{2jtab: Movie Review}

The Incredibles - Blu-ray Review


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4 stars

Connecting more with the anguish and anxiety of age rather than the concerns a child might feel, The Incredibles flexes its muscles as Pixar’s grand attempt (an experiment of sorts that led to the adult-themes in Up and Finding Nemo) to engage all audiences regardless of the limitations of age and still tell a great story.  The kids could easily sit this one out at times, but that’s not this tale’s grand design.  It is still engaging to them and moments of energy and laughter will keep those little ones more focused.  Perhaps the greatest achievement of this movie is that without ever insulting its audience The Incredibles provides quality entertainment for the entire family.

In the world of The Incredibles all the superheroes, for lack of a better word, have been “grounded” by lawsuits filed by folks who didn’t want saving or witnessed the destruction created by their efforts to stop their villains.  Essentially, the adult world outgrew their need for heroes and turned their backs on them.  All of them.

Bob Parr (voice by Craig T. Nelson) was once Mr. Incredible, but these days he sits behind a desk working as an insurance adjuster.  He’s out of shape and depressed by his allegiance to his alter ego.  No longer is he incredible.  He isn’t even average.  He’s one of us…or at least trying to be.  His wife Helen, once known as Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) is only too comfortable to be a stay-at-home-mother while their kids - daughter Violet (Sarah Vowell) and son Dash (Spencer Fox) – want to explore their powers and see what makes them so different from their peers.  Sometimes they do cheat a little and test the bounds to see what they can get away with.

Yet, domesticity is not Mr. Incredible’s idea of Nirvana.  And so he strays from time to time with Lucius "Frozone" Best (Samuel L. Jackson) and performs small feats of heroics under the unsuspecting eyes of the world.  Yet, he’s being watched.  Enter a mysterious woman (Elizabeth Peña) who offers Mr. Incredible a chance to “suit up” and be the hero he was always meant to be.  Only it’s a trap planned out by Syndrome (Jason Lee), a figure from his past that has his raygun set on revenge.

Written and directed by Brad Bird, the nuances and fully explored backstories of the script wonderfully play to his strengths for incorporating an engaging narrative around fully developed characters.  Check out The Iron Giant if you seek further proof of his knack for character.  It might be animation, but the humanity of his characters is always first and foremost; the rest – including the superhero stuff - is just costumed theatrics.  Ignore that stuff while you watch this one, please, because what’s important to the story doesn’t go ‘BOOM!’ over and over again.

Still, if you listen to Michael Giacchino’s accompanying score, you’ll hear a different movie; one built around explosions and flying superheroes that get their capes caught in airplane engines.  It’s loud and sweeping and then it’s lush and romantic in jazzy undertones.  It’s very John Barry (007) in tone and knowing Giacchino’s knack for recreating familiar textures without copying melodies, I feel perfectly secure in suggesting to you that the framework of his score to The Incredibles has to be Barry’s score to You Only Live Twice and possibly Diamonds Are Forever.  Yet, it works and brings forth the spirit of excitement that, due to the film’s somewhat perplexing pacing issues, is sometimes missing in Bird’s film.

And that’s the only issue with this film.  Pacing.  That’s it.  Because this is the grand experiment of narrative structure hinging more toward adults, The Incredibles has moments where its sharpness can’t produce enough wit to keep everyone with eyes glued to the screen.  Moments seem repetitive and unnecessary because of what is firmly established in the beginning of the movie.  In spite of this (or maybe because of this fact), The Incredibles is a film that is, at once, familiar and classic to audiences who celebrate all things Pixar.  In no way shape or form is this as strong as what is currently being issued by the studio, but it certainly isn’t a far from the mark.


{2jtab: Film Info}

The Incredibles - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: PG for action violence.
: Brad Bird
: Brad Bird
Holly Hunter; Craig T. Nelson; Samuel L. Jackson; Jason Lee; Teddy Newton
: Animated | Family
On November 5th Expect The Incredible
Memorable Movie Quote: "Behold, the Underminer! I'm always beneath you, but nothing is beneath me! I hereby declare war on peace and happiness! Soon, all will tremble before me! "
Buena Vista Pictures
Release Date:
November 5, 2004
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
April 12, 2011

Synopsis: THE INCREDIBLES follows the adventures of a family of former superheroes who are rediscovering the true source of their powers—in one another. Once one of the world’s top masked crime fighters, Bob Parr (a.k.a. Mr. Incredible) fought evil and saved lives on a daily basis. But 15 years later, he and his wife Helen (the former Elastigirl) have been forced to take on civilian identities and retreat to the suburbs. Today they, and all superheroes, live as mere mortals. Bob and Helen lead all-too-ordinary lives with their children, Violet and Dashiell “Dash” Parr, who go out of their way to appear “normal,” and new baby Jack-Jack As a clock-punching insurance man, the only thing Bob fights these days is boredom and a bulging waistline. Itching for action, the sidelined superhero gets his chance when a mysterious communication summons him to a remote island for a top-secret assignment. Now, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, the family must come together and once again find the fantastic in their family life.


