March 18, 2005
OK, I finally saw this film. My wife and I purchased it, sight unseen, just two days ago. Last night we watched it. Of course, I heard all sorts of praise about the movie, and well, it is Pixar who made it. I have not disliked a movie of theirs yet (although I personally think A Bug's Life was a little slow compared to their others). This one, we felt, would be a good investment for our children's and our entertainment.
Rather than let our son (who watches what he likes to death) kill the movie for us too quickly, we watched The Incredibles alone last night, after the little ones were in bed. I still think it was a wise decision. I enjoyed this movie very much. Very satisfying on a gut level and an intellectual level. The animation is top notch, as usual (though my wife complained about the hands a couple times). Hair, water and smoke, in particular, looked amazing on screen. The characterizations were suprisingly realistic (I mean for a fictional superhero gone into hiding). I could easily feel the pain the father, Mr. Incredible, felt as he blahed his way through day after day at work. The animated chemistry between Mr. and Mrs. Incredible was realistic and fit. Only one voice characterization bugged me, and that was Mr. Incredible's boss, Gilbert Huph, voiced by Wallace Shawn. His is the kind of memorable voice that I admire, but it just didn't seem to fit the animated face they created for him. That could just be my biased memory always expecting him to exclaim "Inconceivable!" like he did in The Princess Bride. At any rate, I really cared about these characters, as much as I do about any fictional character (yes, I still have a grasp on reality).
I won't rehash the story, because if you don't know it, you need to just go watch it. For real. Stop reading my pretentious words, just go rent it and watch. It's that good. There were several times where I was surprised that I was laughing out loud. The best is Jack-Jack, the baby. His minor role in the end (and in the animated short they include as a bonus on the DVD) caught me off guard and I couldn't restrain my laughter. There are many moments like that during the movie, as you see superheroes dealing with "real life" issues and exploring their powers. I couldn't help but enjoy the son, Dash's role. My son is a little speedy hellion like that (though not quite as fast, mind you, but he tries). They got the mannerisms and personality of a young boy perfectly in that character. And I must say, as he learns to use his powers in the throes of danger, I had a couple of good laughs that I won't ruin here for the three of you that haven't already seen the movie.
The story had some minor surprises, but ultimately wasn't meant to be unguessable. The mysteries of the story are not too complex, on purpose. It was written with kids (and their parents) in mind, so it is pretty straightforward. However, there is violence in this movie, implied and shown (although with quick cutaways and such to avoid any gore of any kind), a first for Pixar. I don't feel the violence was inappropriate, but younger children may be scared. We shall see how my son reacts.
It is a shame this movie was made while Pixar was under Disney's rule. I read recently the Disney is making a Toy Story 3, because they own the rights to it. Well, I am not expecting high quality from Toy Story 3, without Pixar involved. That's just my opinion, but dang it. Disney hasn't made a great animated film in ages. Which is, as I said before, shame, because they probably own the rights to this movie. If a sequel is made, it may be crap, because it will be under Disney's control. And this movie begs for a sequel, and I rarely feel that way. Most sequels are poop, but Toy Story 2 was better than the first. Don't know how Pixar does it, but they have earned my confidence so far.
Anyway, for what it's worth, I loved this movie and look forward
to the first several times I watch it with my son, before it gets
too old and I learn to hate it the way I hate Toy Story 1 and 2,
Monsters Inc and such. It is a mixed feeling that used to be so
much stronger. Ah, well.
Update March 19, 2005
We tried to show The Incredibles to my son today. To quote his
words: "I don't want to see this. It's boring!" So, we
turned it off and showed him the animated short, "Bounding,"
that was included on the 2nd DVD. He liked that and watched it literally
10 times in a row. Ah, well. The Incredibles is obviously meant
for an older audience.