crises seem to go hand and hand with superhero-dom. Disney/Pixar's
The Incredibles certainly explores this theme, with
its focus on a family headed by retired (laid off!) superheroes who
are forced to live their lives denying who they really are,
and posing as a "normal" family. Viewers can
easily feel the family's general discontent with their new way of
life, perhaps most apparently when Mr. Incredible (as alter
ego Bob Parr) is all too easily pulled back into the world
of superhero-dom, so much so that he is initially willing to
live a double life in order to do just that.
Incredibles marks the first for Pixar in a couple of ways:
the movie stars humans as the main characters, and it's
Pixar's first PG-rated film. Officially, the PG rating comes
from the movie's "action violence" (which includes
machine guns). Allusion to extramarital affairs is another
more mature theme.
adventure begins with both Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl (and all
the other superheroes) doing what they do best. (When the story
skips to 15 years later, these would be considered their "glory
days".) For a number of reasons, of which Mr. Incredible's
"number one fan" who liked to be called IncrediBoy topped
the list, Mr. Incredible got sued. This sparked one lawsuit after
another, costing the government a lot of money. The solution? The
Superhero Relocation Program. Superheroes were to live new identities
amongst "ordinary" folk.
still superheroes, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl took their vows, so
that when the action resumes 15 years later, the couple is a
full-fledged family with three kids. Two of their children have
clearly developed superpowers: Dash, a precocious little boy, is
acting up at school. After all, he is not allowed to play sports for
fear that his powers may be uncovered. Violet, their timid teenage
daughter, who might have been best described as a "shrinking
violet", has the ability to both make herself invisible and to
draw up force fields around her. Jack-Jack is still a baby,
apparently without superpowers.
Incredible is clearly discontented with his job as insurance
adjuster, can't completely resist his attraction to crises, and more
often than not ends up hanging out with his friend (the former
superhero Frozone) listening to police scanners. This is probably
why an offer to come out of superhero retirement, delivered by a
mysterious woman named Mirage, is one he can't refuse. After his
first mission (one that is hidden from his family), he is
rejuvenatedhe begins training again, buys the family a new car,
and embraces his life with newfound happiness. However, it isn't long before
Mr. Incredible discovers that he is being "had", while
Mrs. Incredible begins to fear her husband is having an affair. (Her
suspicion itself puts Mr. Incredible in more serious dangera situation that
reminds me of the myth of Psyche and Eros).
second half of the movie is high-energy action. The action is
especially fun to watch when the family is doing the "superhero
thing" as a group (you can almost feel their triumph at doing
what they do best), giving new meaning to the concept of "the
power of the
family". Mr. Incredible's nemesis, who calls himself
Syndrome, is bent on not only becoming a superhero (he even stages a
heroic deed), but releasing that ability to every individual, so
that "when everyone's super, no one will be!"
the movie earns a few chuckles at the beginning, it turns
into laugh-out-loud funny halfway through the story. Quite a few
humorous moments involve poking good-hearted fun at middle-age
issues ("Oh my aching back!"), family interactions (as the
family of superheroes are traveling full-speed ahead in pursuit of
the bad guys, the kids ask "Are we there yet?" and the
mister and missus argue over which exit to take), as well as the comic book
genre itself (Syndrome recognizes Mr. Incredible's clever tactic by
saying, "You got me monologuing!").
character development in the movie is rich, effectively giving the
acting: Craig T. Nelson does Mr. Incredible, Holly Hunter does
Elastigirl (or Mrs. Incredible).
Power of the family, strong female character, being ordinary
(conforming) vs. showing your true colors.
opening animated short, Boundin', measured up to our
expectations expectations based on previous Pixar shorts that
proved to be uplifting and funny at once.
2-Disc Collector's Edition DVD includes the Pixar short
film, Boundin', bloopers and outtakes, an alternate
beginning with commentary, deleted scenes, behind the scenes
"making of" feature, "top secret" files,
and an all-new animated short entitled Jack-Jack Attack.
Attack is hilarious - a real treat for the kids. In
the feature film, we know that baby Jack-Jack's babysitter
had a hard time with him, and this short film shows what