Celebrating Great Films

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Incredibles

The Incredibles#80 at time of writing.

Pixar are a phenomenon. They blasted into the box office with Toy Story, redefining what could be done with computer animation. They followed it up with A Bug's Life, which was at least as good as DreamWorks' contemporary computer-animated ant movie (what are the odds?), Antz. Then, against all odds, they outdid the first Toy Story film with its sequel. For an encore, they produced Monsters, Inc. - a triumph of imaginative comedy.

That's when they pulled out the big guns. Finding Nemo was mind-blowing. Beautiful, touching, hilarious, epic... and absolutely impossible to follow.

The trailers for The Incredibles aroused excitement and cynicism in equal measure. Yay! Another Pixar film! But superheroes? Surely they've lost their touch after a lucky run. Surely after their first five near-perfect films they'll slip up, or lose momentum.

Couldn't be more wrong. The Incredibles is just that. Incredible.

The sheer number and variety of characters, scenes and textures raises the bar sky-high for computer animated films. The idea is simple enough: a family of undercover superheroes, while trying to live the quiet suburban life, are forced into action to save the world. But the result is sublime. A supremely comic and stunningly imaginative blend of the mundane and the fantastic. It makes me want to get up from my seat and dance. Or double over laughing. Or shed a gooey sentimental tear.

This summer, Pixar's seventh feature film will be released, Cars. Yay! Another Pixar film! But cars? Surely they've lost their touch after a lucky run...

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