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- "Save the Day."
The Incredibles is Pixar's sixth feature film. It was theatrically released in the United States on November 5, 2004, and at London Film Festival on October 27, 2004.
The Incredibles is the first Pixar film to feature an entirely human cast of characters. It was released in a two-disc DVD in the US on March 15, 2005. According to the Internet Movie Database, it was the highest-selling DVD of 2005, with 17.18 million copies sold. The Incredibles was the second Pixar film to be presented in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio, after A Bug's Life.
It was the first installment in the Incredibles franchise. A sequel, Incredibles 2, was released on June 15, 2018.
The film is set in a 1960s-esque alternate universe where superheroes, also known to the public community as Supers, are renowned and commended for their heroic deeds worldwide, allowing them the luxuries of a Golden Age. One particular superhero who truly lives in this age is the super-strong Mr. Incredible, engaged to the amazingly flexible and dexterous Elastigirl and best friends with the cryokinetic Frozone. While driving to his wedding with Elastigirl, Mr. Incredible experiences an otherwise routine day of fighting crime and saving lives, including rescuing a man, Oliver Sansweet, from falling off a building and stopping a train from falling off its track. In addition to confronting an infamous member of his rogue's gallery Bomb Voyage, Mr. Incredible must deal with the intrusion of his self-proclaimed #1 fan, Buddy Pine, who tries to impose himself as Mr. Incredible's sidekick, "IncrediBoy". Constantly frustrated by the boy's presence, Mr. Incredible coldly rebuffs him each and every time he appears. After he gets married, Mr. Incredible ends up sued by the man he saved earlier for ruining his attempt to commit suicide, while the victims of the train rescue are suing for the injuries they have sustained even though they might have been killed had it not been for Mr. Incredible's intervention. These lawsuits left people across the world to sue Supers everywhere for the collateral damage and recklessness caused by their heroics, thus resulting in the suits to cost the government millions of dollars. Not long after, the government gave Supers amnesty from responsibility for past actions, in exchange for the promise to never again continue being heroes.
Fifteen years later, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl have settled into relatively normal lives. Now known by their secret identities, Bob and Helen Parr, they have a house in the suburbs and are raising three kids: 14-year-old daughter Violet, 10-year-old son Dashiell (Dash), and infant son Jack-Jack though, in a deleted scene, Syndrome says that it's against the law for Supers to marry and have kids. Like their parents, Violet and Dash have their own powers, Violet can turn invisible and create force fields, while Dash can run at breakneck speeds, it seems as if Jack-Jack is a normal baby without powers. Bob is overweight and frustrated with the drudgery of his job as a claims adjuster for a corrupt insurance company called Insuricare and secretly helps deserving clients to find loopholes to get their payments. He dreams of returning back to his glory days of being a superhero, going so far as to moonlight as a crimefighter by listening to a police scanner every Wednesday, with his friend Frozone, known now as Lucius Best, claiming to their wives that they're going bowling, though Lucius actually wants to go. They have discovered that another former superhero named Gazerbeam has had trouble adjusting to civilian life like Bob does, and is now missing. They go to save people from a burning building but the heat is too much for Lucius to put out with his powers. They accidentally run into the nearby jewelry store, where the security guard assumes they are robbers, Lucius freezes him with the water from the nearby dispenser. When Helen finds out about Bob's nighttime escapades, it causes an argument, Bob hates having to hide their gifts, and wants to return to the heroics of the old days, while Helen is concerned about keeping the family together and not having to start over again by going into hiding in a brand new location.
