- “Save the Day. November 5.”
The Incredibles is a 2004 American computer-animated comedy superhero film about a family of superheroes who are forced to hide their powers. It is Pixar's sixth animated feature film. It was written and directed by Brad Bird, a former director and executive consultant of The Simpsons, and was produced by Pixar and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.
The starring voices are Craig T. Nelson as Bob Parr; Holly Hunter as his wife Helen Parr; Sarah Vowell as their teenage daughter Violet; Spencer Fox as their young son Dash; Jason Lee as the supervillain Syndrome; Samuel L. Jackson as Frozone; and Elizabeth Peña as Syndrome's beautiful assistant, Mirage. Bob's yearning to help people draws the entire Parr family into a battle with the villain Syndrome and his killer robot the Omnidroid.
The film received widespread critical acclaim and won the 2004 Annie Award for Best Animated Feature, along with two 2004 Academy Awards, including Best Animated Feature and Best Sound Editing. It also received nominations for two other Academy Awards, won the Saturn Award for Best Animated Film, and became the first entirely animated film to win the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. It was also nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the 2004 Golden Globes. The film was a box office success, grossing $633 million worldwide against its $92 million budget. The Incredibles also marked Pixar's first film to be rated PG, due to its action violence and darker tone.
"Supers", humans gifted with superpowers, were once seen as heroes, but collateral damage and injuries from their various good deeds led the government to quietly create and initiate a Supers Relocation Program, forcing the Supers to fit in among the civilians and not use their superpowers in exchange for anonymity.
15 years later, Bob and Helen are supers and formerly known to the world as Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl. Mr. Incredible has super strength and Elastigirl is able to stretch such a long distance to reach places nobody else could. Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl get married and raised three children, Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack, in the suburbs of Metroville. Since Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl have superpowers, Violet and Dash also have innate superpowers; Violet being able to create force fields and turn invisible, and Dash able to run at a very fast speed, but the baby Jack-Jack has not yet to show any. Bob, stuck in a white-collar job at an insurance agency, berated unfairly daily by his boss Mr. Huph, reminisces of his former days as Mr. Incredible, and sneaks out on Wednesday nights with his Superfriend, Lucius Best, aka Frozone (having the ability to freeze the moisture in the air), to fight street crime.
One day, Bob loses his temper with his boss who refuses to let him foil a mugging, and hurls him through five walls and into a locker, exposing his super strength and losing his job as a result. Returning home whilst trying to figure out what to tell Helen, he finds a message from a woman named Mirage, who asks for Mr. Incredible's help to stop a rogue robot on a distant island for an incredible reward. Bob, claiming that he is going on a business trip to Helen, takes up Mirage's offer, and travels to the island of Nomanisan in a jet with Mirage. She explains to him that the robot is called an Omnidroid, a top-secret prototype battle robot, able to solve any problem it is confronted with. The only unfortunate problem was its intelligence reached a point where it wondered why it was taking orders, and now it is wreaking havoc in the dense jungle.
Mr. Incredible is then airdropped into Nomanisan, explores around and then encounters the Omnidroid. After a fight, Bob emerges victorious by tricking it into ripping out its own power source. On his return to Metroville, Bob spends his days working out, improving his family relationships with Helen and the kids, and getting back into shape. He takes his super suit, torn in the battle with Omnidroid, to Edna Mode, the fashion designer to the Supers, and asks her to repair it. She does so, and also insists on creating a new, better super suit for him. She refuses his request to add a cape, though, highlighting how the accessory doomed several other Supers in the past by getting caught on a variety of things, such as the fin of a missile and a vortex.
Mirage soon contacts Bob with another job on the island. On arriving, he finds an upgraded Omnidroid who starts to attack him. While trapped by the robot, he meets its creator, the technology-savvy supervillain Syndrome. Bob recognizes him as a young fan, Buddy Pine, an enthusiastic and eccentric young inventor who wanted to be Mr. Incredible's sidekick 15 years prior to the present day, but Mr. Incredible embarrassed him when sending him back to his home. Syndrome vowed revenge for this shunning, and as he brags about how he has won, Mr. Incredible throws a log at him. Syndrome dodges the log and immobilizes Mr. Incredible with his zero-point energy ray. After throwing using the zero-point energy ray to throw Mr. Incredible around in order to show his power over the superhero, Syndrome accidentally throws him over a waterfall and into a river. Syndrome sends a bomb to kill Mr. Incredible and sends a probe to ensure that Mr. Incredible has been killed.
Mr. Incredible manages to fake his death and hide from the probe, discovering the body of a former Super and friend, Gazerbeam. During this moment he discovers that Gazerbeam, in the final moments of his life, had used his powers to inscribe the word "KRONOS" into the cave wall in front of him. His curiosity aroused, Mr. Incredible breaks into Syndrome's base and finds a computer, outlining Syndrome's past work to identify the civilian identities of former Supers and secretly luring them to their deaths by fighting the Omnidroid, improving it in every way after every fatal battle. Although Lucius has been identified as Frozone, Bob is relieved to discover that Helen has not yet been identified in Syndrome's database as Elastigirl. He then types in Kronos and this reveals that it is, in fact, a codename for a master plan whereby the most powerful Omnidroid Syndrome he has would be unleashed upon every city in the world.
Meanwhile, Helen has become suspicious of Bob having an affair. After discovering Bob's repaired suit, she talks to Edna and learns she created suits for the entire Parr family, each outfitted with a tracking device. Helen triggers Bob's, identifying the remote island but inadvertently revealing Bob's presence to Syndrome and causing him to be captured. Helen borrows a private jet from an old friend and travels to the island, disappointed to learn that Violet and Dash have stowed away while leaving Jack-Jack at home with a babysitter. As they near the island, Syndrome gives an order to terminate them by hitting the plane with missiles. Elastigirl uses her superpower to save her children from the exploding jet, and they safely make it ashore.
