10 years ago, Pixar released a film that defined “superhero film.”
Since its debut, The Incredibles has influenced many of today’s comic book movies by setting a standard of how these things should play out; with humor, heart, and great action
The Incredibles is about a family of superheroes who are, by law, not allowed to be super anymore. They must become regular citizens of their community, getting jobs, doing regular things, and ultimately, just participating in day to day activities. For some, like Bob (aka Mr. Incredible, voiced by Craig T. Nelson), this is not a way to live life. He wants his glory days back, and that unfortunately sends him straight into trouble. Only his family can come to his aid. And they bring all their heroics with them.
The movie is fast paced, witty, and while elements of it feel exactly like Fantastic Four, the difference here is while the comic book FF has been around for a few decades, The Incredibles film was truly and admirably way better than the FF film. There are no throwaway gags here, or script problems. Add to the fact that there was no real fanbase to please, only regular audiences. Before Marvel and DC talked about all their movies coming out that they were planning, we were just beginning the age of the comic book film in 2004. The Incredibles also stands apart because it was, for most of the matter, original. While the family and characters featured had superpowers we’ve seen before, they used them in new and interesting ways, making for exciting action sequences and even hilarious moments.
The final few frames of film showcase an epic and frantic battle with a massive robot in the heart of a city, which has mirror images in films like The Avengers and Man of Steel. And just when you think it’s all over, main villain Syndrome (Jason Lee) has one trick left up his sleeve. The movie just doesn’t rest when you think it will, and its clever ending ties back into what we think could be a line just uttered for comedic reasons.
Despite a ten year jump in animation, the movie still looks great. It’s definitely a more “cartoony” take on human beings, with exaggerated body formations and rounder shapes. It’s not as colorful as one would think, as the paint scheme uses a lot of dark palettes. This makes sense, because Disney goes serious three fourths in. Mom Helen (aka Elastigirl, voiced by Holly Hunter) warns her kids that the bad guys WILL kill them, so they better book if any danger is nearby. This line does work within the context of the film. The tonal shift isn’t out of left field, and really shows how this movie isn’t afraid to be what it is.
Also the score by Michael Giacchino (LOST, Super 8, Up) is a cross between spy music, superhero saga, and everything in between. In a word, it’s perfection.
The Incredibles, for all these reasons, is my favorite film. I mean, I love superheroes, and I love Pixar, so you would this would be a shoe-in anyway, but it really is great beyond the obvious. Despite it being released ten years ago, the movie just gets better with age. It’s smart, it’s sleek, it’s silly, it’s totally wicked, and it’s just…well…incredible!!
And now my only question is…
WHERE IS MY SUPER SEQUEL?
To purchase The Incredibles, click here.
Logan J. Fowler is a senior writer and video game editor on Po-Break.com. He contributes his thoughts every week for Trailer Tuesday and has his own column called “A Link to the Past.” Logan’s “kid at heart” nature has led to his discussion about pop culture that many geeks love to talk about, including superheroes, Super Mario Bros., Pixar, and Muppets, amongst other things. In addition, one of his first pieces for the site, “Top Ten Comic Book Movies,” was picked as a “Freshly Pressed” piece by WordPress and remains one of the site’s most well-read articles. Currently, Logan works as a Special Education Instructional Assistant at Roosevelt School in Manville NJ. At the present moment, he is enrolled in Rutgers Online courses, pursuing a Teacher of Student with Disabilities certification. He graduated from Wagner College in 2005 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and in 2007 with a Master of Science in Education Degree in Birth-6th Grade Literacy. Also many of Logan’s friends have said that he moonlights as Spider-Man but this is so not true. Wait, are those police sirens I’m hearing?! Gotta go! -thwipp-