Eventually, Mr. Huph, Bob's miserly boss, suspects Bob is helping clients and reprimands him. During the lecture, Bob notices a person being mugged in the street. Mr. Huph stops Bob from going to the victim's aid, threatening to fire him, and the mugger escapes. When Huph smugly begins lecturing again, Bob, furious with his insensitivity, grabs him by the neck and hurls him through several office walls and hit black cupboards. Huph is hospitalized with broken bones and sprained left arm and left leg, and Bob is fired. Normally the government agent and Bob's old friend Rick Dicker would cover such an incident by paying to keep the company quiet, relocating his family, and erasing memories of the incident, but since it is costing too much money for the government, Dicker says that he can no longer help Bob, but quickly relents and offers to bail him out one last time, an offer that Bob refuses since his family has adjusted to their current life. While Bob is trying to figure out how to tell Helen about his accident, Mirage, a mysterious agent, contacts him and offers highly-paid work subduing a renegade robot, the Omnidroid 08, on Nomanisan, an uncharted volcanic island. Bob takes the assignment, telling Helen that he is attending a conference out of town, hiding both the loss of his job and the renewal of hero work. While on a jet to Nomanisan, Mirage briefs Bob now Mr. Incredible again about how his mission is going to go, and how he needs to subdue the Omnidroid find a way to nuetralize it without completely destroying it beyond salvation, and do it quickly before it figures out how to kill him Mr. Incredible lands on the island, and begins searching. He finds the Omnidroid and an epic battle ensues. Mr. Incredible defeats the Omnidroid, and with the hefty reward he begins to lead a much happier life with his family. However, he has slightly damaged his supersuit from the battle, and takes it to its designer, the flamboyant Edna Mode, for repairs. Edna also offers to create a brand-new suit for him and he accepts but, unbeknownst to him, she also creates matching suits for his entire family.
Two months later, Mirage calls Bob with a new assignment. Helen overhears the call, but does not realize its full implications or content and begins to have suspicions of an affair, though she nervously keeps it to herself. When Mr. Incredible returns to the island, he discovers he'd been set up as he is ambushed by an improved version of the Omnidroid prototype robot, Omnidroid v.X9. The Omnidroid's creator is revealed to be a now adult Buddy Pine, having become a psychotic and incredibly wealthy weapons designer named Syndrome. Embittered by constant rejection from his former idol, he made a fortune in high-tech weapons technology. He then invented the Omnidroid, a robot designed to kill Supers. Syndrome uses his zero-point energy ray to immobilize Mr. Incredible, and after throwing him around a few times, Syndrome accidentally throws Mr. Incredible over a waterfall. Mr. Incredible manages to escape from Syndrome and discovers Gazerbeam's remains in an underground cavern when he narrowly escapes a bomb. While inside the cave, he discovers the word "Kronos" etched onto the walls with Gazerbeam’s laser vision. He infiltrates Syndrome's base and gets beyond the wall of lava to his main computer. Typing in the password "Kronos", he gains access to all of Syndrome's files. He learns that Syndrome has built many other robots to kill Supers, while it is presumed nearly all of them are dead. He also discovers that Syndrome is now planning on unleashing the robot into the city of Metroville where it will cause mass destruction according to a plan which Syndrome called Project Kronos.
Back at home, Helen notices that Bob's old super suit has recently been repaired. She visits Edna and learns that he has resumed superhero work behind her back. With a call to Insuricare, she also realizes that Bob is no longer employed. Edna reveals to Helen about the new super suits for her and the children, and advises her to take control of the situation. Helen activates the homing device Edna built into Bob's super suit, which inadvertently reveals his location to both her and Syndrome who recaptures him. She heads for the island in a fast jet, on which Violet and Dash have stowed away, after leaving Jack-Jack at home with a babysitter, Kari. Syndrome, meanwhile, tortures Mr. Incredible for information and launches a missile attack against Helen’s now Elastigirl after dawning her new suit out of suspicion something may be wrong on the airplane, which shocks even Mirage when it is revealed that there are children aboard. Elastigirl and the kids manage to escape unharmed, and swim to the island, though everyone on the island believes they are dead. Enraged at Syndrome for seemingly killing his family, Mr. Incredible grabs Mirage and threatens to kill her unless Syndrome frees him, Syndrome calls this bluff, and Mr. Incredible releases her unharmed, remaining Syndrome's prisoner. Mirage is furious at Syndrome for gambling with her life, and his belief that Mr. Incredible’s value of life is a weakness. In spite of calling his bluff, she leaves and says next time he gambles, he should bet his own life.
While Elastigirl infiltrates Syndrome's base, the new and improved Omnidroid v.10 is loaded and launched on a rocket towards its target, Metroville. In Syndrome's base, a remorseful Mirage secretly frees Mr. Incredible just before Elastigirl arrives. The two superheroes rush to find their children, who are fighting off Syndrome’s henchmen. Dash races the guards through the jungle on foot and discovers he can run on water, and Violet holds her ground against the guards with her invisibility. When the family reunites, a battle ensues, where in the family co-operates to defeat their attackers.