Elastigirl, Violet, and Dash take shelter during that night in a cave and Elastigirl (after giving them masks to protect their identity and making them promise to use their powers if threatened), runs off to Syndrome's lair. She sneaks in and after prowling around (one point being that she found a massive rocket) rescues Mr. Incredible from his cell. Violet and Dash meanwhile then find out that the cave they are in is, in fact, an exhaust tunnel for the rocket launch and have to spend the night in the jungle.
The next morning they encounter a talking bird, which is, in fact, a robotic alarm, this attracts the attention of the guards and they pursue them on high-speed Velocipods. Violet and Dash manage to defeat all of them (combining Violet's powerful force field with Dash's super speed), and they soon reunite with Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl. The family works together to face off against and defeat several guards that had been chasing Dash and Violet. They are soon captured by Syndrome, who immobilizes Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl with one zero-point energy ray and simultaneously immobilizes Violet and Dash with another. Syndrome sees that the family is wearing matching super suits, and is then surprised to find that Mr. Incredible married Elastigirl and had kids with her, remarking that he had hit the jackpot by capturing a whole family of Supers.
Upon imprisoning the whole family in his containment unit in order to keep them from interfering with his plan, Syndrome explains that he has launched the perfected Omnidroid to Metroville, which has sent the city into chaos, upon which he will appear and using a control band, "subdue" the robot and become the city's hero. Then once Syndrome has become an old retiree, he plans to sell his advanced inventions to everybody, making them Super and thereby making the term obsolete. He departs in his aircraft to stop the Omnidroid. After his departure, Violet discovers that her force field can sever her magnetic bonds and frees the rest of the family, and with Mirage's help, they board a second rocket bound for the city.
In Metroville, the Omnidroid has started a path of destruction, and Syndrome enacts his plan, first saving a woman and her baby from a petrol tanker tossed by the Omnidroid, then faking a punch whilst pressing a button to detach one of the robot's arms, much to the people's cheers. However the Omnidroid is still a learning robot: it identifies where the external control source is, observes the control band and fires it off Syndrome's arm, then shoots at Syndrome's in-built rocket boosters, sending the villain flying into a building and knocking him unconscious while the robot continues to wreck the city.
The Incredibles and Frozone, who starts seeing the ensuing attack, work together to destroy it: the robot attempts to flatten Violet and Dash but Mr. Incredible just manages to save them, though he is thrown into a building afterward. He then charges back and tackles the Omnidroid with Frozone helping as well. He then finds Syndrome's wristband, realizing that it controls the robot, and (after being clawed in by the robot but being released upon pressing a random button) throws it to Dash, who races to get it with the Omnidroid firing at him and trapping him amongst burning cars. Elastigirl slingshots a manhole cover and destroys the laser, whilst Frozone rescues Dash. The robot then vaults itself into the air and nearly crushes Frozone and Dash, but he manages to freeze the air around them and cushions their fall. The remote is then knocked away; Mr. Incredible runs to get it only to be trapped in the Omnidroid's fired pincer. Violet then recovers it whilst invisible and after much confusion, Mr. Incredible soon realizes from remembering his battle with the first robot that the only thing that can penetrate it is itself. He directs Elastigirl to use the right controls and releases the powered-up pincer, which surges through and comes out the Omnidroid with its power source. It falls mundanely into the river and explodes, which causes the city welcomes the Incredibles and Frozone as heroes. As they are driven back to their home, Elastigirl anxiously calls the babysitter and learns that Syndrome, having regained consciousness, has abducted Jack-Jack.
Arriving at home, Syndrome immobilizes the Incredibles with his zero-point energy ray, explaining that he plans on kidnapping Jack-Jack and raising him as his sidekick so that Jack-Jack can fight the Incredibles someday. As Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl launch a rescue attempt, Jack-Jack reveals his powers of transformation, forcing Syndrome to drop him into Elastigirl's waiting arms. Bob hurls his sports car at Syndrome, causing him to fall in the aircraft turbine, where his cape gets caught in the engine, killing him. The ruined plane crashes into the Parrs' home, but Violet is able to protect the family from harm. Three months later, the Parrs have re-adjusted to normal life, but when a new villain, the Underminer, appears, the Incredibles, including Jack-Jack, don their masks, ready to battle the new foe.
- Craig T. Nelson as Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible, possessing super-strength and near invulnerability
- Holly Hunter as Helen Parr/Elastigirl, able to stretch her body up to 100 meters and to a thickness of 1 mm
- Spencer Fox as Dash Parr, gifted with incredible speed
- Sarah Vowell as Violet Parr, who possesses the ability to turn invisible and create a force field around herself
- Jason Lee as Buddy Pine/Incrediboy/Syndrome, who has no superpowers of his own but uses advanced technology to give himself equivalent abilities. He is the main antagonist of the film
- Samuel L. Jackson as Lucius Best/Frozone, Bob's best friend, who has the ability to form ice from the humidity in the air
- Eli Fucile and Maeve Andrews as Jack-Jack Parr, the Parrs' infant third child, who initially shows no powers but eventually reveals himself to have a wide range of abilities
- Elizabeth Peña as Mirage, Syndrome's agent who lures Supers to the island but later helps the Incredibles
- Brad Bird as Edna Mode, the fashion designer for the Supers
- Bud Luckey as Rick Dicker, the government agent overseeing the relocation program
- Wallace Shawn as Gilbert Huph, Bob's boss at his white-collar insurance job
- John Ratzenberger as The Underminer, a new villain that appears at the end of the film
- Dominique Louis as Bomb Voyage, a villain from the past that used Buddy's interference in Mr. Incredible's heroism to escape
- Michael Bird as Tony Rydinger, a popular boy at Violet's school who develops a crush on Violet
- Jean Sincere as Mrs. Hogenson, an elderly woman who seeks help from Mr. Incredible for an insurance claim
- Kimberly Adair Clark as Honey Best, Frozone's wife
- Bret Parker as Kari McKeen, Jack-Jack's babysitter
- Lou Romano as Bernie Kropp, Dash's teacher
- Wayne Canney as John Walker, the principal of Dash's school
The Incredibles as a concept dates back to 1993 when Bird sketched the family during a period in which he tried to break into film. Personal issues had percolated into the story as they weighed on him in life. During this time, Bird had inked a production deal with Warner Bros. Animation and was in the process of directing his first feature The Iron Giant. Bird, who was then in his late thirties, began to wonder, with a measure of fear, about the conflict between career and family responsibilities.
