ninth symphony films - movie reviews

THE INCREDIBLES (2004)


DIRECTOR  -  brad bird

RATED  -  pg

GENRE  -  animation

LENGTH  -  115 minutes

RELEASED  -  5 november 2004

DISTRIBUTOR  -  pixar/disney

OFFICIAL SITE  -  the incredibles

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $92,000,000
the incredibles - a shot from the film

BUY THE DVD:

buy the dvd from the incredibles at amazon.com

buy the dvd from the incredibles at amazon.com


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


POSTER:

poster from the incredibles
buy the poster


MOVIE FACT:
first movie by pixar to receive a rating higher than G in the USA, this one being PG.


MOVIE FOTOS:

picture from the incredibles

picture from the incredibles

picture from the incredibles

picture from the incredibles



RATING:


four out of four possible stars

The Incredibles has everything viewers expect from a film made by the folks at Pixar. Loveable characters, stunning animation, a lithe story, and the unexplainable magic that appears in every Pixar film, all of those essential pieces show up in force in this movie. The creative energy of this film beats the pants of just about every feature film this year, animated or not. With so many incredible successes under their belt, one has to wonder the increasing pressure the animators and artists at Pixar are under each time the venture into making a new film.

Forcing their audience to wait the interminable length of time of eighteen months between theatrical releases, their snail's pace of an output is the company's only fault. It is possible that if the creators ramped up their production schedule that the quality of their product might decrease. Perhaps films under the Pixar banner are made with the adage that less is more. But that idea doesn't really mesh with the presentation of this movie. There's so much to recommend about it, as is the standard with Pixar movies. Beyond the exceptional production values of this film, one of the most intelligent choices made by the filmmakers was in the casting.

It's standard practice for animators to include some or many aspects of an actor's physical look into the animation of the characters and Pixar does this very well. They don't create an animated carbon copy of the actor, but they take just a few recognizable elements and mix them into the visual personality of the character. When you see Mr. Incredible bound across the screen, you know it's Craig T. Nelson behind the voice, but you feel it as well from is facial features. Mr. Incredible is a beautifully animated character and with Nelson's voice he's a wonderful headliner for the film.

Though it's safe to say that the four family members in the lead roles of this film are nearly eclipsed by the appearance of the character, "Edna Mode," a severely petite woman who designs costumes for superheroes and whose personality and look was modeled on that of the famous Hollywood costume designer, Edith Head. With off-the-cuff and swiftly delivered lines like, "ask me before I turn sane," Edith's scenes in the film are among the most hilarious. And it bears mentioning that the character of Edith was voiced by the director, Brad Bird, as was a popular character in Finding Nemo, the turtle dude "Crush" (voiced by Andrew Stanton).

In addition to Craig T. Nelson's spirited performance as Mr. Incredible, Holly Hunter is also perfectly cast in the role as Mr. Incredible's wife, "Elastigirl." Her adroit approach to "Helen" (as her character is known without her costume), will make viewers wonder which came first: the actor or the character as she seems perfectly chosen for the role. Samuel L. Jackson provides additional comedic support in his role as Mr. Incredible's buddy, "Frozone," as does Jason Lee, who plays the necessary evil nemesis of the picture, "Syndrome." I'll wager much of the audience should be thoroughly entertained by Syndrome's locks alone.

Something important to consider regarding the characters in The Incredibles is the fact that all the main characters are human. Although humans have been featured as supporting characters in other Pixar films, this is the first time humans have taken center stage. Sometimes it's difficult to portray realistic movement in humans with animation, but the Pixar animators have accomplished a realistic movement for all their human characters. And it's not because they made them appear so realistic that it's difficult to believe they were animated. By simply pushing the look of the humans into a little bit of a caricature of an actual human body, their movements (they are, after all, super-humans) are fluid and natural and not at all mechanic.

A tribute to the scores of super-hero comic books created in the early years of various comic book empires (I.E. the more innocent variety), The Incredibles is a film that can be perfectly described as a delight for children ages three to eighty. It's exactly what people expect from Pixar and impressively they manage to improve upon an already solid formula. Other companies have seen their revenues plummet after their way of doing business has become too tired, but that is far from the case with Pixar and its animators.

While some companies may create a rather acceptable product out of their standard formula, Pixar does the impossible and improves by leaps and bounds with each feature. Sometimes it's okay to say, "the formula's fine, don't mess with it." And the Pixar people must think this to some extent. But they certainly don't trot out anything tired in their stories. Just the fluidly entertaining product they're known for, chock full of improvements, refinements and additional artistry with each passing film. Always pushing the envelope regarding animation, Pixar is the name in the business and no other company even comes close to what they have achieved in story, animation, enthusiasm and overall product. Their only sin is making audience members wait eighteen months for their next feature!

Review by Kelsey Wyatt


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