However, Syndrome arrives and captures the Incredibles using his zero-point energy beams. Upon capturing them, Syndrome is surprised to find that Mr. Incredible married Elastigirl and had kids with her. Syndrome then explains his plan to them in the containment unit to save Metroville from the Omnidroid and thereby become a hero. Mr. Incredible then figures out that for the past 15 years, Syndrome has been inviting other real heroes to Nomanisan too, and killing them so he could perfect the Omnidroid's final design. With the final design now in place, he plans to pretend to be a hero to bring the Supers back into the spotlight. After that, he'll sell all his gadgets and inventions to the world once his career is finished, thus making everyone super. At that point, the possession of superpowers no longer unique, claiming when everyone is super, no one will be, revealing that the whole idea of Project Kronos was to make the word "super" meaningless. He then leaves the Incredibles in an energy prison to put his finishing touches on phase 3. Violet’s force fields allow them to escape, but not before Mr. Incredible reveals that none of this would be happening if he hadn’t been so held up in the past. With Mirage's help, they depart for the mainland after Syndrome with a rocket.
In Metroville, Syndrome attempts to stop the Omnidroid's destructive rampage, but the robot becomes self aware the 08 did, figures out the nature of his remote control, and knocks him unconscious. The Incredibles and Frozone fight the robot and do everything they can to stop it before it completely destroys the city. Mr. Incredible realizes that the only way to defeat the Omnidroid is on the inside like he did the last time. After getting ahold of the remote and figuring out how it works, the Incredibles use the remote for one of the claws that was shot earlier to activate it. The thrusters in the claw allows him to launch it like a missile at the robot, impaling and destroying it once and for all. The town applauds them for their achievements, the possibility of superheroes coming out of hiding is mentioned by Dicker. Syndrome wakes up to find that the Incredibles have stolen his glory and his dark future.
Rick Dicker drives the Incredibles home, telling them that the United States government has frozen Syndrome's assets and put a warrant out for his arrest. Elastigirl listens to the messages left by Kari and learn that a replacement came over, so they hurry to their house only to find that Syndrome is kidnapping Jack-Jack, intending to raise him as his sidekick, in revenge for his future being taken away. As Syndrome attempts to fly up to his jet using his rocket boots, Jack-Jack suddenly reveals that he does indeed have super powers after all: shapeshifting. His forms consisted of fire, metal, and then an imp-like monster. Syndrome drops Jack-Jack, who is caught by Elastigirl, and attempts to flee, declaring that he will make another attempt to abduct Jack-Jack in the future. Bob, having had enough of Syndrome, hurls the family car into the jet, Syndrome is knocked into the turbine and his cape is caught in the engine quickly becomes a super smoothie. Violet, having mastered her force field powers, protects the family from the raining flames and debris as the jet explodes, much to the amazement of their young neighbor.
Three months later, the family is much happier, even Bob is content with their civilian life. Dash is running in a track meet, he carefully controls his use of super-speed and finishes in second place. Violet, who formerly felt alienated to the point of using her hair to hide her face, is found with her hair pulled back, talking to a friend of hers and successfully asking Tony Rydinger for a date to the movies. As they walk out of the sports complex, a new villain, The Underminer, rises from the ground and declares war on peace and happiness. The family members, including Jack-Jack, put on their masks and prepare to fight the new villain.
- Craig T. Nelson: Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible)
- Holly Hunter: Helen Parr (Elastigirl)
- Spencer Fox: Dash Parr (The Dash)
- Sarah Vowell: Violet Parr
- Samuel L. Jackson: Frozone (Lucius Best)
- Jason Lee: Syndrome (Buddy Pine, A.K.A. "IncrediBoy")
- Brad Bird: Edna Mode
- Eli Fucile and Maeve Andrews: Jack-Jack Parr
- Elizabeth Peña: Mirage
- Bud Luckey: Rick Dicker
- John Ratzenberger: The Underminer
- Wallace Shawn: Gilbert Huph
- Frank Thomas: Frank
- Ollie Johnston: Ollie
- Dominique Louis: Bomb Voyage
- Michael Bird: Tony Rydinger
- Jean Sincere: Mrs. Hogenson
- Kimberly Adair Clark: Honey Best
- Bret Parker: Kari McKeen
- Lou Romano: Bernie Kropp
- Wayne Canney: Principal John Walker
The Incredibles as a concept dates back to 1993, when Bird sketched the family during a period in which he tried to break into film. Personal issues had percolated into the story as they weighed on him in life. During this time, Bird had inked a production deal with Warner Bros. Animation and was in the process of directing his first feature The Iron Giant. Bird, who was then in his late thirties, began to wonder, with a measure of fear, about the conflict between career and family responsibilities. Approaching middle age and having high aspirations for his filmmaking, he pondered whether these aspirations were attainable only at the price of his family life. He felt that he would completely fail at one if he focused too much on the other. He stated, "Consciously, this was just a funny movie about superheroes. But I think that what was going on in my life definitely filtered into the movie." After the box office failure of The Iron Giant, Bird was heartsick and gravitated toward his superhero story.
