The Incredibles is one of the best loved Pixar films of all time and rightly so, at the time of this writing it still their 5th highest grossing film. A marvel of its time, this fantastic film is exactly the kind of simple compelling story that Pixar is known for.
If you have not seen the film, you should. Gather your friends or perhaps your family—if you don’t have friends, make some, if you don’t have a family—borrow one (or make one) and settle down on the couch for a fun filled two hour feature.
Ten years out, this film does start to show a little wear around the edges. This was the first Pixar film to prominently portray “real” people and sadly, the graphics have not held up nearly as well as some of the other Pixar films. Character hair is noticeably static and it’s worse when they get wet. Fortunately, The Incredibles doesn’t rely on graphical fidelity to sell itself, instead it uses story.
What is there to say about a Pixar story line, except that they are usually pretty solid and this one is no exception. Today the idea that citizens or the government might turn against Super Heroes is a lot more mainstream now that we have silver screen versions of Watchmen and X-Men. Even Batman and the Transformers were told they were “not needed” recently.
To summarize and spoil the plot, Mr. Incredible’s biggest fan (now called Syndrome) has a vendetta against him and is determined to avenge his younger self. He hides away in his jurassic park inspired island of solitude, creating a giant, stronger than steel, hulking sphere to exact his revenge. Syndrome doesn’t just want to eliminate Mr. Incredible though, he wants attention. He wants to be the hero. So he sets his uncontrollable self-learning military robot loose on the city so he can save them. His desire for attention gets in the way of his crime fighting ability and it’s up to the Parr family to save the day. (With a little help from their friends.)
The story is more than plot though, the story is relatable characters having relatable interactions and that is where The Incredibles… is incredible.
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The Parr family (their secret identity) is a real family. They talk like a real family, the act like a real family, and they fight like a real family. To the audience they are completely relatable even if the situation they are in is not.
Ultimately The Incredibles teaches us some essential life lessons: the value of human life, how to use your talents and abilities to help others, and everyone is stronger if they work together. Of course, let’s not forget the two most important lessons: never wear a cape and don’t get caught monologuing.