Rewatched Aug 03, 2012
kiion Thomas Clarke’s review:
Human beings, People, Man, Woman, Children, Us; however you refer to them in conversation they have never featured heavily within a Pixar movie. Well, before this movie anyway. This could be due to the high complexity in recreating humans in a realistic manner- every human is different from one another unlike other animals - or through the wanting to transport audience members to worlds far away from our own. Whether that is the undergrowth or underwater, through their choice of setting films in such locations bring about a greater sense of freedom in narratives they can choose to produce. Whatever the reason, in their previous five productions Pixar had made the conscious decision to only use humans as bit parts, unspoken roles or not featured at all. Advancing on, with their talent as a production house, their sixth feature not only features people but revolves around them fully. A new step for the company and one that sinks in and fits perfectly with the animations they have made before.
Beginning in a world where people with super powers - referred to in film as ‘Super’s’ - are found in society and crime is at a low. Famous throughout from their super’s name, but protected with their secret identity, they live in a world where people respect and idolize them fully. One such super is Mr Incredible; a man who has extreme strength, perhaps the most famous of all superheroes. A role model to a young boy named Buddy, Mr Incredible is on patrol when he saves a man from committing suicide, although breaking multiple bones in the process. Through not wanting to be saved this man files a law suit against Mr Incredible and sues him for the damage he has done. This triggers many Supers getting filed against, creating a society against them. Through intense pressure the Supers are forced to keep only to their secret identities and take up civilian life. Cut to 10 years later and Mr Incredible, now known as Bob Parr, is married to another Super (Elastigirl) Helen, and has three kids- Violet, Dash and JackJack. Working in an insurance firm Bob misses the glory days and yearns for their return. Therefore, when an invitation from a mysterious woman called Mirage invites him to aid them in stopping a dangerous robot, he accepts and gets roped back into a life involving danger. On one trip to the island however, it becomes clear that a greater evil is at work. Syndrome (Buddy grown up) has created a way in which he can become an idol of people by setting the robot to destroy cities. Locking away Mr Incredible on a remote island, it is up to his wife and kids to not only rescue their dad but together they must stop Syndrome’s plan. It is a nice take on the superhero genre and throughout its duration it has similarities to other well known hero franchises, such as Watchmen and Batman. Although it borrows from other material there is more than enough featured to make this film feel very much a Pixar movie, and for it to be engrossing and entertaining throughout. Perhaps not to the same strengths as the more original films that the company has become notorious for, but one that puts a stamp on the superhero genre.
With the constant development, other the last five films in the animation that the studio produces, ‘The Incredibles’ follows in the same manner. Humans have never been animated as well as they have in this film and the difference in the character designs shows a real skill on the creating side. It would have been easy to take a lazy approach to designing the film, but through being patient and careful with what they create they have managed to not only produce something that is easy to watch but also create something that could be seen as a working landscape of people. The locations that the people travel to, and the equipment that have been designed for this film have also been created to the same polish. No two locations look similar and this allows the narrative to flow smoothly and for it not to become boring or dull in settings. The style of the equipment is not only modern in approach but completely workable in what they look like. With animation, people could create items that would never work, but by remaining semi-realistic in approach, this brings the film back to a sense of reality that allows people to become engrossed more easily in what they are observing. All three of these creative decisions have made the Incredibles become another high quality production from a company at the top of the game.
Voice-work that is used within this film, completely fits with the films setting and narrative. Whether it is the main family or the smaller roles each voice over actor has produced strong performances that really push the narrative along.
Perhaps at this point, not Pixar's strongest feature, ‘The Incredibles’ is still a film that features many aspects associated with both Disney and Pixar studios. The narrative is aimed at both adults and kids alike, and through strong animation the film is easy on the eyes. Making a working world out of the characters that feature allows the film to become instantly believable in the companies approach. With developed characteristics that audiences are easily able to see, the characters come to life in a way more fitting life action. Pixar’s stamp on the superhero genre is perhaps one of the strongest to be released. Although not entirely original in concept, there is enough original elements in this production to allow it to stand out on its own.