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From the Academy Award(R) winning (2003 Best Animated Feature Film) creators of FINDING NEMO 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 the animated short film "Jack-Jack Attack," this spectacular 2-disc collector's edition DVD is high-flying entertainment for everyone. "It's James Bond, Indiana Jones, and the X-Men all rolled into one." -- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
After creating the last great traditionally animated film of the 20th century, The Iron Giant, filmmaker Brad Bird joined top-drawer studio Pixar to create this exciting, completely entertaining computer-animated film. Bird gives us a family of "supers," a brood of five with special powers desperately trying to fit in with the 9-to-5 suburban lifestyle. Of course, in a more innocent world, Bob and Helen Parr were superheroes, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl. But blasted lawsuits and public disapproval forced them and other supers to go incognito, making it even tougher for their school-age kids, the shy Violet and the aptly named Dash. When a stranger named Mirage (voiced by Elizabeth Pena) secretly recruits Bob for a potential mission, the old glory days spin in his head, even if his body is a bit too plump for his old super suit.
Bird has his cake and eats it, too. He and the Pixar wizards send up superhero and James Bond movies while delivering a thrilling, supercool action movie that rivals Spider-Man 2 for 2004's best onscreen thrills. While it's just as funny as the previous Pixar films, The Incredibles has a far wider-ranging emotional palette (it's Pixar's first PG film). Bird takes several jabs, including some juicy commentary on domestic life ("It's not graduation, he's moving from the fourth to fifth grade!").
The animated Parrs look and act a bit like the actors portraying them, Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter. Samuel L. Jackson and Jason Lee also have a grand old time as, respectively, superhero Frozone and bad guy Syndrome. Nearly stealing the show is Bird himself, voicing the eccentric designer of superhero outfits ("No capes!"), Edna Mode.
Nominated for four Oscars, The Incredibles won for Best Animated Film and, in an unprecedented win for non-live-action films, Sound Editing.
This two-disc set is (shall we say it?), incredible. The digital-to-digital transfer pops off the screen and the 5.1 Dolby sound will knock the socks off most systems. But like any superhero, it has an Achilles heel. This marks the first Pixar release that doesn't include both the widescreen and full-screen versions in the same DVD set, which was a great bargaining chip for those cinephiles who still want a full-frame presentation for other family members. With a 2.39:1 widescreen ratio (that's big black bars, folks, à la Dr. Zhivago), a few more viewers may decide to go with the full-frame presentation. Fortunately, Pixar reformats their full-frame presentation so the action remains in frame.
The most-repeated segments will be the two animated shorts. Newly created for this DVD is the hilarious "Jack-Jack Attack," filling the gap in the film during which the Parr baby is left with the talkative babysitter, Kari. "Boundin'," which played in front of the film theatrically, was created by Pixar character designer Bud Luckey. This easygoing take on a dancing sheep gets better with multiple viewings (be sure to watch the featurette on the short).
Brad Bird still sounds like a bit of an outsider in his commentary track, recorded before the movie opened. Pixar captain John Lasseter brought him in to shake things up, to make sure the wildly successful studio would not get complacent. And while Bird is certainly likable, he does not exude Lasseter's teddy-bear persona. As one animator states, "He's like strong coffee; I happen to like strong coffee." Besides a resilient stance to be the best, Bird threw in an amazing number of challenges, most of which go unnoticed unless you delve into the 70 minutes of making-of features plus two commentary tracks (Bird with producer John Walker, the other from a dozen animators). We hear about the numerous sets, why you go to "the Spaniards" if you're dealing with animation physics, costume problems (there's a reason why previous Pixar films dealt with single- or uncostumed characters), and horror stories about all that animated hair. Bird's commentary throws out too many names of the animators even after he warns himself not to do so, but it's a lively enough time. The animator commentary is of greatest interest to those interested in the occupation.
There is a 30-minute segment on deleted scenes with temporary vocals and crude drawings, including a new opening (thankfully dropped). The "secret files" contain a "lost" animated short from the superheroes' glory days. This fake cartoon (Frozone and Mr. Incredible are teamed with a pink bunny) wears thin, but play it with the commentary track by the two superheroes and it's another sharp comedy sketch. There are also NSA "files" on the other superheroes alluded to in the film with dossiers and curiously fun sound bits. "Vowellet" is the only footage about the well-known cast (there aren't even any obligatory shots of the cast recording their lines). Author/cast member Sarah Vowell (NPR's This American Life) talks about her first foray into movie voice-overs--daughter Violet--and the unlikelihood of her being a superhero. The feature is unlike anything we've seen on a Disney or Pixar DVD extra, but who else would consider Abe Lincoln an action figure? --Doug Thomas
More Incredibles at Amazon.com
The Incredibles Toy Store
The Art of The Incredibles Book
Game Boy Advance
The Essential Guide Book
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If you took elements of Watchmen (the book, not the movie), Fantastic Four, and a dash of sixties spy movie cool...you'd have The Incredibles.
The Parrs are a family like many of us. They deal with the frustration of a dead-end job, the often thankless work of keeping house, the social awkwardness of adolescence, and the sense of stiffled potential. However, unlike us, they have certain "gifts" that would make a mediocre existence that much more frustrating.
This is where the real heart of the story lies...not in the "crash bang wallop" of the action scenes and derring do...but in the Parr's family dynamic itself. Naturally, a movie like this asks us all to suspend disbelief. That said, I also believe that Brad Bird's approach to the family situations hit the nail on the head with a very believable hammer. They are as real a family as anything I have ever seen on television or film before. I know exactly how Bob Parr feels when he climbs in that stuffy car and fights traffic to a job that he truly hates...but does so to put food on the table. It's worse when he knows he's capable of so much more. Helen Parr is the prototypical housewife and mom. She's the rock. She's the glue that keeps them all from falling apart...like many Mom's are. Violet has all the shy and awkward trappings of most 14 year old girls...knowing she's different, yet feeling like she's invisible even when she's not using her gifts. Dash...well...Dash is about as average a ten year old as they come. He's mischevious and WAY too eager to show all the kids what he can do. Who hasn't felt like that at some point in their youth??
Add to this a great villain in Jason Lee's Syndrome. His motives aren't necessarily about world domination or wealth and power. They're actually a bit less insidious than that. He wants the approval and adoration that so many of us want in life....but his approach is what makes his character nefarious and twisted. He's yet another well fleshed out character.
Samuel Jackson's Frozone is a fun character that I wish had more screentime, yet his contribution to the story is great as middle-aged Mr. Incredible's voice of reason. A loyal friend...but someone who isn't afraid to tell him that he takes things too far.
Oh...and what else could be said about Edna Mode?? Ten minutes of total screen time...yet steals those ten minutes effortlessly.
One of the things about this movie that really wows me is the way they were able to get such GREAT performances from completely CGI characters. The facial expressions, body language, emoting....all done perfectly. In many ways, better than many real life actors. I see Holly Hunter in Helen Parr more than any other voice performance, but I do see some elements of Craig T Nelson in Bob Parr as well.
Brad Bird, responsible for one of the most underrated and excellent animated films in history (The Iron Giant), really hits it out of the park. This still remains my favorite Pixar offering...and one of my favorite movies of all time.