Sunday, November 18, 2012


(November 2004, U.S.)

Ever since TOY STORY first hit movie screens in 1995, it seems that computer-animated films by Disney and Dreamsworks have become a dime a dozen every few weeks or so. Really, I can't keep track of them anymore and neither can my son...and he's just six years-old, for crying out loud! So if I'm lucky, every once in a great while, one of them will catch my attention in a positive way. At this point in my life, I can easily claim my love (or hate) of one of these movies is based on the fact that I wanted to (or HAD to!) watch it with my son. Unfortunately, in this case, I must claim complete and total responsibility for watching and loving Disney's THE INCREDIBLES because it was relased two years before my son was born.

Let me begin with a claim that I never in my life thought I'd ever make about a Disney film, and that's this...THE INCREDIBLES features some of the best hardcore action (for a Disney movie, anyway) that I've seen on screen that would even rival a great Indiana Jones movie! Honestly, the last time I felt that way about a Disney film was the sci-fi spectacle THE BLACK HOLE in 1979. THE INCREDIBLES follows a family of superheroes living a quiet suburban life, forced to hide their powers from the rest of the world due to a an onslaught of lawsuits brought against the world's superheroes after their heroics inadvertantly cause massive public destruction. When the father, Bob Parr or "Mr. Incredible" (voiced by Craig T. Nelson - remember him in POLTERGEIST?) yearns for his glory days and desire to help people drags him into battle with an evil villain and his killer robot, the entire Parr family is ultimately forced into action to save the world. As cliche as it all seems, superheroes HAVE to always be saving the world from some sort of evil, otherwise the film is pointless, yes? The evil, known as Buddy Pine or "Syndrome" (voiced by Jason Lee), is quite a trip because he's really just a dorky kid who once wanted nothing more than to be "Mr. Incredible's" superhero sidekick, and having been rejected too many times, grew up into evil manhood and seeks only revenge on those who have wronged him. At the same time, while creating all of this evil and mass destruction, his ultimate plan is to be the greatest superhero on the planet by conveniently defeating his own evil and taking the world renowned credit of the good guy?

(you getting all this so far?)

so basically, we're talking about a real bad guy with a tremendous ego issue! What finally defeats him is quite amusing considering it involves a transforming baby and the dangers of wearing a cape. See for yourself.

As mentioned earlier, these computer animated films seem quite repetitious...and they are. Besides the great action, though, the design of THE INCREDIBLES is unique in its own way. The 3D computer graphics of the skin for these movie characters gained a new level of realism from a technology to produce what is known as "subsurface scattering", which is defined as a mechanism in which light penetrates the surface of a translucent object, is scattered by interacting with the material, and exits the surface at a different point. The light will generally penetrate the surface and be reflected a number of times at irregular angles inside the material, before passing back out of the material at an angle other than the angle it would have if it had been reflected directly off the surface. Hey, I had to look it up, okay, but you can see the great results of this process when you watch THE INCREDIBLES come alive in front of you.

To date, there's still no sequel to this great animated film. I hope it stays that way!

Favorite line or dialogue:

Syndrome: "Oh, no! Elastigirl? You married Elastigirl?? Ho, ho, ho...oh, and got biz-zay! It's a whole family of supers! Looks like I hit the jackpot! Oh, this is just too good!"

1 comment:

  1. Easily my personal favorite Pixar film. I see this kind of stuff even if my kids are not interested so I have no excuse either. The score on this movie would be perfect for a James Bond film, and the whole Island sequence reminds me of something from one of the Roger Moore Bonds or a late Sean Connery entry. I know how you feel about sequels, and so far Pixar is successful on the Toy Story Sequels anmd Struck out on the Cars sequel, but this felt like the start of a series of films, and I want another good adventure. The problem is coming up with a story that is worthy. I hope they lick that problem and give us another episode of "The Incredibles".