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Overall Rating
4.66

Awesome80.08%
Worth A Look: 13.91%
Average: 1.88%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 4.14%

12 reviews, 194 user ratings


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Incredibles, The
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by Lybarger

"Letís just say it lives up to its name."
5 stars

Unlike most Hollywood studios, the team at Pixar Animation spends an entire year on each of their mammoth productions on the scripts alone. Could this possibly explain why their movies are consistently clever and entertaining?

Since their debut feature Toy Story, Pixar has managed to deliver stories that melted the heart without making a viewer feel manipulated. Their new offering The Incredibles is considered a bit of a risk because it sports a PG rating instead of a G and was written and directed by studio outsider Brad Bird, a veteran of The Simpsons and the helmer of the grossly underrated The Iron Giant.

Thankfully, all the risks pay off handsomely, and the pairing of Bird and Pixar is a marriage made in heaven. His hand is evident right from the beginning as we see what looks like battered news footage of interviews with revered superheroes Mr. Incredible (voice by Craig T. Nelson), Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) and Fro-Zone (Samuel L. Jackson).

This footage sadly precedes an era when people who have extraordinary talents have to hide their gifts for fear of attracting public wrath. Thanks to a dangerously annoying fan (Jason Lee, in what may be his best performance to date) and some people who were injured when Mr. Incredible saved their lives, superheroes now have to keep their powers secret for fear of attracting lawsuits or insurance problems.

Ironically, when Mr. Incredible retires and assumes the more mundane name of Robert Paar, heís now a lowly insurance clerk. Sitting at a desk for 15 years has turned his physique from buff to blubber, and he chafes at working for a boss (an appropriately weasly Wallace Shawn) whoís more eager to gouge clients than to meet their needs.

At home, his wife, the former Elastigirl Helen Paar, has kept her flexibility by doing housework and keeping her super kids from squabbling. Her son Dash (Spencer Fox) is a trouble maker at school who uses his incredible speed to play mean pranks on his teacher, and her daughter Violet (Sarah Vowell from This American Life) is such a shrinking violet that she can literally turn invisible.

While The Incredibles has no shortage of action, wit or excitement, Bird spends a lot of the time setting up the situation early on so the heroics at the end have more impact. Yes, the characters may be cute and endearing, but by making them believably human, Bird makes their adventures more engaging and fun.

Robert and Fro-Zone still sneak off to do underground heroics, but the formerís life begins to pick up when a mysterious woman (Elizabeth PeŮa) offers him random missions for fantastic sums of money. With his neglected super strength and sense of altruism calling, itís an offer he accepts despite the dangers of being caught by the authorities or Helen.

Itís refreshing to see adult longings in a movie thatís squarely aimed at kids. For those who complain that the material is above toddlers' heads, the four-year-old sitting in front of me at the screening I attended was ecstatic throughout and asked me expectantly if I liked it, too after it was over. Furthermore, the Toy Story series also dealt with grownup worries like downsizing, and youngsters ate it up as well.

Pixar also makes their cartoons more intelligently than their Disney and Dreamworks peers. For one thing, they cast their voice actors not for marquee value but for simply being ideally suited for the roles. In A Shark Tale, the celebrity voices became a distraction. Nelson and PeŮa are so good that you watch the characters and donít try to imagine the celeb behind the microphone.

Another notch in Birdís favor is that he avoids topical humor that seems to overrun the Disney and Dreamworks flicks. While pop culture nods can be gut bustlingly funny in Aladdin or the Shrek films, in A Shark Tale, the references to other films got to be annoying and sank the story. With The Incredibles, Bird borrows heavily from Marvel Comics and the James Bond flicks. The bad guyís lair is something 007 set designer Ken Adam would be proud of, and Michael Giacchinoís score might nod a bit to John Barry but is rousing on its own. But whatís more important is that the world Bird creates is self-contained.

Without knowing that superhero costume designer Edna Mole (voiced by Bird himself) looks like the great Hollywood dressmaker Edith Head, you can still enjoy the character. As a result, The Incredibles will probably age better than many of its animated peers.

