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A SIERRA NEVADA
(MICHAEL MADSEN & JOHN SAVAGE).
A Pixar cartoon reviewed on Feo Amante's Horror Home Page? Has the world gone mad? Is it a sign of the End Times? Relax, Jethro. First, we've reviewed Pixar cartoons before (MONSTERS, INC) and second, those wacky animators finally made a thriller.
THE INCREDIBLES was written and directed by Brad Bird (THE IRON GIANT, THE SIMPSONS HALLOWEEN SPECIALS [TV]). It's about a world where "supers" (people with super powers) are everywhere. One of the best known is Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson: THE RETURN OF COUNT YORGA, THE FORMULA, POLTERGEIST, POLTERGEIST II, THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE, CREATURE [TV], THE SKULLS). We see Mr. Incredible, on his way to an appointment, take time to foil a few crimes and an attempted suicide. The appointment is his marriage to another super: Elastigirl (Holly Hunter: THE BURNING, CRASH, COPYCAT, THE FIRM). All seems well.
But then come the lawsuits. In the course of saving someone, Mr. Incredible apparently gave him whiplash. This lucrative lawsuit inspires others and before you know it the supers are forced out of business. The government relocates them and gives them new identities and they must keep their abilities hidden.
A few years go by and the Incredible family now includes three children: Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Spencer Fox) and the infant Jack-Jack. Violet can become invisible and project force fields and Dash has super speed. The baby hasn't exhibited any special abilities so far. And yes, if you are a comic book fan, you'll notice that this family is basically a rearranged Fantastic Four.
The funniest moments occur as Mr. Incredible (now using the name Bob Parr) tries to be an "ordinary" person, working in a tiny cubicle at an insurance company. His boss, Mr. Huph (Wallace Shawn: STRANGE INVADERS, MONSTERS, INC., THE HAUNTED MANSION), is constantly suspicious that Bob is being too helpful to his customers.
But helping people is what Bob / Mr. Incredible is all about. That's why he and his best friend Lucius / Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson: THE EXORCIST III, JURASSIC PARK, DEEP BLUE SEA, UNBREAKABLE, SPHERE, KILL BILL: VOL. 2), another super with the power to create ice, spend the occasional evening putting on disguises and saving people where they can. Doing this helps but Mr. Incredible is deeply depressed. He needs to get back in the game.
Which he does, of course, and that's all I'll say about that. What I will tell you is that this movie rocks! It's funny and smart and action packed. It counts as a thriller (and got a PG rating - a first for Pixar) because the action includes bad guys (evil henchmen, actually) trying really hard to kill the Incredibles (including the children) and paying the ultimate price for their foolishness. Jason Lee (DOGMA, DREAMCATCHER) does a great job as Syndrome (the chief bad guy) as does the husky-voiced Elizabeth Peña (JACOB'S LADDER, BLUE STEEL, STRANGELAND, IMPOSTOR) as his assistant, Mirage. But my favorite character is costume designer for the supers, Edna "E" Mode, voiced by writer/director Brad Bird himself.
Also a personal favorite of mine is the
Continued at SCIENCE MOMENT/The Incredibles
But enough nit-picking. THE INCREDIBLES is a great movie and I can't wait to see it again. I give it the big five on the shriek girl scale.
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