5 Stars

The Incredibles is truly an incredible film. Rarely do advancements in technology create a more profound artistic experience. I mean really, do we need cell phones with crappy cameras in them? But in this case, the advancement in technology has spurred artistic creativity to make something that transcends technology, animation, or computer graphics.

The world of Bob and Helen Parr is something truly special. It is beautiful, humorous, and even, dare I say, filled with human emotion. This from actors that are pixelated and created in server farms by a legion of computer artists. Several times during the film I forgot that I was watching animation because the characters acted so “human.” This is largely in part to the amazing voice talents of Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jason Lee. But they can’t take all the credit. The visuals are stunning and the sound effects are fantastic. Lots of explosions and action, enough to make Jerry Bruckheimer jealous.

But what truly sets the film apart is its storyline, without which all the effects, voices, and graphics in the world would simply be meaningless. This is a world in which all superheroes are forced out of business by litigation from the citizens and forced to hang up their superhero suits for good. The story centers around the family of Bob Parr, who used to be Mr. Incredible, and includes Helen Parr, his wife, who used to be Elastigirl, and their three children.

Bob now works for an insurance company, listens to police scanners, and pines nostalgically with his best friend for the old glory days. Helen is now a restless housewife and the children are coping with growing up in a world where mediocrity is the expected norm. Because “saying everybody’s special is another way of saying that nobody is.” Bob is fired from his job and lured back into superherodom by a strange benefactor and the Parr’s superficial suburban bliss starts to fall apart.

The film makes adult philosophical points regarding the state of our culture and deals with the adult insecurities of aging and raising children in a hostile environment. Some of the characters have more emotional maturity than mist live-action feature films. One example is Edna Mode, the fashion designer to the superheroes. Her monologue on why there must be no capes on a superhero costume is brilliant. Voiced by the director himself, Brad Bird, this is by far the most memorable character in the film.

Pixar has raised the bar for animated films, or dare I say all films, with this one. I believe it deserves a Best Picture nomination, but I doubt if the Academy is ready for that. Nevertheless, The Incredibles truly are just that. Go see it.

1 Comment »

  1. 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.

    #1 by Creford — March 11, 2005 @ 2:54 am

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