|"The dad is always expected in the family to be strong, so I made him strong. The moms are always pulled in a million different directions, so I made her stretch like taffy. Teenagers, particularly teenage girls, are insecure and defensive, so I made her turn invisible and turn on shields. And ten-year-old boys are hyperactive energy balls. Babies are unrealized potential."|
|— Brad Bird, writer and director of The Incredibles.|
He imagined it as an homage to the 1960s comic books and spy films from his boyhood and he initially tried to develop it as a traditionally animated film. When The Iron Giant became a box office bomb (due to poor marketing on behalf of Warner Bros.), he reconnected with old friend from college John Lasseter at Pixar in March 2000 and pitched his story idea to him. Bird and Lasseter knew each other from their college years at CalArts in the 1970s. Lasseter was sold on the idea and convinced Bird to come to Pixar, where the film would be done in computer animation. The studio announced a multifilm contract with Bird on May 4, 2000. This broke Pixar's mold of having directors who had all risen through the ranks, and Bird became the first outside director to be hired. In addition, it would be the company's first film in which all characters are human. Bird was a departure from other Pixar directors in many more ways, bringing an auteur approach not found in their earlier productions. Where Pixar films typically had two or three directors and a battalion of screenwriters, The Incredibles was written and directed solely by Brad Bird.
Bird came to Pixar with the lineup of the story's family members worked out: a mom and dad, both suffering through the dad's midlife crisis, a shy teenage girl, a cocky ten-year-old boy, and a baby. Bird had based their powers on family archetypes. After several failed attempts to cast Edna Mode, Bird took on her voice role himself. It was an extension of the Pixar custom of tapping in-house staff whose voices came across particularly well on scratch dialogue tracks. During production, Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli visited Pixar and saw the film's story reels. When Bird asked if the reels made any sense or if they were just "American nonsense," Miyazaki replied, through an interpreter, "I think it's a very adventurous thing you are trying to do in an american film."
Upon Pixar's acceptance of 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 2-D artists had to make the shift to 3-D, including Bird himself. Bird found working with CG "wonderfully malleable" in a way that traditional animation is not, calling the camera's ability to easily switch angles in a given scene "marvelously adaptable." He found working in computer animation difficult in a different way than working traditionally, finding the software sophisticated and not particularly friendly. Bird wrote the script without knowing the limitations or concerns that went hand-in-hand with the medium of computer animation. As a result, this was to be the most complex film for Pixar yet. The film's characters were designed by Tony Fucile and Teddy Newton, whom Bird had brought with him from Warner Bros. Like most computer-animated films, The Incredibles had a year-long period of building the film from the inside out: modeling the exterior and understanding controls that work face and body — the articulation of the character — before animation could even begin. Bird and Fucile tried to emphasize the graphic quality of good 2-D animation to the Pixar team, who'd only worked primarily in CG. Bird attempted to incorporate teaching from Disney's Nine Old Men that the crew at Pixar had "never really emphasized."
For the technical crew members, the film's human characters posed a difficult set of challenges. Bird's story was filled with elements that were difficult to animate with CGI at the time. Humans are widely considered to be the most difficult thing to execute in animation. Pixar animators filmed themselves walking in order to better grasp proper human motion. Creating an all-human cast required creating new technology to animate detailed human anatomy, clothing and realistic skin and hair. Although the technical team had some experience with hair and cloth in Monsters, Inc. (2001), the amount of hair and cloth required for The Incredibles had never been done by Pixar until this point. Moreover, Bird would tolerate no compromises for the sake of technical simplicity. Where the technical team on Monsters, Inc. had persuaded director Pete Docter to accept pigtails on Boo to make her hair easier to animate, the character of Violet had to have long hair that obscured her face, it was integral to her character. Violet's long hair was extremely difficult to achieve and for the longest time during production, it was not possible. In addition, animators had to adapt to having hair underwater and blowing through the wind. Disney was initially reluctant to make the film because of these issues, feeling a live-action film would be preferable, though Lasseter vetoed this.