Approaching middle age and having high aspirations for his film-making, he pondered whether these aspirations were attainable only at the price of his family life. He felt that he would completely fail at one if he focused too much on the other. He stated, "Consciously, this was just a funny movie about superheroes. But I think that what was going on in my life definitely filtered into the movie." After the box office failure of The Iron Giant, Bird was heartsick and gravitated toward his superhero story.
- “The dad is always expected in the family to be strong, so I made him strong. The moms are always pulled in a million different directions, so I made her stretch like taffy. Teenagers, particularly teenage girls, are insecure and defensive, so I made her turn invisible and turn on shields. And ten-year-old boys are hyperactive energy balls. Babies are unrealized potential.”
- ―Brad Bird, writer and director of The Incredibles
He imagined it as an homage to the 1960s comic books and spy films from his boyhood and he initially tried to develop it as a traditionally animated film. When The Iron Giant became a box office bomb (due to poor marketing on behalf of Warner Bros.), he reconnected with an old friend from college John Lasseter at Pixar in March 2000 and pitched his story idea to him. Bird and Lasseter knew each other from their college years at CalArts in the 1970s. Lasseter was sold on the idea and convinced Bird to come to Pixar, where the film would be done in computer animation. The studio announced a multi-film contract with Bird on May 4, 2000.
This broke Pixar's mold of having directors who had all risen through the ranks, and Bird became the first outside director to be hired. In addition, it would be the company's first film in which all characters are human. Bird was a departure from other Pixar directors in many more ways, bringing an auteur approach not found in their earlier productions. Where Pixar films typically had two or three directors and a battalion of screenwriters, The Incredibles was written and directed solely by Brad Bird.
Bird came to Pixar with the lineup of the story's family members worked out: a mom and dad, both suffering through the dad's midlife crisis; a shy teenage girl; a cocky ten-year-old boy; and a baby. Bird had based their powers on family archetypes. After several failed attempts to cast Edna Mode, Bird took on her voice role himself. It was an extension of the Pixar custom of tapping in-house staff whose voices came across particularly well on scratch dialogue tracks. During production, Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli visited Pixar and saw the film's story reels. When Bird asked if the reels made any sense or if they were just "American nonsense," Miyazaki replied, through an interpreter, "I think it's a very adventurous thing you are trying to do in an American film."
AnimationUpon Pixar's acceptance of the project, Brad Bird was asked to bring in his own team for the production. He brought up a core group of people he worked with on The Iron Giant. Because of this, many 2-D artists had to make the shift to 3-D, including Bird himself. Bird found working with CG "wonderfully malleable" in a way that traditional animation is not, calling the camera's ability to easily switch angles in a given scene "marvelously adaptable." He found working in computer animation difficult in a different way than working traditionally, finding the software sophisticated and not particularly friendly.
Bird wrote the script without knowing the limitations or concerns that went hand-in-hand with the medium of computer animation. As a result, this was to be the most complex film for Pixar yet. The film's characters were designed by Tony Fucile and Teddy Newton, whom Bird had brought with him from Warner Bros. Like most computer-animated films, The Incredibles had a year-long period of building the film from the inside out: modeling the exterior and understanding controls that work face and body — the articulation of the character — before animation could even begin. Bird and Fucile tried to emphasize the graphic quality of good 2-D animation to the Pixar team, who'd only worked primarily in CG. Bird attempted to incorporate teaching from Disney's Nine Old Men that the crew at Pixar had "never really emphasized."
For the technical crew members, the film's human characters posed a difficult set of challenges. Bird's story was filled with elements that were difficult to animate with CGI at the time. Humans are widely considered to be the most difficult thing to execute in animation. Pixar animators filmed themselves walking in order to better grasp proper human motion. Creating an all-human cast required creating new technology to animate detailed human anatomy, clothing and realistic skin and hair. Although the technical team had some experience with hair and cloth in Monsters, Inc. (2001), the amount of hair and cloth required for The Incredibles had never been done by Pixar until this point.
Moreover, Bird would tolerate no compromises for the sake of technical simplicity. Where the technical team on Monsters, Inc. had persuaded director Pete Docter to accept pigtails on Boo to make her hair easier to animate, the character of Violet had to have long hair that obscured her face; it was integral to her character. Violet's long hair was extremely difficult to achieve and for the longest time during production, it was not possible. In addition, animators had to adapt to having hair underwater and blowing through the wind. Disney was initially reluctant to make the film because of these issues, feeling a live-action film would be preferable, though Lasseter vetoed this.
The Incredibles not only dealt with the trouble of animating CG humans, but also many other complications. The story was bigger than any prior story at the studio, was longer in running time, and had four times the number of locations. Supervising technical director Rick Sayre noted that the hardest thing about the film was that there was "no hardest thing," alluding to the amount of new technical challenges: fire, water, air, smoke, steam, and explosions were all additional to the new difficulty of working with humans.
