The Incredibles Live Up to Their Name

The voters spoke and reelected President Bush with a conservative mandate. And more recently the viewing public has turned out in droves to see The Incredibles and once again tell Hollywood that good, clean, wholesome entertainment is not only desired, but can also be very profitable.

Pixar has used its proven formula to create another blockbuster film (its opening weekend brought in over $70 million) using family, sacrifice and trust to great effect in their latest creation, The Incredibles.

The Incredibles are a family of superheroes who are forbidden from using their powers thanks to an excess of liability litigation (if there was ever a reason for tort reform, here it is!) and are struggling to live normal lives, while concealing who they are.

Mr. Incredible is working incognito as an insurance salesman when he is given the opportunity to do some superhero work on the side, but doesn’t tell his wife about it and consequently gets himself into trouble–both at home and with the super-villain Syndrome. Of course, Mrs. Incredible (a.k.a. Elastigirl) finds out and rushes off to confront, but also save her husband. It isn’t long before the whole family is working together to save dad and then the free world from the evil designs of Syndrome.

On paper the story may seem a bit clich???? ┬ęd, but on the big screen Pixar has pulled off another masterpiece.

Visually, the film is everything you would expect from Pixar after their successes with Finding Nemo and Monsters, Inc. The animation is flawless, but keeps just enough of a cartoon edge to the graphics to remind the viewer, that this is a world with superheroes. The action scenes are superbly done and while the cartoon violence earns the film a PG rating the explosions and spectacular chases would make Wile E. Coyote drool with delight.

The storyline and script is clean and direct. While some of the story themes may be over the heads of younger viewers (i.e. marital squabbles) there is more than enough going on in the story to keep the young ones interested. I know my three-year-old son particularly liked Dash, the young son of the Incredibles, who has superhuman speed and I imagine there are more than a few youngsters who wish they could have powers like Violet, the daughter, and become invisible (or create force fields).

Of course, no superhero movie is complete without a super villain who has dreamed up some kind of scheme to crush a city or enslave humanity. Syndrome, an evil genius with a megalomaniacal grudge against Mr. Incredible and crazy hair, has invented plenty of dangerous gadgets to threaten ordinary people and superheroes alike–and employs more than a few gadget wielding henchmen to back him up.

The characters are well developed and the story moves along nicely without getting too bogged down in details–plus you find out where superheroes get their cool costumes. You can’t help but think that sans superhero powers, the Incredibles are just like any other family. No one is perfect, but they understand what it means to be a family and are willing to make sacrifices for each other. For example, dad works a job he doesn’t like and mom jumps out of airplanes to save her kids.

Parents and grandparents will be pleased to know that there are no off-color jokes or other questionable humor, unlike Shrek 2. I know I am in agreement with my son when he told me, “I want to see it again.”


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