I had just got out of pre-school one day. My mom and my uncle stood outside, waiting to pick me and my brother up. “We’re going to the movies!” she says. My eyes lit up in excitement. Then she asks me, “Do you want to see Shark Tale or The Incredibles?” After four-year-old me thought long and hard, I decided on The Incredibles. I am still glad that I knew even at such a young age, that a Brad Bird Pixar movie about superheroes was miles better than Will Smith as a fish.
The Incredibles was only Brad Bird’s second movie. His follow-up to The Iron Giant (1999), arguably one of the strongest directorial debuts ever. Bird then made a movie that even surpassed the Iron Giant in story. Re-watching this movie today, I realized just how brilliant the writing is. The exposition never feels forced. And everyone talks like normal people. The plot runs swimmingly and includes great voice performances from Craig T. Nelson, Jason Lee, Holly Hunter, and of course Samuel L. Jackson. (“Where’s my super suit?” It also has the ability to be enjoyed by kids and adults. The comedy can be adult sometimes (not in the raunchy way) and at other parts it has some great action. I don’t know many other films that are this well put together.
The Incredibles was also the movie that helped Pixar perfect humans. Up until 2004, whenever humans were shown in a Pixar movie. They always looked…odd. Like take for example, Andy’s family and Sid in Toy Story (1995). They still looked like people, but in an uncanny valley sort of way. Boo in Monster’s Inc. (2001) showed improvements but that was because she was the only human in that whole movie. When The Incredibles also has a unique look, something that will never look dated. It doesn’t try for realism but more of a cartoon look.
And coincidentally, I am writing all of this on the day after The Emoji Movie comes out. A movie that has been hailed as one of the worst 3-D animated films ever made. Now, I myself cannot say that as I have yet to review it. But my recommendation would be to see something that is timeless, something that set the standard in it’s genre, and something that was made with passion, not to cash in on a trend.