The film's organizational structure could not be mapped out like previous Pixar features, and it became a running joke to the team. Sayre said the team adopted "Alpha Omega", where one team was concerned with building modeling, shading and layout and another that dealt with final camera, lighting, and effects. Another team, dubbed the character team, digitally sculpted, rigged and shaded the characters, and a simulation team was responsible for developing simulation technology for hair and clothing. There were 781 visual effects shots in the film and they were quite often the gag, such as the shattering when Bob angrily shuts the car door. In addition, the effects team improved upon the modeling of clouds, being able to model them for the first time with volumetric rendering.
The skin of the characters gained a new level of realism from a technology to produce what is known as "subsurface scattering." The challenges did not stop with modeling humans. Bird decided that in a shot near the film's end, baby Jack-Jack would undergo a series of transformations, and in one of the five planned he would turn himself into a kind of goo. Technical directors believed it would take upwards of two months to work out the goo effect, and production was at a point where two months of their time was indescribably precious. They petitioned to the film's producer John Walker for help. Bird, who had brought Walker over from Warner Bros., took great exception to the idea that Jack-Jack could undergo a mere four transformations and that the film could do without the goo-baby. They argued over the issue in several invective-laced meetings for two months until Bird finally gave in. Bird also insisted that the storyboards define the blocking of characters' movements, lighting, and camera moves, which had previously been left to other departments rather than storyboarded.
The film's orchestral score was released on November 2, 2004, three days before the film opened in theaters. It won numerous awards for best score including Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, BMI Film & TV Award, ASCAP Film and Television Music Award, Annie Award, Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award and Online Film Critics Society Award and was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media, Satellite Award and Broadcast Film Critics Association Award.
- Main article: The Incredibles (film score)
The Incredibles is the first Pixar film to be scored by Michael Giacchino. Brad Bird was looking for a specific sound as inspired by the film's design — the future as seen in the 1960's. John Barry was the first choice to do the film's score, with a trailer of the film given a re-recording of Barry's theme to On Her Majesty's Secret Service. However, Barry did not wish to duplicate the sound of some of his earlier soundtracks; the assignment was instead given to Giacchino.
Giacchino noted that recording in the 1960's was largely different than modern day recording and Dan Wallin, the recording engineer, said that Bird wanted a very old feel and as such the score was recorded on analog tapes. Wallin noted that brass instruments, which are at the forefront of the film's score, sound better on analog equipment rather than digital. Wallin came from an era in which music was recorded, according to Giacchino, "the right way," which consists of everyone in the same room, "playing against each other and feeding off each other's energy." Tim Simonec was the conductor/orchestrator for the score's recording.
Bird self-admitted that he "had the knees of [the studio] trembling under the weight" of The Incredibles, but called the film a testament to the talent of the animators at Pixar, who were admiring the challenges the film provoked. He recalled, "Basically, I came into a wonderful studio, frightened a lot of people with how many presents I wanted for Christmas, and then got almost everything I asked for."
Several film reviewers drew precise parallels between the film and certain superhero comic books, like Powers, Watchmen and Fantastic Four. Indeed, the producers of the 2005 adaptation of the Fantastic Four were forced to make significant script changes and add more special effects because of similarities to The Incredibles. Bird was not surprised that comparisons arose due to superheroes being "the most well-trod turf on the planet," but noted that he'd not been inspired by any comic books specifically, only having heard of Watchmen. He did comment that it was nice to be compared to something as highly regarded as Watchmen.
Some commentators took Bob's frustration with celebrating mediocrity and Syndrome's comment that if "everyone is super, then no one is" as a reflection of views shared by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche or an extension of Russian-American novelist's Ayn Rand's Objectivism philosophy, which Bird felt was "ridiculous." He stated that a large portion of the audience understood the satire whereas "two percent thought I was doing The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged." Some purported that The Incredibles exhibited a right-wing bias, which Bird found silly. "I think that's as silly of an analysis as saying The Iron Giant was left-wing. I'm definitely a centrist and feel like both parties can be absurd."
The film also explored Bird's dislike for the tendency of the children's comics and Saturday morning cartoons of his youth to portray villains as unrealistic, ineffectual, and non-threatening. In the film, Dash and Violet have to deal with villains who are perfectly willing to use deadly force against children. On another level, both Dash and Violet display no emotion or regret at the deaths of those who are trying to kill them, such as when Dash outruns pursuers who crash their vehicles while chasing him, or when both of them witness their parents destroy several attacking vehicles with people inside, in such a manner that the deaths of those piloting them is undeniable. Despite disagreeing with some analysis, Bird felt it gratifying for his work to be considered on many different levels, which was his intention: "The fact that it was written about in the op/ed section of the New York Times several times was really gratifying to me. Look, it's a mainstream animated movie, and how often are those considered thought-provoking?"
The film opened on November 5, 2004, as Pixar's first film to be rated PG (for "action violence") with the other PG-rated Pixar films being Up and Brave. While Pixar celebrated another triumph with The Incredibles, Steve Jobs was embroiled in a public feud with the head of its distribution partner The Walt Disney Company. This would eventually lead to the ousting of Michael Eisner and Disney's acquisition of Pixar the following year.
In March 2014, Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger announced that the film will be reformatted and re-released in 3D.
- Main article: The Incredibles (video)
The Incredibles was the highest-selling DVD of 2005, with 17.38 million copies sold. The film was also released on UMD for the Sony PSP. It was released on Blu-ray in North America on April 12, 2011. There was also a VHS release to the film on March 15, 2005, notably the last Disney/Pixar film to be widely issued in VHS format (not counting Pixar's later film Cars; whose VHS release was extremely rare).
The 2-disc collector's edition of The Incredibles also included many other special features, such as Incredi-Blunders; which were bloopers from certain scenes of the movie, and Top Secret NSA files of the Supers.
DVD extras and Easter eggs
Like many other DVD releases, there are various extra features available on the two discs including:
- Introduction, an introduction for the extras featuring Brad Bird.
- Deleted Scenes, the film's deleted scenes plus an intro for all but one of them. The other one is only accessible as an Easter egg.
