Top 365 Films – #214 – The Incredibles (2004)


Top 365 Films - The IncrediblesDIRECTED BY: Brad Bird

STARRING: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Spencer Fox, Sarah Vowell, Eli Fucile, Maeve Andrews, Brad Bird, Elizabeth Peña and Jason Lee

BUDGET: $92m

EARNED (Worldwide): $631.4m

AWARDS: 2 Oscars (Best Sound Editing and Best Animated Film) and 1 BAFTA (Best Animated Film)

 

SYNOPSIS

A family of undercover superheroes, while trying to live the quiet suburban life, are forced into action to save the world.

 

The Incredibles has us follow Mr Incredible and Elastigirl, the world’s greatest famous crime-fighting superheroes in the city, that is until a surge of lawsuits against superheroes submitted by the people they’ve saved, force the Government to hide them into witness protection programs and lead normal, anonymous lives. Fifteen years later Bob (Mr. Incredible) and Helen (Elastigirl) lead a normal life with their three children (Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack) though Bob itches to get back into action and one day gets his change when a mysterious communication summons him to a remote island for a top secret assignment.

 

When we arrive at the fifteen years later destination, the Parr family are in the middle of a crisis. The children, born with superpowers (except for Jack-Jack) are cracking up about having to hide them, Helen is cracking up about being left to break up the brother-sister bickering in the household while Bob….is just cracking up about his day job at the insurance company he works for, yearning to recapture the glory days of being Mr Incredible. This was Pixar’s first stab at handling the superhero genre, with their first all-human cast and at times with the bright colours it can be dark in tone underneath. It has shades of James Bond with a Superhero jacket over it, the secret island bases, the gadgets and having someone to provide new costumes for are superheroes (voiced perfectly Brad Bird). The message of allowing people to accept just ‘existing’ use their talents rather than hide them from everyone rings true during the course of the film over a terrific soundtrack. The animation for this film is incredible (gloriously shameless pun!) and at times with the human mannerisms (Bob at his office desk listening to his customers problems and the family cheering on Dash on the track) you forget that you are watching an animated film as you’re sucked into this world with a host of likeable and memorable characters, with the action sequences still hold up over a decade later, with a great voice cast with Craig T. Nelson as Bob, Holly Hunter as Helen, Jason Lee has a few memorable lines as the villain Syndrome, who has a rather interesting back story and Samuel L. Jackson is funny as Frozone and luckily kept in small doses rather than overkilling the character. It’s a film with a warm message on family and I for one really look forward to the sequel and all I can say is….why the hell is it taking so long?

 

FAVOURITE SCENE: Lucius Best witnesses the Omnidroid causing destruction outside and goes to gear up in his supersuit….only it’s not where it’s supposed to be leading to a humorous conversation with his wife, frantically trying to find the supersuit.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘We’re dead! We’re dead! We survived but we’re dead!’ – Dash

DID YOU KNOW?: Brad Bird was listening to Public Radio International and heard Sarah Vowell, a frequent contributor to the PRI program “This American Life”. He felt her voice was perfect for Violet even though she had never acted before. To convince her, Pixar animators animated one of Vowell’s segments from “This American Life” and sent it to her.

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