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The Incredibles (2004)

  Directed by: Brad Bird
Written by: Brad Bird
Starring: Brad Bird, Spencer Fox, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Lee, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell
Links: The Incredibles on the IMDb, Official site, Buy the Soundtrack, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Cartoon/Animation

This movie gets: 8.50 (4 ratings)
nofreelist.com Ranking: Ranked equal 35th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

The Incredibles (2004) is also mentioned in pearly's review of Boundin' (2003), em_fiction's review of Boundin' (2003), mino's review of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) and citizenjoe's review of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004).

"Classic heroes and villains type adventure" - a review by timchuma

With the popularity of movies based on comic books these days, it is refreshing to see one that not only is an original story, but also is more faithful to the original spirit of comic book superheroes from yesteryear.

Even though the movie is mainly about superheroes, what makes it out of the ordinary is the time devoted to showing the normal lives of the superheroes when they are living the life of their "secret identity".

What I liked about this movie is that it does not tone down any of the issues, meaning it got the first PG rating for a Pixar movie. While this means it may not be suitable for little kids, it means the movie has deeper meaning for the rest of the audience, as you have more to chew on.

The action sequences are really great, as you would expect, and the super-powers shown are a combination of those seen in many classic comic books.

I really enjoyed this movie and highly recommend checking it out. Afterwards, I was even inspired to buy the book The Golden Age of DC Comics: 365 Days, as it has selected panels / covers from 30s & 40s comics that are really great.

timchuma gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 22 Mar 2005

"Super Incredible Fun" - a review by pearly

It is a foregone conclusion that if a new Pixar film comes out, I'll be heading off soon after the release date (or on, or possibly even before) to see it. They rate up there as must-sees without even knowing what the content of the film will be, much like films by my favourite directors (Terry Gilliam, say) or actors (no examples here). And with The Incredibles, tickets to plop my rear end in front of a big Gold Class screen on opening day were on my Christmas list as early as November.

Many thanks to jud who actually read my Christmas list and got me those tickets. I'm assuming they were easier to get than the stupid The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) ones, where even though we tried for them for three years, we couldn't manage to book them before they sold out. Finally a Boxing Day Gold Class excursion. The scene is set for me to love this film.

With The Incredibles, the Pixar folk have taken the superhero theme to the next level and created an entire family of superfolk, with Mr Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) having married Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), and the two having had supersex to produce Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Spencer Fox - who I saw interviewed on Conan O'Brien, and who was hilarious), and baby Jack Jack.

The Incredibles are in a bit of strife though, as lawsuits against superheroes become the norm, and they must all give up their super lives, and get normal jobs. The only live that The Incredible's kids have ever known is one in which their powers must be supressed. But when Mr Incredible's number one fan Buddy Pine (Jason Lee) becomes angry with him and turns himself into evil super villain Syndrome, the Incredibles must use everything they've got to defeat him and save the world.

It's quite a plot, and one that, done too seriously, would bore the pants offa me. But with the humour and pace of The Incredibles, you can't go wrong. The predicament of an ageing superhero whose belly has grown too big for him to fit into his costume is one of the funniest running gags of the film, and it works. It's a simple yet hilarious idea.

Pixar deliver with another film that's great for the kids, but just as fun (if not more) for the adults. How do they do it?

pearly gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 12 Jan 2005

"Incredible, the new Disney" - a review by citizenjoe

I don't know what Disney will do now that Pixar has gone to handle their own films. I fear that Pixar will become the new Disney.

Films like Toy Story (1995), A Bug's Life (1998), Monsters, Inc. (2001): these are equivalent to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Bambi (1942), Pinocchio (1940). I mean, name a great Disney Movie of late?

The Incredibles is one.

Due to a spate of legal challenges, the world's superheroes have been assimilated back into society, to lead normal lives. This is the premise of a wonderful movie written and directed by Brad Bird.

If you had to go from being ‘Super’ to being an insurance assessor, how long would you last? Well, not too long, I'd suggest. Bob Parr (Mr Incredible) is frustrated with the life he can't handle. The only excitement coming from little jobs he and old buddy, Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), get to handle.

This all changes when Mirage makes contact and brings Mr Incredible back into service for a very special purpose.

The Incredibles has all the fun and charm and one-liners a film needs to become a classic.

