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The Incredibles is a 2004 computer-animated superhero film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It was written and directed by Brad Bird, a former director and executive consultant of The Simpsons. It stars an ensemble cast including Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell, Spencer Fox, Jason Lee, Samuel L. Jackson and Elizabeth Peña. The film stars the Parr family, each of which have superpowers. After the government orders superheroes to live a normal life, Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson), who formerly went under the superhero alias "Mr. Incredible" secretly relives his days as a superhero, behind his family's back. At the same time, his kids come to terms with their powers while his wife becomes suspicious of his activities.

The Incredibles was originally developed as a traditionally-animated film for Warner Bros., but after the studio shut down its division for fully animated theatrical features, Bird took the story with him to Pixar, where he reunited with John Lasseter. The Incredibles is the sixth feature film from Pixar. It was presented by Disney and released by Buena Vista Distribution in North America on November 5, 2004, and in the United Kingdommarker and the Republic of Irelandmarker on November 26 of the same year. It is the first full-length Pixar film to feature an entirely human cast of characters.

Plot

On the night of his wedding to Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) takes time to fight crime in the city of Metroville. While he is attempting to capture villain Bomb Voyage (Dominique Lewis) during a bank robbery, Buddy Pine (Jason Lee), a fan of Mr. Incredible posing as Mr. Incredible's sidekick "IncrediBoy," attempts to help. Buddy's interference almost kills him, and Mr. Incredible is forced to allow Voyage to escape in order to save him. But lawsuits filed by people saved by Mr. Incredible that night produce a public backlash against those with superpowers. These "Supers" are forced to abandon their heroic roles and adapt to regular life. Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl settle down in suburbia as Bob and Helen Parr and raise a family.

Fifteen years later, their children appear to have super powers as well - the hot-headed Dash (Spencer Fox) possesses super speed, while timid Violet (Sarah Vowell) has the ability to turn invisible and create a force shield. Their toddler, Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile and Maeve Andrews), has yet to show any special abilities.

Bob is miserable and frustrated in his insurance job; denied his life as a Super, his only sense of accomplishment comes from authorizing payouts to injured clients. He hates his job not only because he has trouble with clients, but because of his frustrating and mean boss. As an outlet, he and his best friend, fellow former Super Lucius Best, aka Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), sneak off at night to fight petty crimes. Following one such night, he is told to see his boss Gilbert Huph (Wallace Shawn). During the talk with Huph, Bob sees a man being mugged, but Huph prevents Bob from rescuing the victim. The mugger escapes and Bob is understandably furious, but Huph continues berating Bob. Before Huph can finish telling Bob how close he was to losing his job, Bob injures Huph. Bob later learns that he has lost his job when he visits Huph in the hospital. When Bob returns home, depressed, he discovers a mysterious message from a woman named Mirage (Elizabeth Peña), outlining an offer for Mr. Incredible: to stop a rogue robot, the Omnidroid 9000, on a distant island for a large sum of money. Bob accepts the job, and though the fight is difficult at first—Bob is sadly out of shape—he is successful and his depression is lifted. On the promise of more work from Mirage, Bob keeps up the pretense of still having his insurance job while he spends the days working himself back up into shape. Bob visits his old friend Edna Mode a.k.a. E (Brad Bird), who has moved on to designing for supermodels, to get his torn suit repaired. She fashions a new supersuit for Bob, but refuses to add a cape at his request, noting that capes have caused the demise of many other Supers.

Bob soon receives Mirage's next offer and returns to the island where he is attacked by a newer, improved Omnidroid. Bob realizes Buddy Pine, who is now known as Syndrome, is controlling the Omnidroid to get his revenge on Bob for having snubbed him as a sidekick years ago. Bob is forced to flee from Syndrome and the robot. While in hiding, Bob discovers the skeleton of Gazerbeam, a former Super that gives him a clue about Syndrome's plans. Bob sneaks back into the island facilities and cracks Syndrome's supercomputer, from which he discovers that numerous Supers have lost their lives to the Omnidroids, with each engagement ultimately contributing to the development of less vulnerable Omnidroids.

Meanwhile, Helen has become suspicious of Bob's activities and discovers that he has visited Edna. She finds that Edna, in creating Bob's new suit, has created new suits for each member of the Parr family, including a homing device in each suit. Helen uses this to discover Bob's location on the remote island, but its signal alerts Syndrome and Bob is captured again. Helen, a licensed pilot, procures a jet to find Bob, but finds Dash and Violet have stowed away. When Syndrome sends missiles to shoot the jet down as it nears the island, the three are able to escape using Helen's fireproof suit.