- Jack-Jack Attack, a Pixar short film made especially for the release of The Incredibles about what happened while Kari was babysitting Jack-Jack.
- The Making of The Incredibles, a documentary about making The Incredibles featuring about 30 of the crew members.
- More Making of The Incredibles, another longer documentary also about making The Incredibles.
- Incredi-Blunders. The Incredibles outtakes due to glitches in animation programming, or scenes included for intentional humor.
- Vowellet: An Essay by Sarah Vowell, a documentary about the life of Sarah Vowell, a writer who did the voice of Violet Parr
- Character Interviews, actor and actresses interview the characters
- Theatrical Trailers, The Incredibles film trailers.
- Mr. Incredible and Pals, a Mr. Incredible cartoon spoofing cheesy superhero cartoons from the 1960s, as well as Synchro-Vox cartoons like Clutch Cargo.
- Mr. Incredible and Pals With Commentary, the cartoon with the characters' commentary.
- NSA Files, info about the supers.
- Boundin, a Pixar short film written, directed, composed, production designed and narrated by Bud Luckey.
- Boundin With Commentary, Boundin' with commentary by Bud Luckey.
- Who Is Bud Luckey? a four-minute documentary about the making of Boundin'.
There are also several Easter eggs in the menus; the one on the main menu shows every door, button, and explosion in the movie. Some of the other menus have two Easter eggs from the same menu button, alternating between them. One of the eggs on the first Index menu is a short sock puppet version of the movie.
The film received universal acclaim, with a 97% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 8.3/10, based on 233 reviews, which, made the movie the fifteenth most highly rated animated film of all time. The site's consensus reads: "Even though The Incredibles is more violent than previous Pixar offerings, it still a witty and fun-filled adventure that almost lives up to its name." Metacritic, another review aggregator, indicates the film "universal acclaim" with a 90 out of 100 rating.
Critic Roger Ebert awarded the film 3½ stars out of 4, writing that the film "alternates breakneck action with satire of suburban sitcom life" and is "another example of Pixar's mastery of popular animation." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film 3½ stars and called the film "one of the year's best" and said that it "doesn't ring cartoonish, it rings true." Also giving the film 3½ stars, People magazine found that The Incredibles "boasts a strong, entertaining story and a truckload of savvy comic touches."
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was bored by the film's recurring pastiches of earlier action films, concluding, "the Pixar whizzes do what they do excellently; you just wish they were doing something else." Similarly, Jessica Winter of The Village Voice criticized the film for playing as a standard summer action film, despite being released in early November. Her review, titled as "Full Metal Racket," noted that "The Incredibles announces the studio's arrival in the vast yet overcrowded Hollywood lot of eardrum-bashing, metal-crunching action sludge."
Travers also named The Incredibles number 6 on his list of the decade's best films, writing "Of all the Pixar miracles studded through the decade, The Incredibles still delights me the most. It's not every toon that deals with midlife crisis, marital dysfunction, child neglect, impotence fears, fashion faux pas and existential angst." The National Review Online named The Incredibles No. 2 on its list of the 25 best conservative movies of the last 25 years saying that it "celebrates marriage, courage, responsibility, and high achievement." Entertainment Weekly named The Incredibles No. 25 on its list of the 25 greatest action films ever. Entertainment Weekly also named The Incredibles No. 7 on its list of the 20 best-animated movies ever. IGN ranked the film as the third favorite animated film of all time in a list published in 2010.
Despite concerns that the film would receive underwhelming results, the films domestic gross was $70,467,623 in its opening weekend from 7,600 screens at 3,933 theaters, averaging $17,917 per theater or $9,272 per screen, the highest opening weekend gross for a Pixar film (the record was later broken in 2010 by Toy Story 3, with $110,307,189), the highest November opening weekend for a Disney film (the record was broken in 2013 by Thor: The Dark World with $85.7 million), the highest-opening weekend for a non-sequel animated feature (the record was broken in 2007 by The Simpsons Movie, with $74,036,787), and the highest opening weekend for a non-franchise-based film for just over five years when Avatar opened with $77,025,481.
The film was also number 1 in its second weekend, grossing another $50,251,359, dropping just 29 percent, and easily out-grossing new animated opener The Polar Express. The film ultimately grossed $261,441,092, as the sixth highest-grossing Pixar film behind Toy Story 3 ($415.0 million), Finding Nemo ($380.8 million), Up ($293.0 million), Monsters, Inc. ($289.9 million), and Monsters University ($268.5 million) and the fifth highest-grossing film of 2004. Worldwide, the film grossed $631,442,092, is the fifth highest-grossing Pixar film behind Toy Story 3 ($1.063 billion), Finding Nemo ($936.7 million), Monsters University ($743.6 million) and Up ($731.3 million), and ranked fourth for 2004. It is also the second highest-grossing 2004 animated film behind Shrek 2 ($919.8 million).
The film won the Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature, beating two DreamWorks films named Shrek 2 and Shark Tale, as well as Best Sound Editing at the 77th Academy Awards. It also received nominations for Best Original Screenplay (for writer/director Brad Bird) and Best Sound Mixing (Randy Thom, Gary Rizzo, and Doc Kane). It was Pixar's first feature film to win multiple Oscars, followed in 2010 by Up. Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal called The Incredibles the year's best picture. Premiere magazine released a cross-section of all the top critics in America and The Incredibles placed at number three, whereas review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes cross-referenced reviews that suggested it was its year's highest-rated film.
