Definitely Above Parr
♦ In the week that The Incredibles 2 comes to cinemas in the UK, Tripwire’s editor-in-chief JOEL MEADOWS takes a look at the original film which came out back in 2004…
Director: Brad Bird
Voices: Craig T Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Spencer Fox, Jason Lee
When The Incredibles came out back in 2004, Pixar was an animation company at the top of its game. It had released the two Toy Story films, Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc. With The Incredibles, Pixar set the bar even higher.
Craig T Nelson voices Bob Parr aka Mr Incredible who is forced to take on a regular officer job when superheroes are forced underground. Holly Hunter is his wife, Helen Parr or Elastigirl, who tries to keep it all together in their suburban life with their three children, baby Jack Jack, moody daughter Violet (voiced by Sarah Vowell) and son Dashiell ‘Dash’ (Spencer Fox). However, Bob just can’t live in the normal world and when he is lured out of retirement by Mirage (Elizabeth Pena), he finds himself in jeopardy and so the rest of the family have to come to his rescue with the assistance of Lucius Best aka Frozone (voiced by Samuel L Jackson). Jason Lee voices villain Syndrome, who feels he was slighted as a teenage boy by Bob and now wants his revenge on him.
Fourteen years later, The Incredibles is still a brilliantly well-realised, funny, sweet, intelligent take on superheroes with animation that still holds up really well. With nods to James Bond as well as pretty much every superhero story ever told including Watchmen, Brad Bird managed to distill that spirit of American comics into a two hour animated movie. Visually, it is stunning with some of the most inventively designed digital sets ever seen in an animated feature. The voice talent is exceptional too with Nelson and Hunter particularly good as the heart and soul of the film. Director Bird also makes a brilliant voice cameo as couturier to the superheroes Edna E Mode and almost steals the whole film.
Its predecessors proved that Pixar was an animation studio like no other but The Incredibles really raised their game. It is arguably their finest moment and it proved that you could do so much with animation if you just had the correct ingredients. Bird is a director of rare genius and The Incredibles is still up there as one of the best films about superheroes of the last twenty years, live action or animated.