"I don't fit into my
old super suit anymore either."
- W.J. Flywheel, Webporium
Incredibles is a 2004 computer-animated superhero film produced by
Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It
was written and directed by Brad Bird, a former director and
executive consultant of The Simpsons. It stars an ensemble cast
including Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell, Spencer Fox,
Jason Lee, Samuel L. Jackson and Elizabeth Peña. The film
stars the Parr family, who each have superpowers. After the
government orders superheroes to live a normal life, Robert Parr
(Craig T. Nelson), who formerly went under the superhero alias
"Mr. Incredible" secretly relives his days as a superhero,
behind his family's back. At the same time, his kids come to terms
with their powers while his wife becomes suspicious of his activities
when a stranger named Mirage (voiced by Elizabeth Pena) secretly
recruits Bob for a potential mission, the old glory days spin in his
head, even if his body is a bit too plump for his old super suit.
Bird has his cake and eats
it, too. He and the Pixar wizards send up superhero and James Bond
movies while delivering a thrilling, supercool action movie that
rivals Spider-Man 2 for 2004's best onscreen thrills. While it's just
as funny as the previous Pixar films, The Incredibles has a far
wider-ranging emotional palette (it's Pixar's first PG film). Bird
takes several jabs, including some juicy commentary on domestic life
("It's not graduation, he's moving from the fourth to fifth grade!").
The Incredibles was
originally developed as a traditionally-animated film for Warner
Bros., but after the studio shut down its division for fully animated
theatrical features, Bird took the story with him to Pixar, where he
reunited with John Lasseter. The Incredibles is the sixth feature
film from Pixar. It was presented by Disney and released by Buena
Vista Distribution in North America on November 5, 2004, and in the
United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland on November 26 of the same
year. It is the first full-length Pixar film to feature an entirely
human cast of characters.
The animated Parrs look and
act a bit like the actors portraying them, Craig T. Nelson and Holly
Hunter. Samuel L. Jackson and Jason Lee also have a grand old time
as, respectively, superhero Frozone and bad guy Syndrome. Nearly
stealing the show is Bird himself, voicing the eccentric designer of
superhero outfits ("No capes!"), Edna Mode (left).
Nominated for four Oscars, The Incredibles won for Best Animated Film
and, in an unprecedented win for non-live-action films, Sound Editing.
Disney accepting the project, Brad Bird was asked to bring in his
own team for the production. He brought up a core group of people he
worked with on The Iron Giant. Because of this, many 2D artists had
to make the shift to 3D, including Brad Bird himself. Brad Bird wrote
the script without knowing the limitations or concerns that went hand
in hand with the medium of animation. As a result, this was to be the
most complex film for Pixar yet. It was planned to be 15 minutes
longer than anything else Pixar had created.
Bird's story was full of
the most difficult things to do in animation at the time. Creating an
all human cast meant that they needed to focus on creating believable
human characters, which was one of their biggest hurdles. They needed
to advance and create new technology that allowed them to animate and
create a detailed human anatomy with the inclusion of muscles as well
as dynamic clothing and realistic skin and hair. Long hair had never
been done before in animation up until this point. Because of all of
these problems, Disney, at first, didn't even want to make the movie.
They felt that it should be a live action movie if anything. However,
John Lasseter, who started Pixar, got behind the project, and it
ended up being a major success. Quoting Brad Bird, "Basically, I
came into a wonderful studio, frightened a lot of people with how
many presents I wanted for Christmas, and then got almost everything
I asked for."