The film also received the 2004 Annie Award for Best Animated Feature and the 2005 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, and it was nominated for the 2004 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. It also won the Saturn Award for Best Animated Film. The American Film Institute nominated The Incredibles for its Top 10 Animated Films list.
|Awards for The Incredibles|
|2004||Florida Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Animation||Won|
|Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards||Best Animation|
|Best Score||Michael Giacchino|
|National Board of Review||Best Animated Feature|
|New York Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Animated Film|
|Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards||Best Animated Film|
|San Diego Film Critics Society Awards||Best Animated Film|
|Seattle Film Critics Awards||Best Animated Feature|
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association||Best Animated Film|
|2005||ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards||Top Box Office Films of 2005 Award||Michael Giacchino|
|Academy Awards||Best Sound Editing||Michael Silvers & Randy Thom|
|Best Sound Mixing||Randy Thom, Gary Rizzo|
& Doc Kane
|Best Animated Feature Film||Brad Bird||Won|
|Best Original Screenplay||Brad Bird||Nominated|
|Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films||Best Animated Film||Won|
|Best Music||Michael Giacchino||Nominated|
|Best Writer||Brad Bird|
|American Cinema Editors||Best Edited Feature Film - Comedy or Musical||Stephen Schaffer|
|Annie Awards||Animated Effects||Martin Ngyuen||Won|
|Best Animated Feature|
|Character Animation||Angus MacLane|
|Character Animation||John Kahrs||Nominated|
|Character Animation||Peter Sohn|
|Character Animation||Kureha Yokoo|
|Character Design in an Animated Feature Production||Teddy Newton|
|Character Design in an Animated Feature Production||Tony Fucile||Won|
|Directing in an Animated Feature Production||Brad Bird|
|Music in an Animated Feature Production||Michael Giacchino|
|Production Design in an Animated Feature Production||Lou Ramano|
|Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production||Kevin O'Brien|
|Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production||Ted Mathot||Nominated|
|Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production||Brad Bird||Won|
|Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production||Samuel L. Jackson||Nominated|
|Writing in an Animated Feature Production||Brad Bird||Won|
|Art Directors Guild||Feature Film - Period or Fantasy Film||Lou Ramano & Ralph Eggleston||Nominated|
|BAFTA Awards||BAFTA Children's Award - Best Feature Film||John Walker & Brad Bird||Won|
|BET Comedy Awards||Best Performance in an Animated Theatrical Film||Samuel L. Jackson|
|BMI Film & TV Awards||BMI Film Music Award||Michael Giacchino|
|Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards||Best Animated Feature|
|Best Composer||Michael Giacchino||Nominated|
|Best Popular Movie|
|Cinema Writers Circle Awards of Spain||Best Foreign Film (Mejor Película Extranjera)|
|Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards||Best Animated Film||Won|
|Empire Awards||Best Film||Nominated|
|Golden Globes||Best Picture – Musical or Comedy|
|Golden Trailer Awards||Best Animation/Family|
(For "Buckle Up")
(for "Buckle Up")
|Hugo Awards||Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form||Won|
|Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Animated Film|
|Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Movie|
|Las Vegas Film Critics Society||Best Animated Film|
|Las Vegas Film Critics Society||Best Score||Michael Giacchino|
|MTV Movie Awards||Best Movie||Nominated|
|Best On-Screen Team||Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Spencer Fox & Sarah Vowell|
|MTV Movie Awards, Mexico||Favorite Voice in an Animated Film||Víctor Trujillo|
|Motion Picture Sound Editors||Best Sound Editing in Feature Film - Animated||Michael Silvers, Randy Thom, Sue Fox, Teresa Eckton, Kyrsten Mate Comoglio, E.J. Holowicki, Steve Slanec, Al Nelson &|
Stephen M. Davis
|Online Film Critics Society||Best Animated Feature|
|Best Score||Michael Giacchino|
|Best Screenplay, Original||Brad Bird|
|PGA Awards||Motion Picture Producer of the Year||Unknown|
|People's Choice Awards||Favorite Animated Movie|
|Favorite Motion Picture|
|Satellite Awards||Best Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media||Won|
|Best Score||Michael Giacchino||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Animated/Computer Generated|
|Visual Effects Society Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Animated Character in an Animated Motion Picture|
(for the Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible character)
|Craig T. Nelson, Bill Wise, Bill Sheffler & Bolhem Bouchiba||Won|
|World Soundtrack Awards||Discovery of the Year||Michael Giacchino|
|Young Artist Awards||Best Family Feature Film - Animation|
|Best Performance in a Voice-Over Role - Young Artist||Spencer Fox||Nominated|
|2006||Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films||Best DVD Special Edition Release|
|Grammy Awards||Best Instrumental Arrangement||Gordon Goodwin for The Incredits||Won|
|Best Score Soundtrack Album||Michael Giacchino||Nominated|
Top ten lists
The film appeared on many critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2004.
- 1st – Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal
- 2nd – John J. Miller, "((National Review Online-The Best Conservative Movies))
- 2nd – Chris Kaltenbach, Baltimore Sun
- 2nd – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
- 2nd – Ken Tucker, New York Magazine
- 2nd – Desson Thomson, Washington Post
- 3rd – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
- 3rd – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
- 3rd – All critics, Film Threat
- 3rd – Jack Mathews, New York Daily News
- 4th – Lou Lumenick, New York Post
- 4th – Glenn Kenny, Premiere
- 5th – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
- 5th – David Edelstein, Slate
- 5th – Mike Clark, USA Today
- 5th – Kimberley Jones, Austin Chronicle
- 5th – Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
- 7th – Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun
- 7th – Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com (tied with The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie)
- 8th – Michael WIlmington, Chicago Tribune
- 9th – A.O. Scott, New York Times
- 10th – James Berardinelli, ReelViews (tied with The Polar Express)
- Top 10 – Ella Taylor, LA Weekly
- Top 10 – Ron Stringer, LA Weekly
- Top 10 – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
- Top 10 – Shawn Levy, The Oregonian
- Top 10 – William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
This film was rated PG, the first for a Pixar film. The second film to be rated PG was Up, the third film was Brave, the fourth was Inside Out (however, in the United Kingdom, it was rated U) and the fifth was The Good Dinosaur.
