Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. USA, 2004. Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures. Screenplay by Brad Bird. Cinematography by Andrew Jimenez, Patrick Lin, Janet Lucroy. Produced by John Walker. Music by Michael Giacchino. Production Design by Lou Romano. Film Editing by Stephen Schaffer. Academy Awards 2004. Golden Globe Awards 2004. New York Film Critics Awards 2004.
Pixar does it up brilliantly with this effortlessly clever science-fiction comedy. The Incredibles, a family of superheroes, have entered the modern age on the down-low, having been forced by lawsuits from former beneficiaries of their abilities to live like “average” Americans who look and behave like everyone else. Despite the fact that the father (Craig T. Nelson) and mother (Holly Hunter) have given birth to children with their own abilities, normality is a relatively easy task for this tight-knit set to accomplish, but there’s still days of longing for the past. When a new breed of villain shows up on the scene and threatens some old-school destruction on the planet, it takes very little persuasion for Mr. Incredible to abandon the office grind and stretch back into his suit, and his family is quick to follow. The animation harkens back to a science-fiction beauty of yesteryear, while the story is sharp and, at times, poignant; there’s lots of allegories to be made about conservative hypocrisy in America, and many of them are apt, but thankfully the Pixar team always put story and character first (and thereby make their point so much stronger). An outstanding achievement.