For a moment, just forget about the story and you'll be amazed by the sheer beauty of the art that's on show here. Step back and look at the world created here by the Gods at Pixar. Behold the characterisations and personalities they have designed here; each with their own unique set of one liners:

Mr Incredible (Craig T. Nelson):
Well, with counselling, I think you'll come to forgive me.
Elastagirl (Holly Hunter):
Hey, we're super heroes. What could happen?
Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson):
Honey? Where's my super suit?
Edna (Brad Bird):
Supermodels. Hah! Nothing ‘super’ about them — spoiled, stupid little stick figures with poofy lips who think only about themselves.

There is just one question, though. In most ‘superhero’ stories, there is always an explanation of how these people became ‘super’. Superman come from Krypton, Spiderman was bitten by a radioactive spider, and so on. But why are the ‘Supers’ in The Incredibles ‘super’? No explanation. John Lasseter from Pixar was asked a similar question about some aspect of Toy Story. His response: “Come on, it's a cartoon for heaven's sake”. I'll accept that.

Disney is dead. Long live the new Disney, Pixar.

citizenjoe gives this movie 9 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 30 Dec 2004

"I hereby refuse to pun the word ‘incredible’ for this heading" - a review by em_fiction

I've just come to realise that I haven't reviewed a single Pixar film (feature film, so Knick Knack (1989) doesn't count), which is hard to believe considering how much I love Disney/Pixar. My sister and I have both been waiting anxiously for Boxing Day, but as soon as we found out that The Incredibles was already out on Christmas Day, well, we had nothing better to do, so we rushed out straight to the next screening. Ah, Village on Christmas Day — a grand total of six people in the cinema. Fantastic.

Pixar have done it all: toys, bugs, monsters, fish. The biggest advantage of animation is the fact that it can bring these cute little creatures to life. Something I noticed about the previous Pixar works, with the exception of Boo from Monsters, Inc. (2001), is that the humans look terrible. And so, when I first saw the trailer for The Incredibles last year, I became slightly worried. After seeing it yesterday, however, I realise now never to doubt Pixar ever again. They can truly do anything.

You're probably already familiar with the way each Pixar film is enclosed in its own ‘world’, and there's always a predicament in this world which sets up the premise for the film. The Incredibles is set in an ordinary human world, except superheroes are existent and prevalent. Mr Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), whose superpower is strength, along with his so-to-be-wife Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), who can stretch and change shape, were the crime-fighting big shots of this particular metropolitan city. That was until the day Mr Incredible gets sued by an ungrateful citizen who claims he never wanted to be saved, sparking a wave of lawsuits against other superheroes. Eventually, public condemnation forces the law to outlaw superheroism, and superheroes everywhere must now ‘make their secret identites their only identities’.

Fifteen years later, Mr Incredible and Elastigirl, now Bob and Helen Parr, are an ordinary working-class suburban married couple with three kids. The kids — Dash (Spencer Fox), who can move as swiftly as sound; Violet (Sarah Vowell), who can create force fields and turn invisible, and baby Jack-Jack, whose yet-to-be-discovered superpowers make him the only ‘normal’ one — are forbidden to use their superpowers, forcing them to sacrifice a lot of things much to their discontent (an obvious parallel to X-Men (2000)). Bob, loathing his current ‘normal’ job working for a greedy insurance company, is suddenly given an opportunity to resurrect Mr Incredible one last time in a top-secret mission. After a series of events, the family also get tagged along, and together they engage in an adventure they won't soon forget.

The Incredibles is a big step forward for Pixar. Although the previous films are all fantastic, they do share a rather monotonous cutsie-wutsie innocence aimed squarely at children. The Incredibles totally ditches that. For example, the dialogue is a lot heavier. In fact, the first half, or first third-ish rather, is purely dialogue. And it's not simple dialogue either, it's actually quite mature, indicative of the film's appeal to an older audience. It does come at the price of the children's attention though; I noticed my sister getting pretty restless as the characters kept babbling on in a dramatic, live-action kind of way.

That's another thing I noticed. The first third-ish, although animated, felt so much like live action that it might as well have been. Now that could be a bad thing, but to me it simply shows the degree of realism the incredible Pixar animators can achieve, emphasised to a fuller extent when the animated subject is humans. Anyway, the dialogue made the kids impatient, but I'm not a kid (contrary to what most believe), and it was great dialogue, so still a big fat positive for me.

The action picks up in the second half, and the kids get straight back into full alertness. The action is cathartic and hugely enjoyable, enormous fun for both the children and the grown-ups (I'm in between so I guess I must've enjoyed twice as much!). The trademark Pixar excitement and suspense is fully retained at maximum calibre. The animation is, once again, truly magnificant. The animated humans were the biggest worry for me, as I mentioned earlier, because that could've easily stuffed up the whole film. If they were going to look anything like Sid from Toy Story (1995), the dentist from Finding Nemo (2003), or, God forbid, the humans from Ice Age (2002) (thank God that wasn't a Pixar film), then I might've blown a gasket. To my relief, the characters looked great. They were still given that much needed cartoonish exaggeration, but still retained the essential humanly features to look as endearing as possible.

