Last night Lisa and I finally found time to catch The Incredibles. In case you’ve been living under a rock – and if you read this website… well, who knows – The Incredibles is the sixth feature-length film from Pixar Studios. I loved all of their previous work (ok, I still haven’t seen Finding Nemo, but I’m sure I’ll love it), and this one is no exception. It was… ok, ok, it was incredible. Since I’m sure most of you have already seen it, or at least read the reviews I’m just going to comment on a few aspects of what made it great:
- Animation – The animation is absolutely wonderful. And by that, I don’t mean it looks realistic, I mean it looks wonderful. And that’s what animation is all about. I still don’t get what a movie like Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was supposed to accomplish. Wow, you can create fake humans that almost look like real humans talking. You know what? For a lot less money and effort you could just have real humans talking that look exactly like real humans talking. And then I won’t be focused on how they look, but what they say… and then you can spend the extra time on writing a script that deserves that attention, or spend the extra money on someone decent to write it for you. I truly believe that animation should be used in areas that allow you to do things you can’t normally do. The characters in The Incredibles all look fantastic even though none of them look realistic. You can spend 2 years trying to make Mr. Incredible look like a real person, but for the purpose of this movie he shouldn’t. He should look like an oversized man who can barely squeeze into his undersized car.
- Action – Here is where the animation really shines through. The chase scene with Dash is jaw-droppingly good. I turned to Lisa and said it was probably the best sequence of its kind since the speeder bikes in Return of the Jedi. And the fights were outstanding, too. Why? Because with animation they don’t have to rely on constant, flashy cuts to make the battle work. Instead you actually get to see the “Supers” fight. And boy did that just let their creative juices flow.
- Voice Talent – Pixar does a great job of picking voices for their characters. Who would have thought of putting Craig T. Nelson in a film like this? Their casting has been flawless, right down to using the director himself (Brad Bird) for the voice of the wacky designer, Edna Mode. Personally I haven’t found Mike Meyer’s Scottish accent funny since So I Married an Axe Murderer, yet the normally irritating Samuel L. Jackson was perfect in his supporting role here.
- Script – In the end, it all comes down to a great script. The plot is a generic “retired hero fights unknown villain from his past only in an attempt to regain former glories only to discover what really matters to him is his family” formula. And it doesn’t matter. I figured out almost the entire movie 10 minutes in and I didn’t care. It’s still a kids’ movie in the end, so there’s no need for a convoluted plot. Even having a pretty good idea about the ending, I still thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
I’m glad to see that Pixar has managed to keep up their high standards, as we near the 10 year anniversary of their first feature. If you haven’t had the chance to catch this movie yet, take the time. You won’t be disappointed.