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16 January 2005



Go out of your way to see the Incredibles. It's indescribably brilliant(ok, not true: I've described its brilliance lots of times. But I'm at a loss for adjectives right now). It's got every single element of a superhero film and a family-relationship film, while also satirizing and paying homage to both.


[From the Melbourne Airport]

The Incredibles is good fun, but it's no masterpiece -- better than Nemo, which I didn't like, but nowhere near Monsters Inc., which I loved.

I can't wait for Pixar to break away from Disney. They're still making very Disney-esque moral tales. [Which is what Monsters as well, of course, but it's my perogative to be contadictory.]


I don't think Pixar ever top Monsters Inc for me, personally, but The Incredibles is a pretty fine piece of writing/directing/animating (and which, incidentally, I think breaks away from their already established buddy movie format -- already un-Disney like to begin with, Matt, when you really think about it -- and steps into pleasantly mature territory). Although Filmbrain has already mentioned his aversion to colorful leotards, I'd still wholeheartedly recommend he sees it. Speaking of which, does anyone else hate Shrek 2 as much as I do?

I'd agree about Kevin Spacey getting that Beyond The Sea nod; and even if the movie is a mess, I still say it's more interesting than Ray. Better a fascinating trainwreck than a by-the-numbers bore, no?


I loved Monsters Inc and both Toy Story films more than Finding Nemo, but I would agree with Peter that The Incredibles is a masterpiece, even better than Monsters Inc. It integrated animated filmmaking with personal, meaningful, and emotional storytelling to a degree that surpassed all the previous Pixar films, and it's the little touches in character that really set it apart. Simple things like Violet's gaining the courage to push the hair out of her face or that great posed moment of teamwork when the whole family bands together to become a stronger force than Mr. Incredible could have ever dreamed made The Incredibles a more fulfilling experience for me. Some of the ideas may have been simple, but they were executed perfectly and fit with the overall tone of the film. None of this diminishes the quality of the other Pixar films; rather it's an expression of just how great an achievement was made with The Incredibles.


For a humourous little Incredibles-related tidbit from David [Hudson] and myself, click here.

David Hudson

And speaking of the overall tone, the look is, well, incredible. Which brings up the brilliance of Brad Bird. Dvd echoes my own thoughts as far as seeing The Incredibles as the beginning of the de-Disneyfication of Pixar, Matt - thanks, no doubt, in no small measure to Bird.

With Nemo, Pixar really was starting to sink into the formulaic trap laid by overwhelming success. Bird brings a fresh level of sophistication (though maybe not quite the level achieved by The Iron Giant?), which'll probably result in The Incredibles not breaking the global box office records Nemo did - but the Pixar people do seem sharp enough to realize that, after the first couple of hundred million in profits, one can afford to choose the route of genuine style and quality.


As great as Monsters Inc was, and as groundbreaking and fun as the Toy Story films were, I'll still vote for Incredibles as Pixar's best every time. Maybe it's the long-dormant comic-book geek in me, or the way the film wrestled with some heavy issues about growing older or being "special." But I still think it's their most accomplished effort, and they managed to improve on the comic book form better with Incredibles than they did on the Monster-movie form with Monsters.

Rodney Welch

I'm impressed to learn that I'm not the only one who has seen Nuts in May -- but the idea that Alison Steadman's performance in that sharp litle farce beats Imelda Staunton's work in Vera Drake ... oh come on, you're blowing smoke. The challenge wasn't as great and the result is not as interesting.


I think it's very possible that I'm too much connecting the roll with the film. As a huge Mike Leigh fan, I found Vera Drake lacking in dramatic tension. The first half was perfect. But the second. . .? Other than a few vocal protestations from the son, the family stood behind her 100%. This is not how things usually play out in his films, and I guess I missed that.

Not being an actor, I can't comment on how great the challenge was. How is that measured? I find Alison Steadman to be an incredible actress, and so versatile!

Rodney Welch

I'm not an actor either, but come on. Alison Steadman in 1971 was playing someone her own age and in her own era, and I somehow doubt that the mousy character in the movie was, let's say, a great huge enormous leap for her. Staunton played older and, I suspect, a much different character from herself, set in a whole different era. That's why I think the challenge was greater.


I remember when Maggie Cheung appeared at the New York Film Festival with In the Mood for Love. At the Q&A following the film, an excited spectator went on and on about how much research she must have done to get into her character -- how women behaved back then, spoke, etc. Maggie's reply was along the lines of "No, none at all. It's just acting."

Actors are usually playing characters different from themselves (or at least I hope they are!)

Rodney Welch

There's different and way different, challenges and great challenges, and that's why I give Staunton higher marks. Her performance seemed to me a bigger stretch than most of what was out there -- and a bigger one than what Alison was doing 30 years ago.

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