There are all sorts of nifty visual touches (the hair and the wind are astonishingly rendered), but Bird and Pixar know that great images and sounds are at their most impressive when they serve a terrific story.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=11123&reviewer=382
originally posted: 11/08/04 15:30:40
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Leeds Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Leeds Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell great 4 adults and kids 5 stars
4/14/15 jokerass lol 1 stars
4/13/15 jokerass lol 1 stars
4/12/15 sjskskdk lol 1 stars
3/01/15 manalone923 crap 1 stars
2/15/15 john IDIOT 1 stars
10/19/11 Magic One of the best superhero movies. No emotional nuance, but very entertaining. 5 stars
3/31/11 TG One of the best Pixar films, and THE best superhero film I've seen. 5 stars
11/02/08 Samantha Pruitt very good and funny, great action! 4 stars
10/02/08 Shaun Wallner Great Kids Film! 5 stars
9/26/08 PAUL SHORTT AN EXCEPTIONAL SUPERHERO STORY AS WELL AS A CONVINCING FAMILY FILM 5 stars
2/26/08 pkr a mixture of best non-animated movies tied together with superawesome plot, my favorite. 5 stars
3/20/07 dude good movie 4 stars
3/07/07 Stanley Thai A very good film, yet very overrated. It's just an animated film! 4 stars
2/19/07 Nick Maday Truly a family-friendly movie. A fantastic family-friendly movie. 5 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Genius superhero movie. 4 stars
2/08/07 Raph Branca My most favorite Pixar film to date. 5 stars
2/01/07 Tiffany awesome, I feel like a super hero 5 stars
1/13/07 Patrick Edna Mode!! 5 stars
1/13/07 David Pollastrini great action with a few comedy bits 4 stars
11/01/06 Kyle awesome movie loved it watched over and over again 5 stars
10/28/06 Richard Pixar made a rated PG film, and they should stick to it! 5 stars
9/08/06 David Cohen More cynical and gritty than previous Pixar films, but still good 4 stars
7/30/06 Scotty I was surprised at how action-packed and heart-felt this film was.. 5 stars
7/12/06 ian afford i want to marry elastigirl 5 stars
6/12/06 Dave Webber Totally awesome - as I said before; Brad Bird is a genius. 5 stars
5/22/06 Diane P excellent for both children and adults 5 stars
5/17/06 Poopy pops Good but went slow at times. B+ 4 stars
4/04/06 no awesome! some help eh..hehe 5 stars
4/02/06 JRE very funny but reeeeeelly overrated 4 stars
3/09/06 Dk Funny as hell 4 stars
2/03/06 ES Incredible 5 stars
1/10/06 Quigley Edna Mode 5 stars
12/09/05 Frank Rountree Good at times, but moves slow most of the time 3 stars
11/16/05 Adrian I honestly cannot find one wrong this with this movie. Priceless fun and entertainment. 5 stars
11/11/05 J.D. Pittman III Smooth animation, great storyline. Read my rating 5 stars
10/31/05 anonymous I hope the sequel involves North Korea and its communists 5 stars
10/26/05 Frank Rountree The best part was at the end, and the features that come with the movie 3 stars
10/12/05 eddiejohns I'm not a kid, but I feel more "incredible" having seen it. 5 stars
10/05/05 Jesse Taylor Amazing. The best animated movie ever. Brad Bird is amazingly talented. 5 stars
10/04/05 Amy Katherine Spencer It teaches with humor and love 5 stars
9/27/05 Jef Brunham Give me the Specials over this any day 3 stars
9/22/05 Jonathon Holmes fuck Fantastic Slop and see this film! 5 stars
9/20/05 Dave Fucking Brilliant 5 stars
8/29/05 Phil M. Aficionado 30 minutes of super heros = serious snoring; not with this stellar effort though. So, it's: 4 stars
8/23/05 Quigley this is a great movie, ditch Fantastic Flop! i love Edna! i love Edna! definitely see it 5 stars
8/13/05 ES My favourite movie to date= simply incredible 5 stars