Bob tries to grab Syndrome but Mirage puts herself in the way. He threatens to kill Mirage if Syndrome does not release him. Syndrome calls his bluff and Bob, unable to deny his moral code, is unable to kill her. Later, Helen frees Bob from the base while Dash and Violet avoid capture by Syndrome's forces. The four reunite but are re-captured by Syndrome, who reveals that he plans to launch the final Omnidroid to Metroville, using a remote control to act as if he was saving the city in order to gain superhero status. After the robot is launched, Mirage turns on her boss and helps the Parrs to escape and follow on a second rocket.

The Parrs arrive in Metroville to find the Omnidroid rampaging through the city, having used its ability to learn and cope with opponents to separate Syndrome from his remote control. Assisted by Frozone, the Parrs seize the remote control and take advantage of its design to destroy the Omnidroid. They then return home, where Syndrome, having discovered the Parrs' identity, is attempting to kidnap Jack-Jack and bring him up himself as his sidekick. As Syndrome flies to his waiting jet, Jack-Jack's innate superhuman power manifests itself as the ability to shape-shift into a number of difficult-to-handle forms, causing Syndrome to drop him. Bob throws Helen into the air to safely catch Jack-Jack, then throws his new sports car at Syndrome's jet, which causes Syndrome's cape to get caught in one of his jet engines, dragging him to his death. The Parrs resume their normal life, albeit more contentedly with their status quo than before. But when the city is threatened by a new villain called The Underminer (John Ratzenberger), the Parrs prepare to fight together anew.

Cast





  • Sarah Vowell as Violet Parr: She has invisibility and the creation of force fields. Frequently wishes she was "normal". Her powers are similar to the Marvel Comics superhero Invisible Woman.




  • Eli Fucile and Maeve Andrews as Jack-Jack Parr: Jack-Jack is in all essence a shape-shifter, able to configure his molecules into various forms. In the film, he bursts into flames, turns into metal, and turns into a monster. Later revealed in "Jack Jack Attack" (a Pixar short of The Incredibles) to also have the abilities to teleport, levitate, pass through walls, and fire optic blasts. Therefore, his powers are similar to Marvel characters Nightcrawler, Cyclops, Human Torch, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, among others.


  • Samuel L. Jackson as Lucius Best/Frozone: Best friend of Mr. Incredible. He can create ice and freeze objects by using the moisture in the air, similarly to the Marvel character Iceman except that his body is not constantly covered in ice. Frequently relives the "glory days" with Mr. Incredible, though he is reluctant to take more direct action. Samuel L. Jackson was cast as the voice of Frozone because the film's writer/director wanted Frozone to have "the coolest voice".


  • Jason Lee as Buddy Pine/Syndrome: Mr. Incredible's number one fan, but he grows up to hate him due to the fact that Mr. Incredible wouldn't let him become his sidekick. He serves as the main antagonist of the film. He is the 2nd Pixar antagonist to die. Syndrome's facial features in the film were designed and based on Brad Bird's. His real name is Michael Faust.


  • Elizabeth Peña as Mirage: Assistant to Syndrome. She defects shortly after Syndrome shows no empathy by blowing up Helen's plane despite her saying Violet and Dash are on board and also by having a lack of concern for her life when Mr. Incredible threatens to crush her to death, immediately before she had pushed Syndrome out of the way, being grabbed in his place and saving his life.


  • Brad Bird as Edna Mode: Famous designer of super-suits. A little obsessed with her work. During her forced retirement from hero work, Edna hosts modeling shows for supermodels. However, deep down, Edna has a great disdain for supermodels, citing them as "Spoiled, stupid little stick figures with poofy lips who think only about themselves," when, as she says referring to supers, she used to design "for Gods!" Edna had established a "No Capes" rule in her superhero costume designs for safety reasons, which proved true to Syndrome's eventual demise.


Production

Brad Bird's inspiration

Brad Bird, writer and director of the film, was inspired by his own life during the creation of The Incredibles. Brad Bird's situation during the time was very similar to that of Bob's in The Incredibles. Bird wanted to do what he loved: make films. Yet each of his films would eventually fall by the wayside at some point during their development. While this was happening, he was also trying to focus on his new family that demanded more of his time. He felt that if he focused too much on one, that he would completely fail at the other. Brad Bird stated, "Consciously, this was just a funny movie about superheroes. But I think that what was going on in my life definitely filtered into the movie."

