"The Incredibles": The Blu-ray Is Incredi- uh, The Blu-ray Is Awesome
Ah, The Incredibles. As one of Pixar’s last catalogue titles comes to Blu-ray, I find myself with the difficult task of reviewing it. The problem with a movie like this is that it is just so hard to write a review about this that doesn’t use the word ‘incredible’ when describing it. It’s like not using the word ‘fantastic’ to describe a Fantastic Four movie. If the Fantastic Four movies were actually fantastic, that is. And like Fantastic Four, The Incredibles is also a superhero movie. With The Incredibles, Pixar created a film that is loving homage to the superhero genre while also poking fun at the clichés. More than that though, they created a movie about extraordinary people who face both ordinary and extraordinary problems in a way anyone could relate to.
The Incredibles follows a family of ‘supers’ (the equivalent of meta-humans or mutants in this world) who try to fit in. The prologue describes how the supers were forced to go underground and live as ordinary citizens to avoid lawsuits: apparently, some people don’t want to be saved. So Bob Parr, previously the superhero Mr. Incredible, has adjusted to normal life with a normal job—and he can’t stand it. Bob has an urge to help people, to relive the glory days, but he knows if he does his family would have to move again. When given a chance to use his abilities by a mysterious government organization, he jump at it while still hiding it from his wife, Helen. Bob’s new job turns out not to be what it seems, and it’s up to him and his family to put an end to this newly uncovered sinister plot. Along the way, the family bonds together and works out their various issues all while saving the world (or at least their city).
The Incredibles remains the only movie I ever went to the theaters twice to see. It’s that good. Forget The Dark Knight. This is the best superhero movie ever made. What is so fantastic about The Incredibles is on how many levels it works. And there are little bits and pieces all throughout the movie, small beats, that you can only pick up on after multiple viewings. Every time I watch it I realize there was something I missed before. Brad Bird did a phenomenal job with both the script and directing. Every character goes through some sort of arc and it actually all feels completely natural. All of the characters come off as believable and this is the only superhero movie I have seen where I feel like I actually know all the characters as if they’re real people. The superb writing created a world of spandex-clad superheroes and monologuing villains and yet totally sells it. While the script certainly felt authentic, it was the animation that sold it. When Mirage frees Mr. Incredible and he begins choking her, you can actually see the and feel hate and anger in his face unlike any other animated film I’ve seen before or since. For just a moment, you believe there’s a chance he really might kill her.
The voice acting is absolutely fantastic as well. While everyone does a great job, Holly Hunter and Brad Bird really stand out. Hunter does a unbelievable job as Helen Parr/Elastigirl, notably in that scene where Helen is talking to Bob when she believes he’s having an affair, you can hear the pain in her voice. And the director, Brad Bird, as Edna … well, no one but Brad could’ve pulled off a voice like that. Speaking of Edna, it got me thinking that in one of the special features, Brad mentions that one Disney exec insisted that The Incredibles was a live-action movie. As I watched the movie I thought, “Why couldn’t this movie be live-action?” All that came to me was its because of Edna. A character like Edna would’ve been impossible to pull off believably in live-action.
Yes, okay, I’ve said it’s an unbelievable movie. What about this new Blu-ray 4-disc combo pack release though? It does not disappoint. The Incredibles is given a perfect transfer like all Pixar Blu-ray releases, and it looks absolutely beautiful. Disc one contains the film along with the shorts Jack-Jack Attack and Boundin’, not to mention two entertaining commentaries on the feature film, a commentary on Boundin’, Jack-Jack Attack Exploded (basically Jack-Jack Attack with Cine-explore commentary), and The Incredibles Revisited: Filmmaker Roundtable (similar to the Filmmakers Reflect feature on the Toy Story Blu-ray). The second disc has a neat, interactive The New Nomanisan Island Redevelopment Plan feature that advertises Syndrome’s island as a place to vacation, though it’s about as interactive as that NSA Files feature on the old DVD. The disc also includes a new Paths to Pixar featurette, a new Studio Stories featurette, a making-of for the end credits, old trailers and teasers and whatnot, and all the old content from the DVD is ported over as well, some of which, like the deleted scenes, is now in HD. They even include all the Easter eggs, but now they’re given their own section so you don’t have to hunt them down! Also included are Discs 3 and 4, which are just a DVD and digital copy of the film, respectively.
The Incredibles looks absolutely gorgeous in HD, and with all the special features ported over from the old DVD release not to mention some great new special features makes upgrading your DVD copy a no-brainer. And if you don’t own the DVD, then you should definitely get this release. Even if you don’t own a Blu-ray player, chances are you will eventually, and seeing how this comes with a DVD copy, it’s worth picking up now. The Incredibles is a movie that works on so many levels. Anyone, children and adults alike, can enjoy this movie, even for totally different reasons.
Fine, I’ll say it: The Incredibles is an incredible film.