The Incredibles

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The Incredibles
Directed by Brad Bird
Produced by John Lasseter
John Walker
Written by Brad Bird
Starring Craig T. Nelson
Holly Hunter
Samuel L. Jackson
Music by Michael Giacchino
Cinematography Andrew Jimenez
Patrick Lin
Janet Lucroy
Editing by Stephen Schaffer
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date(s) November 5, 2004
Running time 115 min.
Country USA
Language English
Budget $92,000,000
Gross revenue $631,442,092
Official website
IMDb profile

The Incredibles is a 2004 animated Disney/Pixar film about a family of superheroes who are forced to hide their superpowers, until a threat brings them out of hiding.

Contents

Plot

The film begins during a time when heroes, such as Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and Frozone, routinely saved the day. We focus especially on Mr. Incredible (alias Bob Parr), a superhero with amazing strength, who works strictly alone. Even on his wedding night, he takes time to intervene in car chases, save a suicidal man and thwart bomb-throwing villains. He is only hampered in his actions by a kid named Buddy, who is his would-be-sidekick, Incrediboy. Life seems perfect as he marries fellow superhero, Elastigirl and prepares to start a family. However, the public suddenly turns against superheroes in a series of frivolous lawsuits against them. All superheroes are forced to assimilate into the culture as regular citizens, keeping their powers hidden.

Several years later into the future, we see Mr. Incredible working in a insurance company that rejects old ladies' for insurance thanks to loop-holes. Mr. Incredible usually angers his temperamental boss by helping customers instead of exploiting them. His wife is a stay-at-home mother of three children. The oldest, Violet, has the ability to become invisible and create "force-fields", but is socially insecure. The second, Dashiell or "Dash", can run super-fast, but is over-precocious and often ends up in the principal’s office. The youngest is the baby, Jack-Jack, who is completely normal. Mr. Incredible spends the occasional evening with his old super-friend, Frozone, listening to the radio for crises to secretly help save. Mrs. Incredible is disturbed with his night-time antics and believes it is tearing the family apart.

Mr. Incredible finally looses his temper at work and seriously injures his boss, leaving himself jobless. However, when he empties his brief-case, he finds a mysterious offer from a woman named Mirage to return to super-work. Mr. Incredible lies to his wife, saying he’s going to a conference. Mirage acquaints him with his mission at a secret government facility on a volcanic island. Apparently, a unusually intelligent robot decided to assert it’s independence and is wrecking havoc on their island. Mr. Incredible fights the robot and only manages to defeat it by entering inside and having it destroy itself. Mr. Incredible returns home and enjoys life as usual with his family. On the side, he gets himself in shape and asks his old outfit-designer, Edna, to fix his suit. (Edna calls his old get-up a “hobo-suit” and makes a completely new one.)

Mr. Incredible leaves for the facility for more work. Shortly after he arrives, he is attacked by a new and improved robot and its creator: Syndrome (a.k.a. Buddy.) Syndrome is bitter for how Mr. Incredible treated him and has become a clever weapons designer. He has spent his time exterminating superheroes. Mr. Incredible manages to escape him temporarily and even get to the computer files showing another of Syndrome’s mysterious plans. Meanwhile, Mrs. Incredible has noticed that Edna mended her husband’s old suit. Edna, encouraged by her work on the “new suit”, has created a suit for each member of the family. Mrs. Incredible realizes that her husband had returned to superhero work. Edna provides her with a homing device that allows her to know the location of Mr. Incredible. Unfortunately, the homing device allows Syndrome to capture Mr. Incredible. Mrs. Incredible, frustrated and even suspecting her husband of infidelity, decides to go to the island. Her children are surprised at her sudden action and discover the suits Edna custom-made for them. Mrs. Incredible boards a jet and heads to the island. When she hears no response she puts on Edna’s custom-made suit. She also finds that Violet and Dash stowed aboard the jet, leaving Jack-Jack with a baby sitter. Hearing their approach, Syndrome decides to shoot them down. While the jet is destroyed, the Incredibles manage to escape to the island alive.

Meanwhile, Mr. Incredible is heart-broken by the news of his family’s death. Mr. Incredible manages to grab Mirage and threatens her across from Syndrome. However, he cannot actually bear to kill her. Mrs. Incredible sneaks into the factory and finds Mr. Incredible being released by Mirage. She assumes the worst, but Mr. Incredible is very happy to see her. In the meantime, Violet and Dash trigger the alarms and use their super-powers while running for their lives. However, even though the family is reunited, Syndrome still manages to capture them all and reveals his plan. He intends to become the new super-hero using the robot as a set-up “nemesis” to be defeated by him and his inventions.

Spoiler warning
This article contains important plot information

While Sydnrome leaves to “save the day”, Mr. Incredible breaks down and apologizes for not valuing his family and not telling them the truth. The super-heroes family escapes and even manages to travel via a rocket and bus to the scene of chaos. Syndrome’s plan fails and the robot turns on him. The Incredibles and Frozone fight a long action sequence and manage to use one of the disconnected arms of the robot to de-capacitate it. Thanks to their actions the superheroes are welcomed back by the public. However, the Incredibles find Syndrome kidnapping Jack-Jack. However, Jack-Jack has the ability to turn into different things and stalls Syndrome’s escape long enough for them to get Jack-Jack back. Syndrome ends up getting sucked into his rocket engines because of his cape (an item Edna earlier insisted Mr. Incredible not wear.)

The film closes as the supers feel adapted to life now, ready for whatever crisis comes next…

Voices Cast

Craig T. Nelson - Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible

Holly Hunter - Helen Parr/Elastigirl

Samuel L. Jackson - Lucius Best/Frozone

Jason Lee - Buddy Pine/Syndrome

Sarah Vowel - Violet Parr

Spencer Fox - Dashiell 'Dash' Parr

Eli Fucile/Maeve Andrews - Jack Jack Parr

Elizabeth Pena - Mirage

Wallace Shawn - Gilbert Huph

Brad Bird - Edna 'E' Mode

Reception

The film was rated PG by the MPAA for action violence. The film was released on November 5th and became an instant hit, managing to gross $261,441,092 domestically and $631,442,092 worldwide. [1]

Awards

The film received two Oscar awards for Best Achievement in Sound Editing and Best Animated Feature film of the year. It was also nominated for Best Achievement in Sound Mixing and Best Writing, Original Screenplay. [2]

Anti-Egalitarian Themes

The movie The Incredibles contains what some have discerned to be anti-egalitarian themes. Part of the twist in the film is that the superheroes are sued for injuring victims while saving them. The Incredibles family takes on the alias "Parr" and be "live everybody else." Critic Roger Ebert noted, the film "has special qualities, especially in the subtle ways it observes its gifted characters trying to dumb down and join the crowd."[3] New York Times film critic, A.O. Scott, noted that, "In the movie's view of things, this kind of misguided egalitarianism, enforced in petty ways at school and work, is not just stultifying but actively, murderously evil."[4]

The goal of the villain, Syndrome, is to destroy all the 'real' superheroes so that he can be one himself. When Mr. Incredible accuses him of not being a real superhero, Syndrome responds:

Oh, I'm real. Real enough to defeat you! And I did it without your precious gifts, your oh-so-special powers. I'll give them heroics. I'll give them the most spectacular heroics the world has ever seen! And when I'm old and I've had my fun, I'll sell my inventions so that everyone can have powers. Everyone can be super! And when everyone's super - [chuckles] -no one will

References

  1. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=incredibles.htm
  2. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0317705/awards
  3. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041104/REVIEWS/41006004
  4. http://movies.nytimes.com/2004/11/05/movies/05incr.html
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