Nominated for four Academy Awards, and winner of Best Animated Feature Film of the Year, The Incredibles is one of the best animated films ever produced. A cross between Toy Story, Superman, and Office Space, it provides an endless array of action sequences, visual creativity, and well-delivered humor. Director Brad Bird (who's directed a few episodes of The Simpsons) not only creates a memorable film, but also voices one of the star characters of The Incredibles, Edna Mode. And following in the rich tradition of animated classics such Bambi (1942), Beauty and the Beast (1991), and The Lion King (1994), Walt Disney Pictures teams up once again with Pixar Animation Studios (with whom it collaborated on Finding Nemo) to produce a film both children and adults will love with equal verve and passion.
The Incredibles is set in the fictional cartoon township of Metroville (a hybrid of Superman's two homes, Metropolis and Smallville). Metroville is home to a number of miraculous superheroes who do everything from hunting down evil murderers to saving cats stuck in trees. Foremost among the superheroes is Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) who resembles Superman in both strength and style. Shortly after Mr. Incredible's marriage to the vivacious Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), a surge in civil lawsuits and other unwarranted torts are brought against the superheroes by the people they save, who cite numerous damages to their person as a result of being saved. The rash of legal action, and the strain it places on the local governmental budget, turns the tide of public opinion against the superheroes and forces them underground.
Harbored by the government witness protection program, Mr. Incredible has assumed a new identity - that of Bob Parr, an ordinary middle-class suburbanite who works as an Insurance Claims Specialist. Cowering in his cubicle, Bob Parr must deal with the typical travails of a 9-to-5 job, a boss he hates, and regulations he feels are immoral and hurtful to the company's clients. Meanwhile, Elastigirl is now known as Helen Parr, and she's grown comfortable in her new role as a housewife rearing the couple's three suppressed-superhero children - Violet (a shy girl with the ability to turn invisible), Dash (a cocky boy with the ability to run super fast), and Jack Jack (a baby with no as-of-yet-known super powers). All goes well until Mr. Incredible, anxious to return to life of helping people, is approached by a super secret government organization hoping to enlist his aid. When it turns out to be part of an elaborate conspiracy hatched by the evil Syndrome (Jason Lee), a former Mr. Incredible sycophant turned bad, Elastigirl and the entire Parr family must risk blowing their cover in order to save Mr. Incredible, and the world, from certain doom.
The Incredibles deserves a spot on anyone's list of the Top 100 films ever made. It really is that good. The musical score, composed by Michael Giacchino (know for his work on Alias), sneers at today's digital multi-track recording in favor of the old-school analog recordings of the 1960s in its effort to recreate the jazz-orchestra ambience often associated with the golden age of comic books. This attention to the form and detail of the story sets the tone for The Incredibles. And that's why the film is an absolute must-see. Its meticulous blend of sound and visuals, coupled with an utterly hilarious - if not ingenious script - makes The Incredibles a solid contender for the best film of 2004.
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