The Incredibles (2004)
After exploring the world of toys, bugs, monsters & ocean life in an extremely unusual yet intimately human manner, Pixar Animation Studios brings its sweeping cinematic vision to the world of superheroes, this time showing the highs n lows of life from their point of view. And just like their previous ventures, The Incredibles continues Pixar’s dream run of all-round success and is one of the greatest films about superheroes.
The Incredibles tells the story of a family of superheroes, with each member having unique set of superpowers. Forced into retirement to a civilian life due to a number of lawsuits resulting from damages caused by their crime-fighting activities, Mr. Incredible’s wish to relive the glory days is granted when he’s asked for assistance on a secret mission but it ultimately thrusts his entire family into action to save the world from an imminent threat.
Written & directed by Brad Bird, The Incredibles is his sophomore effort after The Iron Giant and also marks his first stint at Pixar. And while the script is brilliantly written plus wonderfully balances its moments of action, drama, comedy, adventure & spectacle, it’s the computer animation here that breaks all barriers of its days in order to realise Bird’s vision on the film canvas in a full-fledged manner, thus also making it Pixar’s most challenging work until that point.
Coming to the technical aspects, The Incredibles leaves its mark in all departments. The 3D rendering of every frame is polished to an extensive level of detail. Cinematography makes energetic use of camera, firm exhibition of colour palette, and also benefits from accurate lighting. Editing is at its absolute best during the action sequences, majority of which are visually stunning, but there are also a few moments where the pacing is a bit on the relaxed side.
Add to that, characters inhabiting this story are brilliantly envisioned, sketched & rendered plus the relentless refinement in screenplay nicely takes care of the character development part. Pixar again puts up a rich voice cast, all of whom ably fill in their respective roles. The themes of mid-life crisis, job dissatisfaction, marriage troubles etc are elegantly handled as well. And Michael Giacchino chips in with a fantastic score that beautifully complements the events unfolding in this action-adventure.
On an overall scale, The Incredibles is Pixar’s most action-packed film to date that set a new benchmark for computer animation back in its days by stretching it beyond its limitations. Full of creative energy, highly gripping plot, intriguing characters, spellbinding action, state-of-the-art animation, vibrant photography, tight editing & sensational score, all pushed to extreme under Brad Bird’s kinetic direction, this instant classic triumphs as one of the most enjoyable, entertaining & satisfying films to come out of Pixar canon. Living up to its name & working on all levels, The Incredibles is blockbuster filmmaking at its most incredible.