! I have to give the director Brad Bird a big thumbs up for this one. He pulled it off and hopefully this will attract attention to his other animated film, "The Iron Giant", which was sadly overlooked when it was released and is also a really great film.
All in all, I can't recommend this movie enough. I left very satisfied and felt no need to compare this to the rest of Pixar's movies. This one is just as good if not better than any other animated movie released this year and rightfully deserves its place among the best animated movies of all time.
RATING: ***** out of *****.
Shortly after Dreamworks screwed up with the uninspired "Shark Tale",
Pixar contains its remarkably success story with "The Incredibles". And
while I have to say that I liked "Finding Nemo" a bit better, "The
Incredibles" is still an amazing movie.
First of all, this is because it's funny. It's not so funny that you're constantly laughing out loud, but there are more than enough good jokes in the movie to keep you entertained, and it's full of good observations about superhero movies (note all the ridiculous superhero and villain names) and references to other movies. It's also a brilliant James Bond spoof/homage, containing all the gadgets, secret island bases and crazy schemes that made early Bond movies so much fun.
Secondly, this movie has heart and charm in droves. It's full of memorably and likable characters you can really identify with and care about. Characters like Edna are instant classics. The voice acting is universally excellent, but Holly Hunter steals the show as Elastigirl. This is a movie that doesn't need toilet humor, characters modeled like celebrities, or a "hip" soundtrack...it easily succeeds on charm and style alone.
Also, I found it to be a surprisingly good action movie. The plentiful action sequences are full of energy, extremely fast-paced, and exciting, and put many a live-action movie to shame.
Finally, I also liked the tone and message of the movie. "The Incredibles" basically makes a plea against mediocrity, breaking with the politically correct idea that "everybody is special" (and thus nobody really is), and encouraging people to use the talents they have been given. I think this couldn't be more true. Not all people are equally talented (just compare Pixar to Dreamworks), but this is no reason to keep the talented people from not reaching their full potential just because it makes the less talented ones feel bad.
"The Incredibles", while maybe not as hilarious as I had hoped (though it's still very funny), is nonetheless an extremely entertaining movie, that manages to charm you wit its combination of great characters, lots of style, tongue-in-cheek attitude and good message. Highly recommended.
****1/2 of ***** stars
Writer-director Brad Bird here has something that I was caught
off-guard by just a bit. I always expect Pixar films to be above-par,
family entertainment, the kinds of films that can have an appeal to
adults on a satirical, jab-in-the-side effect by having the characters
reacting to each other as they would on a film with a higher rating,
whilst giving the bright colors, action, and silliness that appeals to
kids. Watching The Incredibles, their sixth feature-length offering, I
wasn't so entertained and amused since their 98 film A Bug's Life, and
it almost brought me back to the emotional impact I felt when in the
theater for the first time getting Toy Story into my system.
It's a film that takes on a type in society that we all know well (in the past they've done toys, bugs, monsters, undersea life, and now comic book archetypes) and transforms it superbly to the imaginative computer-animated landscape. This is also in credit due to Brad Bird, who proved five years ago with his sleeper The Iron Giant that he could transcend the genre and appeal with heart and vigor for almost every age bracket.
So what little touches make The Incredibles so appealing? How it starts to deconstruct the idea of a superhero, perhaps, as well as how the family unit is shown in the usual conventions under unusual and funny circumstances. As an example, one of our heroes Mr. Incredible, a.k.a. Bob Parr (voiced wonderfully by Craig T. Nelson), goes to visit a woman who fixes and creates the uniforms of superheroes. In one scene she explains why a cape is not a good idea. This is the kind of scene that might not make it into most Hollywood movies, and would sometimes if not often be discredited as being too 'smart' for kids to get. But by appealing to a kind of level late teens and adults can relate to, it reaches a higher, far more intelligent plane. In fact, many of the best scenes in the film take on what we all know in films displaying the 'family unit' and morph it with the power and imagination of superheroes.
I won't go too much into the plot as some may already have, except to say that what makes the story in and of itself appealing is how it is a fully formed story, and doesn't try and sell itself short like other animated films (i.e. Sharktale for example). It also uses it's PG-rating perimeter wisely, and Bird and company create action sequences that are as exciting, if not more so, than in the action films that have been released this year (in fact, some of the scenes in the climax, for my money, could rival a couple of those in Spider-Man 2). By setting up the right emotional bases with the characters- Bob, his wife Elasti-girl (Holly Hunter), their kids, and with supporting characters voiced finitely by the likes of Samuel L. Jackson and Jason Lee, by the time the high-charged, internally fantasy scenes take off, they take off with great conviction and excitement.
Overall, The Incredibles is a film that is, in a way, what audiences wish they could get and rarely do- it's a film with wit and observance, a kind of video-game where the results are not as expectable as can be. Some kids may not get it as much as adults might, which is just as well, as it sometimes operates on a level like Antz did, only through the sphere of Disney. In other words, if you say the teaser trailer, which involved the out-of-shape Mr. Incredible trying with all his might to buckle his tights, you'll know what the film could bring. Personally, I can't wait to see it again.