The Incredibles not only dealt with the trouble of animating CG humans, but also many other complications. The story was bigger than any prior story at the studio, was longer in running time, and had four times the number of locations. Supervising technical director Rick Sayre noted that the hardest thing about the film was that there was "no hardest thing," alluding to the amount of new technical challenges: fire, water, air, smoke, steam, and explosions were all additional to the new difficulty of working with humans. The film's organizational structure could not be mapped out like previous Pixar features, and it became a running joke to the team. Sayre said the team adopted “Alpha Omega," where one team was concerned with building modeling, shading and layout and another that dealt with final camera, lighting and effects. Another team, dubbed the character team, digitally sculpted, rigged and shaded the characters, and a simulation team was responsible for developing simulation technology for hair and clothing. There were 781 visual effects shots in the film and they were quite often the gag, such as the shattering when Bob angrily shuts the car door. In addition, the effects team improved upon the modeling of clouds, being able to model them for the first time with volumetric rendering.
The skin of the characters gained a new level of realism from a technology to produce what is known as "subsurface scattering." The challenges did not stop with modeling humans. Bird decided that in a shot near the film's end, baby Jack-Jack would undergo a series of transformations, and in one of the five planned he would turn himself into a kind of goo. Technical directors believed it would take upwards of two months to work out the goo effect, and production was at a point where two months of their time was indescribably precious. They petitioned to the film's producer John Walker for help. Bird, who had brought Walker over from Warner Bros., took great exception to the idea that Jack-Jack could undergo a mere four transformations and that the film could do without the goo-baby. They argued over the issue in several invective-laced meetings for two months until Bird finally gave in. Bird also insisted that the storyboards define the blocking of characters' movements, lighting, and camera moves, which had previously been left to other departments rather than storyboarded.
Bird self-admitted that he had the knees of the studio trembling under the weight of The Incredibles, but called the film a testament to the talent of the animators at Pixar, who were admiring the challenges the film provoked. He recalled, "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."
- See also: The Incredibles Soundtrack
The Incredibles is the first Pixar film to be scored by Michael Giacchino. Brad Bird was looking for a specific sound as inspired by the film's design — the future as seen from the 1960s. John Barry was the first choice to do the film's score, with a trailer of the film given a rerecording of Barry's theme to On Her Majesty's Secret Service. However, Barry did not wish to duplicate the sound of some of his earlier soundtracks; the assignment was instead given to Giacchino. Giacchino noted that recording in the 1960s was largely different than modern day recording and Dan Wallin, the recording engineer, said that Bird wanted a very old feel, and as such the score was recorded on analogue tapes. Wallin noted that brass instruments, which are at the forefront of the film's score, sound better on analog equipment rather than digital. Wallin came from an era in which music was recorded, according to Giacchino, "the right way," which consists of everyone in the same room, "playing against each other and feeding off each other's energy." Tim Simonec was the conductor/orchestrator for the score's recording.
The film's orchestral score was released on November 2, 2004, three days before the film opened in theaters. It won numerous awards for best score including Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, BMI Film & TV Award, ASCAP Film and Television Music Award, Annie Award, Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award and Online Film Critics Society Award and was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media, Satellite Award and Broadcast Film Critics Association Award.
Several film reviewers drew precise parallels between the film and certain superhero comic books, like Powers, Watchmen and Fantastic Four. Indeed, the producers of the 2005 adaptation of the Fantastic Four were forced to make significant script changes and add more special effects because of similarities to The Incredibles. Bird was not surprised that comparisons arose due to superheroes being "the most well-trod turf on the planet," but noted that he'd not been inspired by any comic books specifically, only having heard of Watchmen. He did comment that it was nice to be compared to something as highly regarded as Watchmen.
Some commentators took Bob's frustration with celebrating mediocrity and Syndrome's comment that if "everyone is super, then no one is" as a reflection of views shared by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche or an extension of Russian-American novelist's Ayn Rand's Objectivism philosophy, which Bird felt was "ridiculous." He stated that a large portion of the audience understood the satire whereas "two percent thought I was doing The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged." Some purported that The Incredibles exhibited a right-wing bias, which Bird found silly. "I think that's as silly of an analysis as saying The Iron Giant was left-wing. I'm definitely a centrist and feel like both parties can be absurd."