8/08/05 yuko cute! amazing CG 5 stars
8/08/05 Del Great Movie. 4 stars
7/23/05 Gregor Erickson The best of its genre and the one that will age the best 5 stars
7/17/05 Dan Fun movie! 4 stars
7/09/05 Moctezuma Yet another pathetic and overrated Disney film. 1 stars
6/07/05 Mark Radburn Worst Film since Finding Lameo or Nemo is it 1 stars
5/29/05 Jake Dispit some parts that drag this film is incredible 5 stars
5/22/05 Theep There is no denying this is a great piece of animated cinema 4 stars
5/21/05 Arse Poet I watched it with an open mind, and this movie stole my furniture 1 stars
5/05/05 Taylor Fladgate Amazing...still getting my mind wrapped around the visual effects! 5 stars
5/05/05 Cindy Lovell Unbelievable...Pixar did it again 5 stars
5/04/05 rogsamsy hollywood schlock 1 stars
5/03/05 NYCLaura Great fun, but not as brilliant as some would have it. It's just a cartoon! 4 stars
5/02/05 Meredith Purintun Lots of fun for everyone! 5 stars
5/01/05 ed.williams Really fun movie. I get engrossed any time I see it playing in Price Club. 5 stars
4/23/05 H Lin greatest animation ever made 5 stars
4/23/05 Quigley Joe England, you are right. Pixar rules once again. uses tons of cliques, but still is cool 5 stars
4/23/05 Heather Tarlecky This movie was the greatest 5 stars
4/17/05 Lynnette Stevens Great Movie! We will buy this one for sure! 5 stars
4/10/05 Kristan anderson Great movie for kids AND adults. 4 stars
4/04/05 Sandra I loved this movie! It was great. I'll watch it all over again in a heartbeat... 5 stars
3/29/05 mwildeman I really enjoyed this film 5 stars
3/28/05 Netsurfer Holy shit is this movie great. 5 stars
3/27/05 The Mockingbird Go home Disney, you dont deserve to be in the company of The Incredibles 4 stars
3/26/05 MaryBeth Isaac I loved this film. We bought it on DVD as soon as it came out. 1 of the best kid's film 5 stars
3/25/05 Joe England First the Marvel movies, now this... these are glorious days to be a geek. 5 stars
3/25/05 Chance Great Movie! 5 stars
3/24/05 Holly Dawson I loved this as much as my kids! 5 stars
3/24/05 Colleen Goldrick GREAT 5 stars
3/22/05 steven nicholas i believe that this film is great !!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
3/22/05 Gray best kids film is ages! 5 stars
3/17/05 tatum Stunning and wonderful 5 stars
3/16/05 Cassie Farmer This is one of the Best movies I have ever seen! 5 stars
3/10/05 Steph Heaps Cool 5 stars
3/09/05 Los Daddy Fun refreshing movie especially for Comic Geeks (like me)...Oscar is well deserved for this 5 stars
3/03/05 beef i hate cartoons especially crappy ones like these 1 stars
2/26/05 Brandy For lack of a better work, incredible. Great movie. 5 stars
2/24/05 Shams Huque Awesome film - Brad Bird is a genious. 5 stars
2/20/05 abhster Wonderfully imaginative, but not the best Pixar 4 stars
2/18/05 Margot Copeland I wish live films were as good ;-) 5 stars
2/18/05 Missy Mc Great for the whole family. My kids LOVED it! 5 stars
2/17/05 crandall101 Love it 5 stars
2/17/05 Karen Sebring Great Flick 5 stars
2/12/05 Gabriel Jolivet A cute movie, refreshing. Very well done. 5 stars
2/12/05 John Jankowski another great pixar film! 5 stars
2/11/05 X I can't imagine how the next Pixar flick Cars can top this 5 stars
2/07/05 craig varney great for everybody 5 stars
2/06/05 Tom Benton Possibly the best Pixar film yet. Clever, funny, and wonderfully enjoyable. 5 stars
2/05/05 Amy Bradshaw Very original and cute film for the whole family to enjoy! 5 stars
2/05/05 Susan Chamberlain Very Funny. My children and I all enjoyed it. 5 stars
2/05/05 Pam Shue My husband and little boy just thought it was wonderful!!! I did too! 5 stars
