Movie #269 2020: The Incredibles (2004)

Oh, shut up. If you’d been paying attention, it would come as no surprise to you that I’d never seen this before. Honestly, it’s becoming more and more apparent that as a kid, I was simply done after Toy Story 1 and 2, because I knew that Pixar could simply not make anything better than the perfection of those two movies. (Although there are some other movies that I’ve seen since that could probably stand up just as high.)

The story of The Incredibles is just as you’d expect after seeing the image above. It’s about a superhero family. What said image doesn’t tell you is the backstory, which involves the fact that Bob and Helen (Mom & Dad) were superheroes in their past, but kept their secret from their children after the world turned against them. However, the mysterious Edna Mode (voiced by Brad Bird, the film’s director) contacts Bob some years later with a new assignment, and Bob – feeling stuck in a rut with his tedious desk job – accepts without his wife’s knowledge.

Firstly, I had no idea this was set in the past; a facet of the film that instantly made me like it even more. Without this, it had the potential to be another same-y superhero movie, but the 1960s setting immediately gives it a unique selling point. The film whimsically starts with some ‘found footage’ interviews of the main protagonists and their hero friend Prozone (Samuel L. Jackson), shot entirely in black and white. Black and white?! In a kid’s film?! That’s something you rarely see these days. But it’s super (lol) unique, and draws you in straight away.

Despite this originality, the opening act is a little slow here, but everything gets more exciting once it hits its stride. I can’t say I was completely enthralled the whole way through, but there’s a lot of good material here, and certainly a lot of comedic wit. Brad Bird particularly shines beyond the rest as Edna, and the choice to voice her himself is iconic. One simply can’t imagine anyone else doing so.

Animation has come a long way since 2004, and yet still the gloss and the shadowing here is excellent. It’s sophisticated enough for adults to enjoy, yet bright and colourful enough for kids to remain engaged throughout. The animation of the sea and the panoramic landscapes are done extremely well for its time too, proving that Pixar have been at the very top of their game since the beginning.

The best thing about this movie for me is the original soundtrack. It has that 60s jazz/brass band flair and completely compliments the film. Probably the best music I’ve seen in an animated movie, if not on par with that of The Princess & the Frog. (But that’s not surprising seeing as Michael Giacchino (Up) is the composer!)

Likeable characters, an average but well thought out plot line, and some decent early 2000s animation? I can see why people loved it and still do.

Where would this stand on my lift of The Top 10 Animated Movies Streaming on Disney+? Actually, I’d say it juuuust misses out on the top 10, as I preferred both Up and Finding Nemo. But don’t worry, this definitely sits at #11.

The Incredibles is available to stream on Disney+ in the UK.

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