The film also explored Bird's dislike for the tendency of the children's comics and Saturday morning cartoons of his youth to portray villains as unrealistic, ineffectual, and non-threatening. In the film, Dash and Violet have to deal with villains who are perfectly willing to use deadly force against children. On another level, both Dash and Violet display no emotion or regret at the deaths of those who are trying to kill them, such as when Dash outruns pursuers who crash their vehicles while chasing him, or when both of them witness their parents destroy several attacking vehicles with people inside, in such a manner that the deaths of those piloting them is undeniable. Despite disagreeing with some analysis, Bird felt it gratifying for his work to be considered on many different levels, which was his intention: "The fact that it was written about in the op/ed section of the New York Times several times was really gratifying to me. Look, it's a mainstream animated movie, and how often are those considered thought provoking?"
The film opened on November 5, 2004 as Pixar's first film to be rated PG (for "action violence"). Its theatrical release was accompanied with a Pixar short film Boundin'. While Pixar celebrated another triumph with The Incredibles, Steve Jobs was embroiled in a public feud with the head of its distribution partner The Walt Disney Company. This would eventually lead to the ousting of Michael Eisner and Disney's acquisition of Pixar the following year.
- See also: The Incredibles Home Video
The film's 2-disc Collector's Edition DVD set was released on March 15, 2005. The DVD release also includes Jack-Jack Attack and Mr. Incredible and Pals, two Pixar short films made especially for the release of The Incredibles, and Boundin', a Pixar short film which premiered with The Incredibles in theaters. Mr. Incredible and Pals was not animated, it only had pictures with moving mouths. It featured Mr. Incredible, Frozone, and a rabbit called Mr. Skipperdoo solving a crime committed by Lady Lightbug: an insect type villain who stole a section of the bridge from the city. Another version of the short had commentary from Lucius and Bob. During the short, Bob was saying how it was a good cartoon for kids while Lucius was complaining how the cartoon made his skin white instead of black.
The Incredibles was the highest-selling DVD of 2005, with 17.38 million copies sold. The film was also released on UMD for the Sony PSP. It was released on Blu-ray in North America on April 12, 2011. There was also a VHS release to the film on March 15, 2005, notably the Disney/Pixar film to be widely issued in VHS format (not counting Pixar's later film Cars, whose VHS release was extremely rare).
The 2-disc collector's edition of The Incredibles also included many other special features, such as Incredi-Blunders, which were bloopers from certain scenes of the movie, and Top Secret NSA files of the Supers.
The film received universal acclaim, with a 97% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes which, as of August 2013, made the movie the fifteenth most highly rated animated film of all time. The site's consensus reads: "Even though The Incredibles is more violent than previous Pixar offerings, it still a witty and fun-filled adventure that almost lives up to its name." Metacritic, another review aggregator, indicates the film "universal acclaim" with a 90 out of 100 rating.
Critic Roger Ebert awarded the film 3½ stars out of 4, writing that the film "alternates breakneck action with satire of suburban sitcom life" and is "another example of Pixar's mastery of popular animation." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film 3½ stars and called the film "one of the year's best" and said that it "doesn't ring cartoonish, it rings true." Also giving the film 3½ stars, People magazine found that The Incredibles "boasts a strong, entertaining story and a truckload of savvy comic touches."
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was bored by the film's recurring pastiches of earlier action films, concluding, "the Pixar whizzes do what they do excellently, you just wish they were doing something else." Similarly, Jessica Winter of The Village Voice criticized the film for playing as a standard summer action film, despite being released in early November. Her review, titled as "Full Metal Racket", noted that "The Incredibles announces the studio's arrival in the vast yet overcrowded Hollywood lot of eardrum-bashing, metal-crunching action sludge."
Travers also named The Incredibles number 6 on his list of the decade's best films, writing "Of all the Pixar miracles studded through the decade, The Incredibles still delights me the most. It's not every toon that deals with midlife crisis, marital dysfunction, child neglect, impotence fears, fashion faux pas and existential angst." The National Review Online named The Incredibles No. 2 on its list of the 25 best conservative movies of the last 25 years saying that it "celebrates marriage, courage, responsibility, and high achievement." Entertainment Weekly named The Incredibles No. 25 on its list of the 25 greatest action films ever. Entertainment Weekly also named The Incredibles No. 7 on its list of the 20 best animated movies ever. IGN ranked the film as the third favorite animated film of all time in a list published in 2010.