2/05/05 bongeezer Great for all ages, Funny 5 stars
2/05/05 COlleen GOldrick Excellent 5 stars
2/05/05 Melissa very good, fun for the whole family 4 stars
2/05/05 Ann Klonicki My kids loved it 5 stars
2/04/05 Mirella Rodriguez Incredibly Fun for kids and parents alike 5 stars
2/04/05 Debbi Kalstein Great 5 stars
2/02/05 Mark McConnell like friends animated - utter crap - embarrasing 1 stars
2/01/05 chinthaka best animation ever 5 stars
1/31/05 Bridget I really liked the movie 5 stars
1/31/05 williamwar A great movie for adults. Not sure about kids. 4 stars
1/29/05 Lisa Clarizio Very fun movie, excellent animation 5 stars
1/29/05 Richard Brandt There are few moments as moving as when Mr. Incredible confesses to his lack of strength 5 stars
1/28/05 Jeff Anderson A triumph from Disney, Pixar, and especially Brad Bird. This gives animation a great name!! 5 stars
1/27/05 JesseL The kids will love it. Nicely done. For adults its acceptable. 5 stars
1/22/05 Rob McKeown Awesome... like watching an animated Bond movie, but better! 5 stars
1/21/05 Uncle Phucker Didn't want to see it. Saw it. Very much enjoyed it. 4 stars
1/21/05 Sas Loved it, so funny! can't wait to buy it on DVD 5 stars
1/19/05 Keaton the Black Jackal Congratulations, Pixar, you've churned out another sequel--and this one's the best so far. 5 stars
1/17/05 Hannah This movie has a lot of action and is very funny! It has great animation. 5 stars
1/16/05 Feliciano a masterpiece, every kid should watch this!!!! 5 stars
1/12/05 Mark Power Finaly a family movie with a message I can agree with. 5 stars
1/10/05 Brett I thought this movie was great, definitely stuff for both kids and adults to enjoy. 5 stars
1/06/05 Green Gremlin Sets new standards for animation 5 stars
1/04/05 t-1000 pixar's most enjoyable 5 stars
12/31/04 Max an adult animated movie, too vocalised for kids. 4 stars
12/31/04 Cros Too long, too dark, too slow. 3 stars
12/30/04 Debra Sherman fabulous fun 5 stars
12/29/04 Tom Ciorciari Pixar triumphs yet again! What is in the water out there? 5 stars
12/29/04 burton miller another tour de force from pixar 5 stars
12/28/04 farnqwo Mighty US family feel good fightback set to Pink Panther music? 4 stars
12/28/04 alec who's the target audience kids or adults? whats up with weird background music? 4 stars
12/28/04 efrain This movie is wonderful. Definitely gonna give Shrek 2 a run for it's money 5 stars
12/21/04 Landshark sweet animation, cool characters, slightly subversive subject-matter 5 stars
12/17/04 Ken Cenerelli At a loss for words. I was spellbound the entire time. 5 stars
12/14/04 mike h Its worth multiple viewings! 6 out of 5 for this character-based action-comedy!! 5 stars
12/13/04 Jack Bourbon fun stuff 5 stars
12/12/04 Scott I had high expectations watching this movie, and it wildly exceeded them !! GREAT movie. 5 stars
12/12/04 Sam Very entertaining 5 stars
12/06/04 Littlepurch Pixar's best - nuff said! 5 stars
12/05/04 Brad I <3 Pixar 5 stars
12/04/04 JL funny as hell 5 stars
11/28/04 Daveman Doesn't have the beauty or wonder of F. Nemo, but it's still a superbly crafted Pixar film. 4 stars
11/27/04 DM Definitely a keeper, but not as good as I'd hoped 4 stars
11/25/04 drfardook Its a film version of the watchmen... but funny. very funny. 5 stars
11/23/04 Graham Simply put, I wanted to see it again as soon as it ended. 5 stars
11/22/04 Greg really creative and entertaining for everyone in the family 5 stars
11/22/04 Jim A riot. Absolutely nails every superhero trope it aims at. 5 stars
11/22/04 Chopper3 I didn't want it to end. That's the best a film can be in my book. 5 stars
11/21/04 Charlene Javier Not Pixar's best. 3 stars
11/21/04 Kristina Williams Nemo was better 4 stars
