The Incredibles: One Incredible Film
SWEET MOTHER OF CINEMA! I just got back from a midnight screening of Pixar's THE INCREDIBLES and my head is still swimming from all the eye candy that was projected up onto the screen tonight! This is what movie-making is all about, people. This is what movie-goers want to see: a full onslaught of pure movie magic. The boys and girls of Pixar have been cutting their teeth on previous endeavors all for this film, my dear friends. And I can honestly say that they have now graduated to the next level. In my opinion, they have reached that peak of animated brillance and bliss that it would be difficult for them to fall. My only fear now is that they may not be able to top this film. The pressure is on now for Lasseter and Pixar's next animated feature, CARS - slated for release in 2005. Whew! Whadda ride, folks. I cannot stress to you how much fun I had at this movie! I think I gotta take a moment to regain my composure....
Okay, first off, I'm a father of two: a 4-year old daughter, Ava, and a 4-month old son, Ezra. My girl has seen her share of animated films in her short lifetime, all thanks to me, of course - but I must say that this movie is not for the young kiddies. The director, Brad Bird, he of THE IRON GIANT fame (need I say more? This guy needs to be cloned so we can have more movie directors like him making more honest-to-goodness great films), has been quoted as saying that THE INCREDIBLES is not for young kids. If you think that your kids will be easily scared in action films like STAR WARS or RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, then they will not dig this film. There are major moments of peril, several with children involved. The enemies are real and will kill the protagonists - just keep that in mind. Most likely, there are still going to be parents out there that will go and take their wee-ones to this film, just because it's animated. Because, let's face it - animation=children's films, right? Um, NO, and that's what Brad Bird is trying to do here. Starting with the FAMILY DOG short back in the 80's and then with his work on THE SIMPSONS and then, triumphantly, with THE IRON GIANT. He's been trying to break that preconcieved mold that many in the animated film-making biz fall prey to. What Bird made here is a legitimate FILM. Not just a "family film," but an action film that just happens to be animated. (Check out a great interview with him at The Onion here.) And I feel bad telling Ava that she can't see the movie as she's got a little crush on Dash, the young boy Incredible. "I like him, Daddy. I like Dash."
As for the look and design of the THE INCREDIBLES, you can almost feel all the sweat and toil that went into the art production for the film. From the grey mundane suburban life that Mr. Incredible must endure, to the brilliant, saturated colors of the remote island, everything looks like the filmmakers poured their heart and soul into it. And I'm buying The Art of The Incredibles book as soon as possible. (A detail of the cover is seen at the head of this post.) Go get it now. There's some fantastic artwork in it, but a word of caution for the virginal-movie-types - the ones who don't want to know any major plot points and surprises when watching a film - there are some spoilers in the book that may ruin it for you. So just buy the book after seeing the film. I highly recommend it.
Everything about this film was top-notch: the character design and development, the animation, the special effects, the story arcs, the action, the ambiance of every set,... I could go on and on about this film. (And with this being my first review for a film on The Ward-O-Matic, it's making me look like the WORST reviewer EVER. I almost feel like one of those no-name reviewers from podunk nowheresville, whom film companies quote repeatedly, especially if the movie is a big fat stinker.) I'm almost gushing like a little schoolgirl here about her latest crush. And in reality, I AM gushing about my latest crush. I've got such a film crush on THE INCREDIBLES right now, I find it hard to think about anything else.
There are moments in this film where I was so excited that I actually wanted to giggle with glee! What kind of movie can make me do that? (Answer: not many.)
For the few that may not like this movie, I must say, what more could you possibly want? At what level of perfection do your movies need to be? I had so much fun that I absolutely must see this film again right away. Now, how am I going to convince my wife this, when we barely get the chance to see ONE film a month? Hmmm....
I want to write so much more about THE INCREDIBLES, but I'll have to hold off until everybody's had a chance to see this truly amazing film. Last thought: I guess that every animator's goal in his career is to have a character so loved that it would possess someone to actually dress up in full costume at a midnight screening of your film. And to the crazy chick who dressed up as Elastigirl at the screening last night: good for you! It just made the night all the more...uh, appropriate? odd? well, fitting for us animation freaks. Thank you.
RATING: (Movie as a whole) 5 out of 5. (Repeat factor) Oh, you betcha. Very VERY high.