Monday, November 08, 2004
I went and saw The Incredibles this weekend. Opening weekend brought in $70.7 million dollars.
The movie is well written, with enough to keep both grown-ups and kids enthralled. I wouldn't recommend The Incredibles for really young children though. This is not a Finding Nemo or Monsters Inc. Plenty of action and violence. What you get is a really cool super hero flick with plenty of eye-popping animation. Pixar kicks up computer animation another notch with this one.
Anyway, how can you beat super heroes facing the challenges of a mid-life crisis?
This film is definitely worth the full price of admission.
Update: Great review over at NRO by Frederica Matthewes-Green on The Incredibles. The reviewer makes some good points about the movie in the article:
Pixar sets the bar high, and this latest film sails over it like a speeding bullet. I went expecting to screen a kids' movie, but gradually the fact that I was watching an animation melted away. The wall of the theater melted away. As the plot unfolded, revealing unexpected dangers and surprises, it looked worthy of James Bond. And as the pro-family themes appeared (middle-aged boredom, temptation, fidelity), it looked worthy of James Dobson. Yes, this is a superhero action movie about the sanctity of marriage. As Mr. Incredible's daughter Violet (voiced by Sarah Vowell) tells her little brother, "Mom and Dad's life could be in danger. Or worse-their marriage!"
Most kids' entertainment is about kids. Pixar movies are about adults. They show children what adults are supposed to do — to be brave and self-sacrificing, to defend children even at risk to themselves, to give even in the face of ingratitude. This is wise because, after all, children aren't going to remain children. Just as we encourage them daily to grow in the practical skills of adulthood, they'll need these kind of skills too if they are going to be faithful, responsible spouses and parents.
Many kids sitting in theater seats don't have a daddy like Nemo's, who would go to the end of the ocean to save their lives. They don't have a daddy like Dash and Violet's, who can be crushed only by the thought that he has lost them, and whose strength rebounds instantly when he learns they need his help. These kids don't have daddy-figures like Woody and Mike and Sullivan, who love and guard the children who enter their care. They don't have a daddy like that, but one day they may be a daddy like that, or have a clear idea of the kind of future daddy they need to marry. If this is all that Pixar has done, it has done a most eminent thing.
Update: Dark Horse is also releasing a comic book version of The Incredibles. The first issue of a four part series will be on shelves on November 10th. I was a little disappointed to see that this title is an adaptation of the movie. I was hoping for an ongoing original series. Depending on sales and interest, maybe Dark Horse will start a monthly title.