Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson) was once the superhero Mr. Incredible and is having trouble settling down into an ordinary life with his wife Helen (Holly Hunter) and children, Dash (Spencer Fox), Violet (Sarah Vowell) and Jack Jack (Eli Fucile, Maeve Andrews). When an opportunity comes along that allows Bob to put on the suit again, he takes it. But when a mistake from his past catches up to him, his entire family must suit up to help him.
Without a doubt, Pixar tells some of the best stories about family and friendship out there. Pixar once again outdid themselves with The Incredibles. They crafted a narrative that can be appreciated by all age levels and has something for everyone. It’s not very often a studio known for movies geared towards a younger audience can successfully create a story centered around a midlife crisis, but Pixar managed to pull it off.
First thing I noticed was the fantastic music. It was very jazzy, a genre you don’t see very often in movies nowadays, and reminiscent of spy movies like James Bond or Mission Impossible. When done right, the music can add a whole other dynamic to a movie, and Michael Giacchino’s score is a perfect fit. It complements the feel of the film appropriately and raises the film to a whole new level.
Pixar did excellent job casting the voices of the characters. Craig T. Nelson fills the voice of Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible perfectly. The same goes for Holly Hunter as Helen/Elastigirl. Probably my favorite casting though is Samuel L. Jackson as Lucius Best/Frozone, one of the few superheroes Bob keeps in contact with after retiring his mask. A close second is director Brad Bird as Edna Mode, a superhero costume designer. He brings a certain energy to the character that the animation can’t portray. Sarah Vowell Violet Parr is the only one I don’t care for. Her voice is very gratey and sometime downright annoying.
As I mentioned before, the story is phenomenal. The Incredibles has a much more mature tone than previous Pixar films. It still has an appeal to the younger audience, but the focus of the story is on Bob and his relationship with his family, particularly his wife. There are many one-liners that younger viewers may not catch that are specifically focused towards the older audience. It’s easy to understand Bob’s desire to return to the “glory days” and relive his youth once more. And there is something amusing about watching a superhero go through a midlife crisis.
I wasn’t blown away by the animation, but that doesn’t mean this movie doesn’t look good. There are a wide range of environments, from the city to a jungle island and several places in between, and they are vibrant and each have a distinct feel. It looks great, but compared to Pixar’s other films, such as Toy Story or Finding Nemo, it just isn’t anything over spectacular. However, I was impressed with the effects on the superhero suits. They had a nice texture that looked like real fabric, almost like velvet. Also, the character models are very exaggerated. I like it because each character is unique, but and the same time I don’t because they seem overemphasized, drawing too much attention to their caricatured features.
No matter how old you are, there is something in The Incredibles for you. A superhero going through a midlife crisis makes for some wonderful story moments and the Parr family dynamic feels organic and real. Although the animation may be too exaggerated for my liking, the excellent voice cast and jazz score, along with the incredible story, propel The Incredibles to heights rarely seen in a more mature animated feature.