The Incredibles

Film, Animation
The Incredibles

Time Out says

Another trump from Pixar, this is the studio’s tooniest toon yet, ditching high-sheen computer-generated naturalism for a world of sleek stylisation and plastic-fantastic action spectacular: our heroes are a family of dormant superheroes (Bob Parr né Mr Incredible, his missus the one-time Elastagirl and their high-powered offspring), languishing under the constraints of the FBI’s superhero relocation programme after a series of encounters with litigious citizens puts them out of action. Then a secret-mission invite snags Mr I’s curiosity…

Plot logic isn’t the film’s strongest suit, and its rapid gag rate and quick-heeled turns of tale don’t wholly paper over some questions begged, not to mention some ideological loose ends. The film brilliantly acknowledges the experience of parental compromise and glory-days nostalgia, commingles that with the everyman fantasy of repressed eminence, and then seems to egg on the latter’s anti-egalitarian ethic: how else to interpret the dictum that ‘saying everyone is special is another way of saying no one is,’ a jibe the film makes twice? And its pastiche of caped-crusader tropes neatly (and unironically) synchs with the enduring American daydream of global salvation.

But what pastiche, what playfulness! Seamlessly blending comic-book caper, domestic comedy and sci-fi spy fantasy, the film is a triumph of design, wit and zip, from its villain’s retro-futurist island hideaway to the montage of superhero couture faux-pas presented by the Incredibles’ dotty confidante Madame Edna (Bird’s own spoof of the late Hollywood costumier Edith Head). Bombastic finale aside, it’s a cut (and an age-range) above the simplicities of ‘Finding Nemo’. Bud Luckey’s accompanying short rhyming rondelay ‘Boundin’’ is double reason to get to the cinema on time.


Release details

105 mins

Cast and crew

Brad Bird
Brad Bird

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