The Incredibles

The Incredibles is the animated story of a family of superheroes that comes from enforced retirement (or something like the witness protection program) to once again save the day


PIXAR (Finding Nemo) did the animation, and it is superb.


Mr. Incredible or Bob Parr in real life (voice of Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl or Helen in real life (voice of Holly Hunter) get married after early careers saving the day in a big city. They and their colleague Frozone, or Lucius in real life (voice of Samuel L. Jackson), are forced to retire because they keep saving people who don’t want to be saved and who then sue. The insurance companies can’t keep up with the damages of the lawsuits, so superheroes become a thing of the past.


Mr. Incredible, however, had a Number One fan, Buddy Pine. Although not endowed with superhero powers, he earnestly tried to emulate everything Mr. Incredible did but Mr. Incredible dismissed Buddy as a nuisance.


So the Incredibles move to the ‘burbs and start a family with daughter Violet (Sarah Vowel), and sons Dash (Spencer Fox) and Jack Jack (see for all the voices…). Mr. Incredible, now Bob, works as a claims adjustor with an insurance company and Helen stays home with the children. Violent is very shy and can disappear at will; she can also create protective bubbles around her. Dash can run very fast, and doesn’t compete because he would win and draw attention to the family.


One day a woman makes contact with Mr. Incredible and gives him a superhero assignment. He carries it out in secret because Helen really wants to obey the rules set down for them by the insurance company. When he is called again for another assignment, things get very complicated and Helen, the kids and Frozone all join in to save the day.


The Incredibles is a spoof on superhero comics, and film-goers will notice connections from other films from Spider-Man to Spy Kids to the James Bond franchise. The Incredibles was written and directed by Brad Bird who also made Iron Giant.


There are also some evocative story morals tossed out for the audience, too. The one that impressed me the most was when Buddy (who becomes the instigator in the plot: Syndrome) tells Mr. Incredible that if he had only been kind to him and supported him, he would not have caused such havoc. Perhaps there’s a parallel for the world situation today. e.g. “superpowers” and “evil-doers”. If everyone becomes a superhero, you don’t need superheros anymore, either.


I found The Incredibles incredibly long – and I must be the only reviewer who thinks so. It is smart, funny, and clever but it’s just one action sequence after another. The best character is Edna “E” Mode who creates superhero costumes. I liked Holly Hunter’s voice for Elastigirl/Helen. It has character.


There is much to like about The Incredibles and it will probably get the Oscar for best animation film. But I liked The Polar Express much more – and it gets my vote.