Unfortunately, not all the characters were flawless. Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), Mr Incredible's black accomplice who has ice-making superpowers, was annoyingly too thin, even in exaggerated terms. Sam Jackson's voice also annoyed me, mainly because it didn't fit the character very well. Sure he's black, but that wasn't the black they were looking for. It was almost as bad as Ray Romano voicing the mammoth in Ice Age. Despite the unbefitting voice and annoyingly thin appearance, the character of Frozone was altogether an unneeded one. Everyone else, however, was great, including a wicked Jason Lee who plays Syndrome, the villain.

Another interesting thing I noticed about this film was that it was written and directed by a single person. The previous Pixar films have taken about two people to direct and a further four or so to write, and this film, of equal calibre, took a single credit: Brad Bird — a name I see a lot in the credits at the end of The Simpsons. He also voices Edna, a character much like Q from 007. Bird not only maintains the Pixar flavour perfectly with the beautiful animation and engaging plot, but also underlies the film with a smart and refreshingly witty social commentary on what it's about to accept who you are. Finding Nemo was a decent film, but didn't cover any new territory. The Incredibles hitches Pixar's credentials up that extra notch it needed.

em_fiction gives this movie 9 out of 10.
Review created on Sun 26 Dec 2004

Movie review statistics

Number of reviews: 4
Average rating: 8.50
Lowest rating: 8 (by timchuma, pearly)
Highest rating: 9 (by citizenjoe, em_fiction)
 
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Reader comments

  1. incredibles was pretty incredible..

    watched it christmas day as well.. but in the city.. and with good company..

    loved every bit of it.. (including the ads before it)

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from i love mac on Mon 27 Dec 2004 00:35 #

  2. I dont understand why you didnt like it and i thought u loved it cause i went with u. And u have a bad appitit for films.

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from i dont like my brother on Mon 27 Dec 2004 19:27 #

  3. How wonderful it is! Today, I had seen the film - "The Incredibles" this afternoon, My father also had seen this film in this evening. This cartoon movie is powered by Disney Company.
    In this film, I love the people's sensation, scene, bugbears. The scene is so sublime.
    With the great imagination.

    A comment from Creford (http://www.cutegd.com/blog/) on Fri 11 Mar 2005 17:19 #

  4. I LOVE THE INCREDIBLES! The plot of it was amazing! Everyone will enjoy it, adults, teenagers and little kids!

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Lauren on Tue 29 Mar 2005 11:15 #

  5. Hi i'm Derrick and i'm 14 years of age and i'm from Australia- QLD. the reason i come on this website is that, i have wrote a script foe the Incredible second movie and i think is going to be great if you can email me(33 carnation dr, moroobool Cairns)and please give me a call or anything to that could help you, know who i am. i have a family of 2 brothers and only one parent (mum) so please do your best to email me and the script will be ready when you are ready. THANK YOU VERY MUCH (Brad Bird and other directors of the INCREDIBLES)B..Y..E

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Derrick Antwi on Wed 03 Sep 2008 21:08 #

  6. Hi i'm Derrick and i'm 14 years of age and i'm from Australia- QLD. the reason i come on this website is that, i have wrote a script foe the Incredible second movie and i think is going to be great if you can email me(33 carnation dr, moroobool Cairns)and please give me a call or anything to that could help you, know who i am. i have a family of 2 brothers and only one parent (mum) so please do your best to email me and the script will be ready when you are ready. THANK YOU VERY MUCH (Brad Bird and other directors of the INCREDIBLES)B..Y..E

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Derrick Antwi on Wed 03 Sep 2008 21:10 #

  7. Hi i'm Derrick and i'm 14 years of age and i'm from Australia- QLD. the reason i come on this website is that, i have wrote a script foe the Incredible second movie and i think is going to be great if you can email me(33 carnation dr, moroobool Cairns)and please give me a call or anything to that could help you, know who i am. i have a family of 2 brothers and only one parent (mum) so please do your best to email me and the script will be ready when you are ready. THANK YOU VERY MUCH (Brad Bird and other directors of the INCREDIBLES)B..Y..E

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Derrick Antwi on Wed 03 Sep 2008 21:10 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (6 ratings)

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