Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Incredibles

I've liked most of the Pixar films that Disney has released in the past (the only ones I'm not too fond of are A Bug's Life or Finding Nemo), but this newest one has got to be the best they've made thus far, if not one of the best CGI animated films ever.

In the 70s superheroes were everywhere. Each major city had its share of do-gooders and they assisted the police when it came to stopping crime and preserving justice. That is until Mr. Incredible (who has super strength and is voiced by Craig T. Nelson) saves a man who didn't want to be saved (he was committing suicide) and gets sued. Soon everyone who was ever injured during a rescue files a lawsuit and the government orders the superheores to retire since they will be covering these huge legal fees. Years later Mr. Incredible is married to Elastigirl (who can stretch her body parts enormous distances and is voiced by Holly Hunter), works at a loan office and has three kids (one can run super fast, one can make herself invisible and create forcefields, the youngest apparently has no powers), and yearns for the day when he can use his gifts to help others once again. That day comes when a new villain named Syndrome (voiced by Jason Lee) makes himself known and plans to unleash a series of killer robots onto the world so he can pretend to be a new superhero by defeating them and gain worldwide recognition as the savior of the Earth. Mr. Incredible's family must work together to stop this menace.
After the first half hour of the film (which really takes it's time to properly develop the main characters) I didn't feel like I was watching a cartoon. It was more like a real live action film than most of the live action films that are released today. It's amazing.

The voice cast does a great job and gave some life to these characters that are just a collection of pixels and polygons. I felt for them, I rooted for them and I gasped a couple of times when they were in serious danger. It really pulls you in.
It helps that the film isn't about talking animals or toys. Sure that's cool, but for once Pixar and director Brad Bird (who directed the equally amazing animated film The Iron Giant) decided to make a film about people, and some interesting ones at that. The CGI is astounding. The first chunk of the film has a little action, but once we flash forward to the present the setting turns from a bustling cityscape to a dour suburb. While the animators know that they can make any creation they want within this computer generated realm they keep the suburb settings fairly simple and flat, which really shows how boring and uneventful the main characters lives have become since they retired from the superhero life. But once the fit hits the shan the screen is filled up with amazing sights and backgrounds that look almost realistic.

The action is awesome, from kids running faster than sound to gigantic robots flinging cars into buildings to a thrilling aerial chase, it's all done in a way that pulls you in and puts a smile on your face. It's also very violent for what is to be a kid's movie. There's blood, torture and kids getting the crap beaten out of them. You name it. I even heard a couple of swear words in there. It's not trying to pander to kids, it's trying to appeal to a very wide audience and it works. It was just kind of shocking to see this in a Disney animated film.
Also, I haven't seen an animated movie this cool since Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and that film strived for realism at every turn with it's animation. It succeeded for the most part, but the characters at times seemed stiff and rigid. Not here, the characters actually move like real people do. They slouch, shift their weight around and move in a very realistic fluid way. It's, dare I say, incredible!

Enough ass kissing already. I loved this film. LOVED IT! And if you like cartoons, CGI films or just a plain old fashioned good time you owe it to yourself to see this film. You won't be disappointed.

5 of 5

*written 11/7/04

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