Reviewed by: Keith Howland
|Featuring:||Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Lee, Elizabeth Peña|
|Producer:||John Walker II, John Lasseter|
“Save The Day”
Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “An animated action-adventure comedy about a dysfunctional family of undercover super heroes, who, though struggling to live a quiet suburban life, is forced into action to save the world.”
Lightning does strike twice. Actually, it has now struck six times for Pixar Animation Studios. It seems as though each of their films contains more eye-popping visuals than the last; so their sixth feature, The Incredibles looks, well, incredible. There are many dazzling scenes that display both inventive creations (such as giant robots) and ultra-realistic detail in everyday objects (such as breaking glass or hair blowing in the wind). But no manner of brilliant visuals is enough to make a good film. In the final analysis, it is always story and character that matter most-and Pixar has once again given us characters we can sympathize with and root for as we are thrilled by their story.
Bob Parr (voice of Craig T. Nelson) is Mr. Incredible, a tight-suited, mask-wearing superhero. He lives to save ordinary folk from peril. There are other superheroes in town, too, such as Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter). But saving lives is not what it used to be, and the hassle of legal wrangles resulting from the ramifications of their superhero ways forces all superheroes in the city to retire and go into a governmental protection program. So, fifteen years later, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl (AKA Bob and Helen), now married and living in middle-class suburban obscurity with three children, are like birds with their wings clipped. So are their children, who possess superpowers of their own but are forbidden to use them lest the family be discovered for who they really are. But evil forces are always with us, and perhaps the Incredible family may be needed to emerge and vanquish them once more. (Of course they are, or there would be no movie.)
Previous Pixar films were rated G, but “The Incredibles” is PG, and for good reason. Superheroes clash with supervillains-and they don’t play chess to decide the victor. So this movie contains action and violence. It is bloodless cartoon violence, but many punches are thrown, guns fired, and things smashed. Very small youngsters would be scared by things in this film. The intended audience is slightly narrower than for “Finding Nemo.” But everyone from older children up should be delighted with it.
Unlike the Shrek films, which are often crass and crude, the humor in The Incredibles is clean fun. Sadly, there are two fleeting instances of God’s name used vainly. However, there are several issues that can be used to initiate discussions of spiritual matters. Early in the film, for instance, Mr. Incredible jokes that he wishes he would not have to save people again after he has already saved them once. He jests, “Why can’t they stay saved?” Of course, this serves as a great bridge to speak about the One Hero who saves people with total efficacy and for eternity, Jesus Christ.
Other matters in the film are also worth noting, such as the concept that each person is given a unique ability that he or she may choose either to hide or use for the good of others. Also, the importance of honesty and communication in relationships is clearly displayed.
All in all, “The Incredibles” is another triumph from Pixar, and a great movie for the family, although the very young would find it to be too intense. It must be mentioned, too, that the short film before the feature is a real treat, and serves as a good parable for the importance of being content with who we are and what we have.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: None