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June 20, 2018

The Incredibles (2004) --- “Former Superhero Saves The Day, Expect The Incredible To Happen”

Plot Summary
In this lauded Pixar animated film, married superheroes Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) are forced to assume mundane lives as Bob and Helen Parr after all super-powered activities have been banned by the government. While Mr. Incredible loves his wife and kids, he longs to return to a life of adventure, and he gets a chance when summoned to an island to battle an out-of-control robot. Soon, Mr. Incredible is in trouble, and it's up to his family to save him. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
    One could say that Pixar was not going to produce another strong and successful film after Toy Story (1995), A Bug's Life (1998), etc but the 2004 release of Incredibles proved audiences wrong. Incredibles has gritty action, hilarious characters, amazing character design, and a story that refuses to talk down to the audience. Films like Incredibles come around once in a while and for comic book fans, this film adequately pays homage to classic superhero comics. However, one thing people are not aware of is the original target audience for cartoons...

     While many people believe that cartoons are for kids, originally they were created for adults. During the Silent Era - the time in which films were silent - Felix the Cat (1919) made references to Prohibition (1920 - 1933) and drinking. The incorporation of sound into films did not change the primary audience, adults. Fleischer Brothers’ Betty Boop (1930’s) often contained sexual innuendos as the character was originally created as highly sexualized and wearing a dress that clung to her hourglass figure and was too short for the cartoon’s era. Similar things could be said for Fleischer Brothers’  Popeye. In the 1960’s, Saturday morning cartoons were aimed primarily at children but even that did not stop the production of adult-aimed-cartoons; like The Bullwinkle Show, The Flintstones, and The Jetsons. Since the 70’s there has been an influx of adult-aimed-cartoons; South Park, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Family Guy, Futurama, etc. For more information on this topic check this article “Cartoons Never Were Just For Kids” by Terence Towels Canote.
     That being said about the origin of cartoons, audiences have to understand why animated films have some many adult references despite being created by kid-friendly productions like Pixar and/or Disney. As such Incredibles is animation in its truest form.
     Director and writer Brad Bird (Incredibles 2) has created an incredibly cohesive and multi-layered story that makes you care for the characters decades afterward. The action was pretty intense but it was ever more intense to watch the superheroes as their alter egos in which they have to restrain their superpowers. This restraint that the characters have to utilize allows for some pretty comedic moments. Speaking of the comedy, there are plenty of comical parts that vary between long-standing jokes and one-liners. The music by Michael Giacchino had an old spy film feel to it that worked well in carrying the film’s theme. Gioacchino has done some amazing work as a film music composer; like Inside Out, Incredibles 2, and even Jurassic World 1 & 2.
     The characters are incredible, to say the least. Despite being animated characters, each character has their moment to capture the hearts of the audience in a way that very few animated films have achieved. The actors are also great in their respective roles but there were a few more noteworthy ones. Director Brad Bird plays the voice of the iconic fashion designer for superheroes, Edna Mode. Edna’s carries a very serious attitude throughout the film but her unique voice causes us to not take her seriously. Holly Hunter (The Big Sick) is amazing as Helen Parr/Elastigirl and her ability to talk from the side of her mouth helps make her character more believable. Samuel L. Jackson (Infinity War) is hysterical as Frozone and his unforgettable line, “Honey, where’s my super-suit?”. The main characters, the family, are relatable both as individuals and as a family unit whether it's working an unfulfilling job as a claims adjuster or everyone arguing in the car.

     Overall, The Incredibles (2004) is an incredible addition to Pixar. The story is great, the pacing is good, the humor is unforgettable, and the characters are iconic, especially Edna Mode and Frozone. Even though this is a family-friendly film there are a tone of explosions and some somber tones that manage to not dissuade the films heart and humor. Aside from Finding Dory (2017), The Incredibles 2 (2018) is one of the most anticipated animation sequels to date. I highly recommend this film to anyone who is a fan of Disney/Pixar animated films. I cannot wait to see the sequel film very soon.

"I never look back, darling! It distracts from the now."
- Edna

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  9 of 10 stars
Worth Buying:  9 of 10 stars

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Fantastic Four (2005)
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Incredibles 2 (2018)
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