Challenges during production

Upon Disney accepting the project, Brad Bird was asked to bring in his own team for the production. He brought up a core group of people he worked with on The Iron Giant. Because of this, many 2D artists had to make the shift to 3D, including Brad Bird himself. Brad Bird wrote the script without knowing the limitations or concerns that went hand in hand with the medium of computer animation. As a result, this was to be the most complex film for Pixar yet. It was planned to be 15 minutes longer than anything else Pixar had created.

Bird's story was filled with elements that were difficult to animate with CGI at the time. Creating an all-human cast required creating new technology to animate detailed human anatomy, clothing and realistic skin and hair. Long hair had never been done before in CGI up until this point. Disney was initially reluctant to make the film because of these issues, feeling a live action film would be preferable, though Pixar executive John Lasseter vetoed this. Brad Bird recalls, "Basically, I came into a wonderful studio, frightened a lot of people with how many presents I wanted for Christmas, and then got almost everything I asked for."

John Barry was the first choice to do the film's score, with a trailer of the film given a rerecording of Barry's theme to On Her Majesty's Secret Service. However Barry did not wish to duplicate some of earlier soundtracks with the score given to Michael Giacchino.

Reception

Critics

The Incredibles received universal critical acclaim, receiving a 97% "Certified Fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes which made the movie the fifteenth greatest action film of all time and the only one of Top 20 with more than 100 reviews. Metacritic indicates The Incredibles "universal acclaim" with a 90 out of 100 rating. Critic Roger Ebert awarded the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, writing that the film "alternates breakneck action with satire of suburban sitcom life" and is "another example of Pixar's mastery of popular animation." Rolling Stone gave the movie three-and-a-half stars and called the movie "one of the year's best" and said that it "doesn't ring cartoonish, it rings true." Also giving the film three-and-a-half stars, People magazine found that The Incredibles "boasts a strong, entertaining story and a truckload of savvy comic touches."

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was bored by the film's recurring pastiches of earlier action films, concluding, "the Pixar whizzes do what they do excellently; you just wish they were doing something else." Similarly, Jessica Winter of the Village Voice criticized the film for playing as a standard summer action film, despite being released in early November. Her review, titled as "Full Metal Racket," noted that "The Incredibles announces the studio's arrival in the vast yet overcrowded Hollywood lot of eardrum-bashing, metal-crunching action sludge."

Makers of the 2005 film Fantastic Four were forced to make significant script changes and add more special effects because of similarities to the storyline of The Incredibles.

Release

Despite concerns that the film would receive underwhelming results, the film grossed $70,467,623 in its opening weekend from 7,600 screens at 3,933 theaters, averaging $17,917 per theater or $9,272 per screen, the highest opening weekend gross for a Pixar film. The film was also #1 in its second weekend, grossing another $50,251,359, dropping just 29 percent, and easily outgrossing new animated opener The Polar Express. The film ultimately grossed $261,441,092, the third-highest gross for a Pixar film and the fifth-highest grossing film of 2004. Worldwide, the film grossed $631,436,092, ranking fourth for the year. The film was also the second-highest grossing animated film that year behind Shrek 2.

It had its network television premiere on Thanksgiving Day 2007 on NBC and its basic cable premiere on ABC Family as part of The 25 Days of Christmas in December 2007, and its second cable showing on Disney Channel as part of the No Ordinary Friday on February 1, 2008.

Top ten lists

The film appeared on many critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2004.





Home video

The Incredibles two-disc Collector's Edition DVD set was released on March 15, 2005. According to the Internet Movie Database, it was the highest-selling DVD of 2005, with 17.18 million copies sold.

DVD extras and Easter eggs

Like many other DVD releases, there are various extra features available on the two discs including:
  • Introduction, an introduction for the extras featuring Brad Bird.
  • Deleted Scenes, the film's deleted scenes plus an intro for all but one of them. The other one is only accessible as an Easter egg.
  • Jack-Jack Attack, a Pixar short film made especially for the release of The Incredibles about what happened while Kari was babysitting Jack-Jack.
  • The Making of The Incredibles, a documentary about making The Incredibles featuring about 30 of the crew members.
    • More Making of The Incredibles, another longer documentary also about making The Incredibles.
  • Incredi-Blunders. The Incredibles outtakes due to glitches in animation programming, or scenes included for intentional humor.
  • Vowellet: An Essay by Sarah Vowell, a documentary about the life of Sarah Vowell, a writer who did the voice of Violet Parr
  • Character Interviews, actor and actresses interview the characters (possibly Region 1 only; see talk page)
  • Theatrical Trailers, The Incredibles film trailers.
  • Mr. Incredible and Pals, a Mr. Incredible cartoon spoofing cheesy superhero cartoons from the 1960s, as well as Synchro-Vox cartoons like Clutch Cargo.
    • Mr. Incredible and Pals With Commentary, the cartoon with the characters' commentary.
  • NSA Files, info about the supers.
  • Boundin', a Pixar short film written, directed, composed, production designed and narrated by Bud Luckey.
    • Boundin With Commentary, Boundin' with commentary by Bud Luckey.
    • Who Is Bud Luckey? a four-minute documentary about the making of Boundin'.
There are also several Easter egg in the menu; the one on the main menu shows every door, button and explosion in the movie. Some of the other menus have more than one easter egg movie; which one plays appears to be a random choice. One of the eggs on the first Index menu is a short sockpuppet version of the movie.