Despite concerns that the film would receive underwhelming results, the films domestic gross was $70,467,623 in its opening weekend from 7,600 screens at 3,933 theaters, averaging $17,917 per theater or $9,272 per screen, the highest opening weekend gross for a Pixar film (the record was later broken in 2010 by Toy Story 3, with $110,307,189), the highest November opening weekend for a Disney film (the record was broken in 2013 by Thor: The Dark World with $85.7 million), the highest-opening weekend for a non-sequel animated feature (the record was broken in 2007 by The Simpsons Movie, with $74,036,787), and the highest opening weekend for a non-franchise-based film for just over five years when Avatar opened with $77,025,481. The film stayed at #1 in its second weekend, grossing another $50,251,359, dropping just 29 percent, and easily outgrossing new animated opener The Polar Express. The film ultimately grossed $261,441,092, as the sixth highest-grossing Pixar film behind Toy Story 3 ($415.0 million), Finding Nemo ($380.8 million), Up ($293.0 million), Monsters, Inc. ($289.9 million), and Monsters University ($268.5 million) and the fifth highest-grossing film of 2004. Worldwide, the film grossed $633 million and is the 10th highest-grossing Pixar film (behind, Incredibles 2, Toy Story 4, Toy Story 3, Finding Dory, Finding Nemo, Inside Out, Coco, Monsters University, and Up). It is also the fourth highest-grossing film of 2004 (behind Shrek 2, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Spider-Man 2), the second highest-grossing animated film of 2004 (behind Shrek 2) and the 30th highest-grossing animated film of all time.
- See also: The Incredibles Awards
The film won the Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature, beating two DreamWorks films named Shrek 2 and Shark Tale, as well as Best Sound Editing at the 77th Academy Awards. It also received nominations for Best Original Screenplay (for writer/director Brad Bird) and Best Sound Mixing (Randy Thom, Gary Rizzo, and Doc Kane). It was Pixar's first feature film to win multiple Oscars, followed in 2010 by Up. Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal called The Incredibles the year's best picture. Premiere magazine released a cross-section of all the top critics in America and The Incredibles placed at number three, whereas review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes cross-referenced reviews that suggested it was its year's highest-rated film.
The film also received the 2004 Annie Award for Best Animated Feature and the 2005 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, and it was nominated for the 2004 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. It also won the Saturn Award for Best Animated Film. The American Film Institute nominated The Incredibles for its Top 10 Animated Films list.
This film was rated PG (for action violence), the first for an animated Pixar film. The second PG rated film was Up. However, in the United Kingdom, it was rated U.
Attached Short Film
A short film, Jack-Jack Attack, was released exclusively on home video.
Several companies released promotional products related to the film. Dark Horse Comics released a limited series of comic books based on the film. Kellogg's released an Incredibles-themed cereal, as well as promotional Pop-Tarts and fruit snacks, all proclaiming an "Incrediberry Blast" of flavor. Pringles included potato chips featuring the superheroes and quotes from the film. Furthermore, in the weeks before the film's opening, there were also promotional tie-ins with SBC Communications (using Dash to promote the "blazing-fast speed" of its SBC Yahoo! DSL service), Tide, Downy, Bounce and McDonald's. Toy maker Hasbro produced a series of action figures and toys based on the film, although the line was not as successful as the film itself.
In Europe, Kinder chocolate eggs contained small plastic toy characters from the film. In Belgium, car manufacturer Opel sold special The Incredibles editions of their cars. In the United Kingdom, Telewest promoted blueyonder internet services with branding from the film, including television adverts starring characters from the film. In all merchandising outside of the film itself, Elastigirl is referred to as Mrs. Incredible. This is due to a licensing agreement between Disney·Pixar and DC Comics, who has a character named Elasti-Girl (a member of the Doom Patrol). The DC Comics character is able to grow and shrink at will from microscopic size to thousands of feet tall.
In July 2008, it was announced that a series of comic books based on the film would be published by BOOM! Studios in collaboration with Disney Publishing by the end of the year. The first miniseries by BOOM! was The Incredibles: Family Matters by Mark Waid and Marcio Takara, which was published from March to June 2009, and collected into a trade paperback published in July of that year. An ongoing series written by both Mark Waid and Landry Walker, with art by Marcio Takara and Ramanda Kamarga, began later that same year, running for sixteen issues before being cancelled in October 2010. Marvel Comics began a reprint of the series in August 2011—set to possibly finish the storyline—which was abruptly cancelled, despite the production of scripts and art for a finale.