Several companies released promotional products related to the film. Dark Horse Comics released a limited series of comic books based on the film. Kellogg's released an Incredibles-themed cereal, as well as promotional Pop-Tarts and fruit snacks, all proclaiming an "Incrediberry Blast" of flavor. Pringles included potato chips featuring the superheroes and quotes from the film. Furthermore, in the weeks before the film's opening, there were also promotional tie-ins with SBC Communications (using Dash to promote the "blazing-fast speed" of its SBC Yahoo! DSL service), Tide, Downy, Bounce and McDonald's. Toy maker Hasbro produced a series of action figures and toys based on the film, although the line was not as successful as the film itself.
In Europe, Kinder chocolate eggs contained small plastic toy characters from the film. In Belgium, car manufacturer Opel sold special The Incredibles editions of their cars. In the United Kingdom, Telewest promoted blueyonder internet services with branding from the film, including television adverts starring characters from the film. In all merchandising outside of the film itself, Elastigirl is referred to as Mrs. Incredible. This is due to a licensing agreement between Disney·Pixar and DC Comics, who has a character named Elasti-Girl (a member of the Doom Patrol). The DC Comics character is able to grow and shrink at will from microscopic size to thousands of feet tall.
In July 2008, it was announced that a series of comic books based on the film would be published by BOOM! Studios in collaboration with Disney Publishing by the end of the year. The first miniseries by BOOM! was The Incredibles: Family Matters by Mark Waid and Marcio Takara, which was published from March to June 2009, and collected into a trade paperback published in July of that year. An ongoing series written by both Mark Waid and Landry Walker, with art by Marcio Takara and Ramanda Kamarga, began later that same year, running for sixteen issues before being canceled in October 2010. Marvel Comics began a reprint of the series in August 2011—set to possibly finish the storyline—which was abruptly canceled, despite the production of scripts and art for a finale.
A video game based on the film was released for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance, PC, Apple Macintosh, and mobiles. Though based on the film, several key scenes are altered from the original script. A second game titled The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer was released for PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, Mac OS X, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and Windows. Taking place immediately after the film, the sequel focuses on Mr. Incredible and Frozone as they do battle with the megalomaniacal mole, The Underminer. A third game titled The Incredibles: When Danger Calls was released for Windows and Mac OS X. It is a collection of 10 games and activities for the playable characters to perform. Another game titled Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure was released on March 20, 2012, for Xbox 360. It features characters and missions from five Pixar films: The Incredibles, Up, Cars, Ratatouille and Toy Story. The Incredibles characters also star in Disney Infinity, which was released in August 2013. The play set for The Incredibles is featured in the starter pack.
- Main article: Incredibles 2
In 2004, when Disney owned sequel rights, they announced plans to make sequels for The Incredibles and Finding Nemo without Pixar involvement. Those plans were subsequently scrapped. When Disney acquired Pixar in 2006, the expectation was that Pixar would create more sequels and bankable franchises. Director Brad Bird stated in 2007 that he's open to the idea of an Incredibles 2 if he comes up with an idea superior to the original film. Bird says, "I have pieces that I think are good, but I don't have them all together."
On April 26, 2011, John Lasseter confirmed there's actually no work on a sequel to The Incredibles. As he said: "We love The Incredibles. We love those characters and love that world too, but there's nothing in the works right now."
In November 2011, Brad Bird stated: "To say that I've had trouble [coming up with a story] is to say that [a sequel] has been my pursuit. I haven't really been pursuing that. I've told them that I'm not really friendly to have someone else take away my child. I would like to think that I have several good ideas that could be incorporated into a next Incredibles, but I don't have a whole movie yet, and the last thing I want to do is do it just because it would open big or something like that. I want to do it because I have something that will be as good or better than the original. Toy Story 2 was, to me, a perfect sequel, because it absolutely respected the first film but found new places to go without selling out its characters. So if I could come up with an idea that is to Incredibles that Toy Story 2 is to Toy Story, I would do it in a second."
On May 16, 2013, Brad Bird said: "I have been thinking about it. People think that I have not been, but I have. Because I love those characters and love that world. I am stroking my chin and scratching my head. I have many, many elements that I think would work really well in another [Incredibles] film, and if I can get ‘em to click all together, I would probably wanna do that. I like the idea of moving a little more quickly in films. I’m looking for ways to accelerate the pace a little bit and figure out a way to keep creative control over these movies to a level where I’m comfortable with the end result but also speed them up a bit and make more of them. I have many different films I wanna make. It’s like a big airplane hangar and I have different projects on the floor; half-assembled in my brain. I’m interested in all of them. You kind of have to move on the ones people are willing to pay for and the ones you’re most excited about."
At the Disney shareholders meeting in March of 2014, Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger confirmed that Pixar is in pre-production on a third Cars film and another The Incredibles film, with Bird returning as writer. Later that month, Samuel L. Jackson told Digital Spy that he would likely reprise his role as Frozone in the sequel. In April 2015, Bird revealed to NPR that he has begun writing the screenplay for the sequel.
The film was originally scheduled for a theatrical release on June 21, 2019, but was later published forward to June 15, 2018. With the 2019 released date taking place for Toy Story 4.
One Pixar tradition is to create trailers for their films that do not contain footage from the released film. Trailers for this film include:
- An out-of-shape Mr. Incredible struggles to get his belt on (hence, none of the Incredible Family members wear a belt in the film, and instead sport elastic waist straps).
- The Incredibles was the first Pixar movie where the music wasn't composed by a member of Randy Newman's family. Instead, it was the first Pixar film to be composed by Michael Giacchino, who would later go on to compose other Pixar films as well, such as Up, Ratatouille, and Inside Out.
- Syndrome's design is based off Purge from Space Channel 5: Part 2 which was released 4 years before The Incredibles.
- In Japan, the film was simply called Mr. インクレディブル (meaning "Mr. Incredible").