The Incredibles is a great film, and probably my favourite Pixar
picture (Toy Story is the best, but that's different to favourite). It
takes a while to properly get into the action, but when it does, it
delivers it in spades.
And that's exactly it. I would actually call The Incredibles an animated action film, because to be honest, I don't think there was enough comedy to call it an animated action comedy film. There are quite a few funny moments, but the gags don't come as fast as Finding Nemo or Toy Story.
That being said, it does have truly amazing action set-pieces, brilliant voice acting, a fabulous script, wonderful characters and the animation is simply.....well....incredible.
The music is definitely a stand-out. It actually made me smile, with it's jazzy tones and James Bond type scores.
One of the greatest things about The Incredibles is that it's not a kiddies film; it's completely different to all the other Pixar films. They bring out tommy guns in the second scene, for crying out loud! If you want to see a more adult animated film, then go see The Incredibles, and enjoy every minute. But I wouldn't bring someone younger than 4 maybe, because it isn't really aimed at them, and they probably would find it quite scary.
This is a great film, one of the best of 2004 in my opinion. If it just had a slightly higher gag rate, than this would be an absolutely perfect picture.
This film completely, utterly flabbergasted me with its brilliance. I've been a big fan of Pixar (along with a few hundred-million others), and I was aware that 'Incredibles' was going to be a departure from their usual fare, but WOW - this simply blew all expectations of what a 3D animated movie can be beyond the stratosphere, in my humble estimation. There simply can be no going back from this! I honestly think most people cannot comprehend just how special this film is. I cannot understand how anybody could see this movie and be anything less than astonished, much less be negatively critical of it. 'Incredibles' literally has it all, and in my opinion is virtually flawless - damn it, it IS flawless! How does one really define greatness in cinema? Quality of direction, scriptwriting, performance, production design, editing, photography, scoring - on all counts 'Incredibles' triumphs, with deceptively effortless ease. I say deceptively because nothing this relentlessly magical is achieved without unfaltering attention to detail and supreme craftsmanship. Brad Bird simply has to be acknowledged as a visionary and creative genius. I come from a graphic arts and visual design background and throughout the entire two hours of this movie I found myself quite literally unable to believe what I was seeing. It is all so breathtakingly realised. It is aesthetically beautiful and completely fearless in its execution. This is so much more than an animated movie. It is so much more than a comedy-drama. It is so much more than an adventure film. It is so much more than a comic book exploding into incandescent life before our very eyes. 'Incredibles' is nothing less than a milestone in cinema, and a totally transcendent experience. This IS what all movies should aspire to be!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I finally saw Pixar/Disney's "The Incredibles" after several scheduling
glitches. Writer and Director Brad Bird's "The Incredibles" is truly
incredible. It is one of the best movies of the year. The CGI animation
is both cutting edge and simply stunning, and like all Pixar projects
it has a solid story as it's foundation. Bird uses the Superhero
mythology to tell a funny and poignant story: that when we forfeit or
withhold our greatness, we are not being true to ourselves, and more
importantly it is a disservice to those around us. As the story begins,
Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) was the superhero's Superhero. As
voiced by Nelson, Mr. Incredible, is very confident, on the verge of
cocky. He uses his super strength and powers for good. He marries
super, Elasticgirl (Holly Hunter). However, Mr. Incredible soon falls
victim like his fellow "Supers" to the plight of our litigious
society-- the people they save are suing them. Instead of getting
malpractice insurance (which would have been a different movie), the
persecuted... and prosecuted Supers assume their secret identities in a
covert government relocation program. They also promise never to use
their powers again even for good.
We catch up 15 years later with Mr. Incredible, now just Bob Parr, insurance claim adjuster. He is suffering. His wife Helen, the former Elasticgirl, is busy getting settled in their new home with their kids, Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Spencer Fox), and little Jack Jack. Violet and Dash have super powers, and Jack Jack is not yet toilet trained. Bob is totally frustrated by his job, and really the lie he is forced to live. Every week he and fellow Super, Lucius Best aka Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), on their "bowling" night, listen to the police radio band so that they can save people in danger. Mild mannered life is killing Bob. He tells Helen regarding Dash's 4th grade graduation, that they keep "creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity".
One day Bob is contacted by the mysterious, Mirage (Elizabeth Pena), enlisting his super powers for an undisclosed benefactor. Bob, still super strong, no longer has the six pack abdominals. He proceeds to train and trim the waistline. He sees his suit designer, Edna 'E' Mode (Brad Bird), to fix his super suit. In a hilarious exchange, E enrolls Mr. Incredible in a new suit, sans cape. It is disclosed that the benefactor is villain, Syndrome (Jason Lee). Turns out that Mr. Incredible was the one responsible for Syndrome's genesis when he invalidated the young Syndrome 15 years ago. Thus, we have the classic Superhero tale of conflict and revenge.