The film was also released on UMD for the Sony PSP and in a limited edition VHS version, and was the last Disney/Pixar film to be issued in the VHS format. All future Disney/Pixar titles beginning with Cars would only be released on DVD and Blu-ray.

Merchandising

Several companies released promotional products related to the movie. Dark Horse Comics released a limited series of comic books based on the movie. Kellogg's released an Incredibles-themed cereal, as well as promotional Pop Tarts and fruit snacks, all proclaiming an "Incrediberry Blast" of flavor. Furthermore, in the weeks before the movie's opening, there were also promotional tie-ins with SBC Communications (using Dash to promote the "blazing-fast speed" of its SBC Yahoo! DSL service) and McDonald's.Toy maker Hasbro produced a series of action figures and toys based on the film, although the line was not as successful as the film itself.

In Europe, Kinder chocolate eggs contained small plastic toy characters from the film.

In Belgiummarker, car manufacturer Opel sold special The Incredibles editions of their cars.

In the United Kingdommarker, Telewest promoted blueyonder internet services with branding from the film, including television adverts starring characters from the film.

In all merchandising outside of the film itself, Elastigirl is referred to as Mrs. Incredible. This is due to a licensing agreement between Disney/Pixar and DC Comics, who has a character named Elasti-Girl (a member of the Doom Patrol). The DC Comics character is able to grow and shrink at will from microscopic size to thousands of feet tall.

Comics

In July 2008, it was announced that a series of comic books based on The Incredibles would be published by BOOM! Studios in collaboration with Disney Publishing by the end of the year.

The first two miniseries by BOOM! were The Incredibles: Family Matters by Mark Waid and Marcio Takara, which was published from March to June 2009, and collected into a trade paperback published in July of that year. The next miniseries, The Incredibles: City of Incredibles, by Waid, Landry Walker, and artists Marcio Takara and Ramanda Kamarga, was published later that same year.

Video game

A video game based on the film was released for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance, PC, Apple Macintosh, and mobiles.

Awards

The film won the Academy Award in 2004 for Best Animated Feature (the second out of four Pixar Animation Studios feature films to do so) as well as Best Achievement in Sound Editing. It also received nominations for Best Original Screenplay (for writer/director Brad Bird) and Best Achievement in Sound, but did not win.

The film was awarded the 2005 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form.

These and other awards place it among the most-honored animation films in recent history.

Possible Sequel

Director Brad Bird stated in 2007 that he's open to the idea of an Incredibles 2 if he comes up with an idea superior to the original film. "I have pieces that I think are good, but I don't have them all together." One name that has surfaced in blogs is Rise of the Underminer -- referring to the villain voiced by John Ratzenberger that emerges from the ground in the very last scene of the original film.

References

  1. Paik, Karen. (2007) To Infinity and Beyond!: The Story of Pixar Animation Studios, Chronicle Books LLC, pg. 236-37.
  2. Paik, Karen. (2007) To Infinity and Beyond!: The Story of Pixar Animation Studios, Chronicle Books LLC, pg. 238-51
  3. http://www.moviemusic.com/mb/Forum1/HTML/013243.html
  4. http://au.music.ign.com/articles/563/563642p1.html
  5. The Incredibles - Movie Reviews, Trailers, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes
  6. ROTTEN TOMATOES: ROTTEN TOMATOES: Top Movies: Golden Globes
  7. The Incredibles at metacrtic.com
  8. Travers, Peter (2004-11-25), "The Incredibles". Rolling Stone. (962):100
  9. Rozen, Leah (2004-11-15), "The Incredibles". People. 62 (20):31
  10. The Incredibles | AccessAtlanta
  11. Movie & TV News @ IMDb.com - Studio Briefing - 4 November 2004
  12. 2004 Yearly Box Office Results
  13. 2004 Yearly Box Office Results
  14. See eegs.com for more information about the Easter Eggs on these DVDs


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