{2jtab: Blu-ray Details}

The Incredibles - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

5 Stars

Blu-ray Experience
4.5 stars


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - April 12, 2011
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
: English SDH, French, Spanish; English SDH, French, Spanish (less)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 ES Matrix; French: Dolby Digital 5.1 EX; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 EX; English: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Four-disc set (2 BDs, 2 DVDs); Digital copy (on disc); DVD copy
Packaging: Slipcover in original pressing

Disney's 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer truly packs a WAM! BAM wallop to your home theatre set-up.  The colors on this are vivid and soar with dominant reds and greens.  Lava bubbles on-screen in thick chunks of atmosphere and the jungle is alive with sights and noise.  There is a lack of detail that is missing from the early Pixar releases – detail that is now expertly rendered in their newer stuff – and The Incredibles only suffers a bit from this lack of specification.  Still, what works the best on this release is the bone-crunching sound emitted from the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 ES surround track that accompanies the disc.  Even on the lowest volume setting, the ground still shakes with heavy bass and kicks with a good dynamic range.



There are two commentaries available to viewers.

  • The first and most extensive of the two is provided by Director Brad Bird and producer John Walker.  The two deconstruct the film, giving viewers a run-down of the characters and the world that surrounds them.  This is one of the best Pixar commentaries to have been commissioned for inclusion on a blu-ray release.
  • The second one is from the animators - Tony Fucile, Steven Hunter and Alan Barillaro, Gini Santos, David DeVan, Jureha Yokoo, Dave Mullins, John Kahrs, Robert Russ, Angus MacLane, Travis Hathaway, Doug Frankel and Peter Sohn – and, while there are a lot of folks involved, the track manages to be somewhat coherent.

Special Features:

Let’s see, 4 discs (two of which are BR) and a digital copy of the film?  You better believe the supplemental material is in abundance here.  Disney does not disappoint.  With hour long ‘Making Of’ features and animated background featurettes, these discs run the gamut of filmmaking coverage.  The best, however, is the round table discussion which features the filmmakers discussing what went right and what went wrong with the film.  Highly charged and engaged!  That feature alone is worth the price of admission!  Yet, there is so much more.  Not only are the original supplementals from the DVD ported over to this release, but all the Easter Eggs are, too.  No more hunting.  They are all included and labeled.

The breakdown of supplemental material is as follows:

  • The Incredibles Revisited (22 min) - A roundtable discussion with Writer/Director Brad Bird, Producer John Walker, Story Supervisor Mark Andrews, Supervising Technical Director Rick Sayre, Production Designer Lou Romano, Character Designer Teddy Newton, and Supervising Animator Tony Fucile.
  • Boundin' w/ Optional Commentary (5 min)
  • Jack-Jack Attack w/ Optional Commentary (5 min)
  • Five Deleted Scenes w/ Optional Commentary (35 min)
  • Paths to Pixar: Story Artists (6 min) - Continuing the popular bonus feature series that viewers have seen on many other Disney/Pixar releases, this exciting new feature showcases multiple Pixar story artists giving viewers exciting insight into their work, their inspiration and the personal paths that eventually led them to a career at Pixar.
  • Studio Stories: Gary's Birthday (2 min) - Trying to make a movie when there are not enough work days and too many birthday parties? This feature showcases how The Incredibles crew solved that problem.
  • Ending with a Bang: Making the End Credits (2 min) - Interview with Director of Photography Andy Jimenez and Character Designer Teddy Newton about the process of creating the end credits for the film.
  • Making of The Incredibles (27 min)
  • Original DVD Content (70 min)
  • DVD Easter Eggs (14 min)
  • Publicity/Character Interviews (14 min)
  • Interactive Art Gallery
  • The New Nomanisan: A Top Secret Redevelopment Plan - A guided tour of Nomanisan Island, post-Syndrome, pitching the island as a vacation resort paradise.
  • The Incredibles Teaser
  • Movie Voucher for Cars 2
  • DVD Copy
  • Digital Copy


{2jtab: Trailer}