11/19/04 Richard Tamesis The best film of 2004! 5 stars
11/19/04 Keith pretty good, dragged on a bit towards end 4 stars
11/16/04 Worthy Slacker After being awed by the Star Wars trailer (WOW!), settled down for another "Pixar special". 4 stars
11/16/04 nick2k wow...wow...wow...definate 1st dvd purchase. pixar tech has advanced!!! 5 stars
11/15/04 chris. thought i was getting dragged to see another cartoon...pleastly surprised! 5 stars
11/15/04 Ry Another Winner 5 stars
11/15/04 goo Cool 5 stars
11/15/04 noggin_cmu Simply awesome...the only downside is the onslaught of kiddy-targeted merchandizing 5 stars
11/15/04 Betzaida Trully Incredible! 5 stars
11/15/04 ownerofdajoint what a flick! don't miss this one..... 5 stars
11/14/04 katsat So full of detail in character, action and setting, you have to see it at least 3 times! 5 stars
11/14/04 Mark Spivey Best movie I've seen in years. Loved everything about it. 5 stars
11/14/04 bullit16 Absolutely incred-- well, you know... 5 stars
11/14/04 Lord Jiggy Funny, quirky, smart. Worth full price. 5 stars
11/14/04 Nadia Exceeded my expectations. 5 stars
11/13/04 Mark D Fulwiler Another winner from Pixar! Great fun! 5 stars
11/13/04 Desperado Brilliant, great movie, works on very level, cant wait for part 2 5 stars
11/12/04 gabrielle and CArla We think that this was the best movie ever and we love it! 5 stars
11/11/04 Chris Meadows The family felt "real," not fake like 99.9% of screen families. They really got it right! 5 stars
11/11/04 Naka Animation classic! 5 stars
11/11/04 ZF yummy 5 stars
11/10/04 Sonny How do they do that with computers? 5 stars
11/10/04 ajay Not as good as other Pixar flics, maybe I need to see it again without the kids... 4 stars
11/10/04 Greg "The Incredibles" is a movie made for every age. 5 stars
11/09/04 el burro Sweet! Great followup to Finding Nemo. 5 stars
11/09/04 Old Spice Best Pixar yet. Makes Shrek 2 look like the steaming poo it is. 5 stars
11/09/04 Simon Khalil Haven't seen yet but will... $70mil in 1st wk? That automatically = Awesome! 5 stars
11/09/04 miatagirl This movie was a breath of fresh air! A must-see! 5 stars
11/09/04 Kristin Very insightful. 5 stars
11/09/04 Johnny When is the DVD coming out!!!!! 5 stars
11/09/04 Nancy Pixar knows what Lucas forgot: it's story that's important, not technology! 5 stars
11/08/04 Katie This movie is GREAT!So worth the wait in line at the movie theaters! 5 stars
11/08/04 Whatevr This movie lives up to it's name and more 5 stars
11/08/04 Cool Leather Jacket it really blew me away!! 5 stars
11/08/04 Doctechnical Absolutely fantastic. Instant classic. 5 stars
11/07/04 mia hamm in-cre-di-ble 5 stars
11/07/04 Rooktoven Very funny and a wild ride. 5 stars
11/07/04 KingNeutron FKG AWESOME. Best movie of the year! 5 stars
11/07/04 Joe This movie is not only hilarious, it's uplifting. 5 stars
11/07/04 Thonolan Great Movie 5 stars
11/06/04 Vicious I expected comedy, but it was an excellent super-hero action film, excellent visuals. 5 stars
11/06/04 Persephone wow 5 stars
11/06/04 BrianWilly Pure. Unadulterated. Genius. 5 stars
11/06/04 Dunce Best Pixar movie ever - best SUPERHERO movie ever! 5 stars
11/06/04 Sano Sorry for the redundancy, but it is Incredible! 5 stars
11/06/04 Titus A great ride, good fun, nice subversive message. A little slow to start, a bit predictable 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  05-Nov-2004 (PG)
  DVD: 15-Mar-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  26-Dec-2004


Directed by
  Brad Bird

Written by
  Brad Bird

Cast
  Craig T. Nelson
  Holly Hunter
  Samuel L. Jackson
  Jason Lee
  Wallace Shawn
  John Ratzenberger



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