What also distinguishes "The Incredibles" along with the story about reclaiming greatness, is that it is about family. In a very touching scene when Mr. Incredible is about to do battle with the seemingly invincible Omnidroid, he admits to Helen "...I'm not strong enough..." Having super powers is great. Having the love of family is truly powerful. Craig T. Nelson is perfect as Mr. Incredible. He is bold, funny, and endearingly vulnerable. Holly Hunter is solid and folksy as Helen, who also projects a quiet power. Jason Lee is at his annoying best as Syndrome. Brad Bird as 'E' steals every scene that she is in. Director Brad Bird's "The Incredibles" is amazing to look at, and also has something special and touching to say.
This is one of the finest animated films I have ever seen. Not only is
it a fine animated film, it is a great film period. The film obviously
takes its cue from several real life super hero comic books, especially
The Fantastic Four and the Justice Society of America. The Fantastic
Four comparison is obvious due to the fact that Elatigirl and Violet
were obviously inspired by Mr. Fantastic (aka. Reed Richards) and the
Invisible Woman (aka. Sue Storm Richards) respectively. The J.S.A.
influence is a little more obscure. Several years ago, DC Comics issued
a mini-series that attempted to explain the demise of the Justice
Society by claiming that the group was forced to disband after their
loyalty to America was questioned during the 1950's. In this film, all
the heroes were forced into hiding after the government refused to pay
for wrongful legal claims brought against the super heroes of this
film. Also, there are many in jokes that the casual viewer might not
get, but that made it enjoyable for comic book fans. This the island
scenes look as if they could have been inspired by many of the series
produced by Gerry Anderson of the 1960's (eg. the Thunderbirds and
Another thing that made this film unique was its look. If you notice, the city where the story takes place looks like a fairly modern metropolis. However, if you look at the cars in the film, most of them look as if they would have been more at home in the mid to late 1960's. Also, the way that many of the characters were dressed also could have put them in that time.
However, the thing that I really loved about this film was the fact that even though it was geared primarily to children, it was dark enough in theme to appeal to adults. In fact, there are a couple of scenes that you wouldn't normally associate with a film geared towards children.
This film is definitely a classic of animation and once again Pixar shows why they are the masters of computer animation.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am tired of reading reviews about how an animated film is too violent
for children, deals with mature issues like segregation or death, or is
simply "too grown up" for small children. Since when did we decide to
water down the truth for children, and when exactly are they old enough
for certain issues, and why is it animation means it's suppose to be
for children. Animation has allowed movie makers to break molds, has
allowed them to do things that could not be done with regular actors or
locations. We use CGI to accomplish effects we otherwise couldn't do,
why is the art of illustration not considered on the same level as the
art of computer graphics? I don't feel that just because something is
made for children it should be dumbed down and I don't believe that an
adult is too superior to watching something that is animated. Stories
geared toward children such as Aesop's Fables or the fairy tales of the
brothers Grimm, and Hans Christian Anderson, were told to teach life
lessons; don't cry wolf, be happy with what you have and don't trust
strangers. These are lessons, and stories, that were not watered down,
that showed to what evil depths greed, slothfulness and envy, just to
name a few, could take hold of in a person.
The Incredibles does not shy away from being real; it has an amazing message for both adults and children. The message I saw over and over again in the movie but could not find in a single review was how society was oppressing people to be no better than someone else. We seem to be headed towards embracing mediocrity, Harrison Bergeron, the short story by Kurt Vonnegut that was later turned into a film with Sean Astin, is the perfect example of someone smart being held back because it would hurt the dumb kids feelings to know there was someone better than them. The Incredible's attacks this head on, in one scene the villain Syndrome (voiced by Jason Lee), who has no real super powers but invents rocket shoes and remote controlled robots, tells Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) that he plans on killing all the truly empowered people and, using his inventions, become the only super hero until he's had his fun, at which time he will sell his inventions allowing everyone to become special "which of course means no one will be".
Mr. Incredible and his wife, Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), have three children. Daughter Violet (Sarah Vowell) can make herself invisible but only uses it to hide from a boy she likes, she's been broken down in spirit to feel like there is something horribly wrong with her and that she should be ashamed for being empowered with this amazing gift, to her it is a curse. Violet's younger brother Dash (Spencer Fox) on the other hand is angry with not being allowed to play in sports, because of his super speed, even though he promises not to show off. Their character development is some of the most in depth I've seen for "children" in a film, in part because it's real, they face death and failure and they rise above their shame and anger to become real heroes.
This movie is funny, it was honest, and it was one of the best films of the year. There is real development, there are real issues and real messages and at the end of the film I wanted to find the super hero in myself. I don't see why we should deny younger people, our children, the right to see something that is so beautiful just because of its honesty.
Pixar has again proved that it's ethics and capabilities are inexterminable even for the tough-willed Dreamworks, which are gradually attempting to catch up on with standards. But with Pixar's new title, we once more experience a great gratifying animation which deeps you inside by it's humorous and enthralling plot and keeps you laughing out loudly until the very end. Dreamworks' titles compared to Pixars are not too peculiar, but they seem to rip all their titles from Pixar and create a fake illusion of originality. Now that Pixar has created another chef-d'oeuvre, no doubt Dreamworks will once more rip the idea and create a title relating to superheroes. 9.5/10
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