The Incredibles isn’t just one of Pixar’s strongest films, it’s one of the best superhero movies full stop. Here’s why…
5. The Tone
A number of superhero films fall at the first hurdle by not managing to carve out a consistent tone. The Incredibles, however, is one of those rare movies that can flip between humour, action and pretty dark drama without breaking itself. The scene where Mr Incredible thinks his family are dead is one of the darkest in any Pixar movie and it just so happens to occur in a film that is mostly about colourful heroes.
4. The Heroes
The Parrs are an ingenious satire of the archetypal family dynamic (the dad is the strong man, the mum stretches herself thin…). Together they have just as loveable a team dynamic as The Avengers, and one that is better than most X-Men films. Fans even often call it the only good Fantastic Four movie, due to the similarities with Marvel’s First Family. It’s true – if only those films would take inspiration from here.
3. The Villain
But what is a hero without a nemesis? Syndrome is a terrific Bond villain of a superhero bad guy – with faceless henchman and an evil base on a tropical island. He’s not two-dimensionally evil though – Mr Incredible did treat him pretty poorly as a kid. Also, he might just be in the right. While The Incredibles seem to believe that power equals better, the spurned Incrediboy is just trying to prove that ordinary people can be super – in his own maniacal way.
2. Brad Bird
Perhaps what makes The Incredibles so great is that it was a deeply personal labour of love for director Brad Bird (who also voices fashion designer Edna Mode). Bird has said how he concocted the film by blending together his favourite things as a child – Saturday morning cartoons, comic books, spy movies – with his adult responsibilities as a husband and father. The result is a superhero film that literally has something for all the family.
1. It’s Pixar!
Apart from their state of the art CG animation, what really makes Pixar stand out from other movie studios is that their films always put story first. Therefore, the chief reason The Incredibles is so good is because it wasn’t primarily made to make money as, let’s face it, many superhero films are. Instead, it was made because they had a great story to tell and a fresh stamp on the genre. For once, the adjective in the title (is Amazing Spider-Man really amazing?) actually describes it.