Call me skeptical, but when I first saw the ads for The Incredibles, I was quite sure that it wouldn't be a film my family would be seeing. My imagination concocted all kinds of unsavory scenarios that could be included in such a film. So, when I began hearing positive reports from friends who had taken their children to see this computer-animated film, I was surprised and encouraged.
My sons (then ages 4 and 9) went with a friend to see the film last year and sang its praises when they returned home. However, I didn't have a chance to view this wonderful movie until March 6, when I took all four of my children (ages 10, 8, 5, and nearly 3) to see it at the local bargain theatre.
I was blown away by this movie. Original storyline, sophisticated animation, family values, genuinely funny jokes - everything combines to create a truly outstanding film!
Mr. Incredible and his wife Elastigirl, along with their 3 children, are in the superheroes equivalent of the witness protection program. They live undercover in the suburbs, with Mrs. Incredible being a stay-at-home mom and Mr. Incredible working for a huge impersonal insurance company. Their previous life as superheroes is relegated to the past, although they often look upon it with nostalgia. Their 2 oldest children both have superpowers as well, but they are forced to keep them hidden, so the family can remain anonymous. Of course, circumstances come about that require the family to resume their role as protectors of humanity. The way this takes shape is amusing and exciting.
My kids were on the edge of their seats. Suzy, my nearly 3 year old, was experiencing her first movie in a theatre (other than the ones she attended as an infant-in-arms). She was enthralled and sat very still for the first hour and 20 minutes. The remainder of the movie found her quite wiggly but still very interested in the film and she did not create a disturbance. All of the kids are enamoured with the film and we plan to buy it when it comes out on DVD this week.
The storyline is something I would never have come up with and one I have not seen before. The plot twists were often unanticipated by my kids and even I was often surprised. The characters were believable and interesting. We care about Mr. Incredible's ethical dilemma at work, we feel for Mrs. Incredible as she realizes what her husband has done, we can feel the anger of the kids at having to pretend to be something they aren't. The kids fight like real siblings and the parents have disagreements, but real love for one another as well. The core family - mom, dad, 3 kids - is something that is becoming rarer and rarer in films and I was very pleased to see it here.
The animation is stunning! The scenery alone is gorgeous, but the characters are enjoyable to watch as well. Although definitely cartoonish in body style, they move realistically and their movements are smooth and pleasing to the eye. The characters are voiced beautifully as well. Holly Hunter as Mrs. Incredible was particularly noteworthy, investing her character with real emotion and strong femininity.
The underlying themes of the film are worth talking about. Be who you are created to be! Family is important! Keep trying even when things look hopeless! All these and more are the messages that can be brought out through the movie.
This is a humorous, meaningful, and well-crafted movie that I am so happy to have seen on the big screen. A great addition to any DVD collection, this film is well worth your time and perhaps repeated viewings!