A video game based on the film was released for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance, PC, Apple Macintosh and mobiles. Though based on the film, several key scenes are altered from the original script. A second game titled The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer was released for PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, Mac OS X, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS and Windows. Taking place immediately after the film, the sequel focuses on Mr. Incredible and Frozone as they do battle with the megalomaniacal mole, The Underminer. A third game titled The Incredibles: When Danger Calls was released for Windows and Mac OS X. It is a collection of 10 games and activities for the playable characters to perform. Another game titled Kinect Rush: A Disney/Pixar Adventure was released on March 20, 2012 for Xbox 360. It features characters and missions from five Pixar films: The Incredibles, Up, Cars, Ratatouille and Toy Story. The Incredibles characters also star in Disney Infinity, which was released in August 2013. The play set for The Incredibles is featured in the starter pack.
In 2004, when Disney owned sequel rights, they announced plans to make sequels for The Incredibles and Finding Nemo without Pixar involvement. Those plans were subsequently scrapped. When Disney acquired Pixar in 2006, the expectation was that Pixar would create more sequels and bankable franchises. Director Brad Bird stated in 2007 that he's open to the idea of an Incredibles 2 if he comes up with an idea superior to the original film. Bird says, "I have pieces that I think are good, but I don't have them all together."
On April 26, 2011, John Lasseter confirmed there's actually no work on a sequel to The Incredibles. As he said: "We love The Incredibles. We love those characters and love that world too, but there's nothing in the works right now."
In November 2011, Brad Bird stated: "To say that I've had trouble [coming up with a story] is to say that [a sequel] has been my pursuit. I haven't really been pursuing that. I've told them that I'm not really friendly to have someone else take away my child. I would like to think that I have several good ideas that could be incorporated into a next Incredibles, but I don't have a whole movie yet, and the last thing I want to do is do it just because it would open big, or something like that. I want to do it because I have something that will be as good or better than the original. Toy Story 2 was, to me, a perfect sequel, because it absolutely respected the first film but found new places to go without selling out its characters. So if I could come up with an idea that is to Incredibles that Toy Story 2 is to Toy Story, I would do it in a second."
On May 16, 2013, Brad Bird said: "I have been thinking about it. People think that I have not been, but I have. Because I love those characters and love that world. I am stroking my chin and scratching my head. I have many, many elements that I think would work really well in another [Incredibles] film, and if I can get 'em to click all together, I would probably wanna do that. I like the idea of moving a little more quickly in films. I'm looking for ways to accelerate the pace a little bit and figure out a way to keep creative control over these movies to a level where I'm comfortable with the end result but also speed them up a bit and make more of them. I have many different films I wanna make. It's like a big airplane hangar and I have different projects on the floor; half-assembled in my brain. I'm interested in all of them. You kind of have to move on the ones people are willing to pay for and the ones you're most excited about."
At the Disney shareholders meeting in March of 2014, Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger confirmed that Pixar is in pre-production on a third Cars film and another The Incredibles film, with Bird returning as writer. Later that month, Samuel L. Jackson told Digital Spy that he would likely reprise his role as Frozone in the sequel.
In April 2015, Bird revealed to NPR that he has begun writing the screenplay for the sequel. In May 2015, Bird confirmed that the Incredibles sequel would be his next film following Tomorrowland. He also stated that the movie will not reflect trends in the superhero genre since the first film's release, explaining, "I don't think that kind of idea stays interesting for very long. ... For me, the interesting thing was never the superhero part of it. It was more the family dynamic, and how do superhero things play into that." In October 2015, Disney confirmed it to be released on June 21, 2019. However, the release date was changed due to the faster progress of the sequel than Toy Story 4 and both movies release dates were swapped. It will be release in theaters June 15, 2018. A teaser trailer was released on November 18, 2017 while a sneak peak was released during the 2018 Winter Olympics. It was revealed that Helen will be the protagonist of the film while Bob will have a new challenge watching the kids while Helen will fight for Super Hero Rights.
One Pixar tradition is to create trailers for their films that do not contain footage from the released film. Trailers for this film include:
- An out-of-shape Mr. Incredible struggles to get his belt on hence, none of the Incredible Family members wear a belt in the film, and instead sport elastic waist straps.
- Another trailer for the film contains the content from the movie.
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