The latest from Pixar, the studio behind ‘Toy Story’, ‘Monsters Inc.’, and ‘Finding Nemo’, to name but three, is a computer generated animated adventure concerning a family of oppressed superheroes. Written and directed by ‘The Simpsons’ veteran Brad Bird, ‘The Incredibles’ blends action, humour, and drama into a magnificently well crafted and visually stunning feature.
Fifteen years ago, ‘supers’ were not uncommon, protecting and serving innocent citizen from such everyday annoyances and inconveniences as petty theft and runaway trains. Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson), Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) and Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) were three such ‘supers’, enjoying their powers and working at the top of their game. But when the very people who are being saved begin suing for distress, the supers lose their government sponsorship, and are forced into anonymity courtesy of the “Supers Relocation Program”.
Present day Mr. Incredible, under the new guise of Bob Parr, a bottom-rung employee at an insurance company, and his wife, the former Elastigirl, have assumed the identity of a typical suburban family. Kids Dash and Violet however, have inherited super powers (speed and invisibility respectively), but are under strict orders never to use them in public. Frustrated by the limitations he faces as Bob Parr, Mr. Incredible starts sneaking out of the house to resume his heroic exploits, while under the pretence he has joined a bowling league.
It’s hard to know who this movie is aimed toward. On one hand, The Incredibles is the perfect children’s film, designed to distract and entertain for two hours, much in the same way as previous Pixar efforts. But on the other hand, and crucially for Brad Bird, it manages the tricky task of being both funny and entertaining for adults too. Perhaps taking a cue from rival studio Dreamworks’ ‘Shrek’ franchise, Pixar figured that they needed to cater to both ends of the audience spectrum to remain competitive and more importantly, relevant to modern audiences.
While the physical comedy and visual flair will wow younger viewers, it’s the fantastically written script that will hold the interest of even the most jaded adult. The running gag involving the concept of “The bad-guy Monologue” will surely fly over younger heads, but will be rewarding to older viewers. As with most Pixar movies, The Incredibles is highly recommended viewing and probably the most family fun to be had in cinemas this Christmas.
4 out of 5