- Near the end of the film, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, the last of the legendary group of Disney animators called the "Nine Old Men", make an appearance after the Omnidroid v.10 is destroyed. On September 8, 2004, the day that Brad Bird and producer John Walker recorded the commentary for the DVD, Thomas passed away at the age of 92 from a cerebral hemorrhage. Four years later on April 14, 2008, Johnston passed away at the age of 96 from natural causes. The two had also appeared in The Iron Giant as train engineers.
- The Incredibles family have a few similarities to the Marvel Characters:
- Mr. Incredible has super strength like The Thing.
- Elastigirl can stretch herself like Mr. Fantastic.
- Violet can turn herself invisible and make force fields like the Invisible Woman.
- Jack-Jack can set himself on fire like the Human Torch.
- Dash can have super speed like Quicksilver.
- Frozone has ice powers like Iceman.
- The sequence where, after breaking through an apartment wall into a jewelry store, Frozone is kept at gunpoint by a nervous rookie cop ("I'm just getting a drink"). This is a direct homage/parody of a similar sequence in Die Hard with a Vengeance. In both films, the threatened character is played by Samuel L. Jackson. Even the police officer's facial design is recognizably similar.
- This is the first Pixar movie to center on mostly all-human characters. This may have been the result of Pixar eventually developing technology to get around the infamous "uncanny valley" when it comes to animating humans, compared to the humans seen in the Toy Story films.
- This is the only major Pixar movie where the Pizza Planet delivery truck from Toy Story doesn't make an appearance. It does, however, appear in The Incredibles game in the Late To School level multiple times as you run past 4-way intersections, and in the final level.
- This is the first Pixar movie to receive a PG rating, with the second being Up, the third being Brave, the fourth being Inside Out (however, it is rated U by the BBFC in the United Kingdom), the fifth being The Good Dinosaur, the sixth being Finding Dory, and the seventh being the sequel.
- In one scene, you can see a sign for the Luxo Deli, and a restaurant called Andy's. The Luxo Deli is a reference to Luxo, Jr. (the first short film Pixar produced), and Andy's is a reference to Andy from Toy Story.
- When Mr. Incredible is fighting crime at the beginning of the movie, the streets on his GPS are the streets near the Pixar Animation Studios building.
- In the Disney movie Mars Needs Moms, Milo has a poster of Mr. Incredible over his bed.
- When the family was in the limo with Rick Dicker, Elastigirl was on the phone listening to Kari's messages she made in Jack-Jack Attack.
- This is the first Pixar film whose home release has the widescreen and the fullscreen version released separately (Finding Nemo had its widescreen and fullscreen releases on separate DVDs, but within the same case). Eventually, only the widescreen version remains still sold.
- This is also the last Pixar film to be released on VHS (if you don't count the extremely rare Cars VHS).
- This is the only Pixar film which lacked a voice of Joe Ranft, back when he was still alive.
- When the film was aired on the Disney Channel, Dash's lines We're dead! We're dead! and We survived but we're dead was cut.
- A113 appears twice, Mirage mentions it to Mr. Incredible before Mr. Incredible experiences his penthouse and is one of the codes on the computers.
- It is because the former literally refers to death. Whereas Dash's latter dialogue meant that he, his mother, and his sister were still in danger despite surviving the crash.
- Jennifer Tilly, who voiced Celia Mae in Monsters, Inc. was married to one of the creators of The Simpsons, and Tilly raved about a script written by one of The Simpsons writers, Brad Bird. That movie would eventually become The Incredibles.
- While Bob argues with Mr. Huph about the Walker policy after the 15-years-ago prologue, Bob's little bucket of pencils falls on its side. Then he puts it back up placed on the left side of his right hand (near the middle of the desk). When Mr. Huph leaves, it is inexplicably placed on the right side of Bob's right hand (at the desk's edge) and thus causing it to fall off the edge when Bob sits.
- After being in a long traffic, Bob was about to park on the driveway. You can see there was nothing there. When he parked the car and got out, he slipped on a skateboard coming out of nowhere.
- When Lucius is putting aftershave on in front of the mirror in his apartment, he hears Omnidroid v.10 outside and runs to the window. He leaves the bottle of aftershave on the desk with the lid off. He returns to open the drawer, and the lid is back on.
- While the family eats dinner at the table, the food keeps changing position. The commentators of the DVD discuss this during the featured scene.
- After the dinner table scene, Bob leaves to go out with Frozone. Then Helen turns to talk to Dash. In the first shot, all the broccoli pieces sit around the steak on Dash's plate. Then the shot changes and a broccoli piece is suddenly sitting atop the piece of steak.
- When Helen and Violet are talking at the dinner table, Violet's fork changes position a few times between shots.
- After Bob gets back home from "re-living the glory days", you can see a barbecue in the backyard on the concrete deck. But when the camera shows an aerial view of the house at the end of the scene, the barbecue is on the grass.
- Violet's part changes sides a few times throughout the film. It is usually on the left side of her head, but it is on the right at the end of the dinner table scene (after Bob has left with Lucius) and when Helen first discovers her and Dash on the plane. This was likely done on purpose because the camera in both of those scenes is focused on the right side of her face, so her face would not have been visible if her part was on the proper side. Also, the hair was so difficult to animate. To save time and expense, they switched the part in Violet's hair to show her face when needed.
- Violet's invisibility powers seem to be limited to her own body. (That was shown in the first scene with her at her school and where she secretly listened to the conversation of her parents, where only her head and hands were invisible but not her clothes.) While her Edna Mode-made super suit is able to become invisible along with her body, her hairband is not part of the suit. It should therefore still be visible, but it isn't.
- When Mr. Incredible crashes into the building trying to save a man, his shadow disappears.
- When Helen Parr is talking on the phone to Edna Mode, the phone and phone cord have no shadows even though Helen's shadow appears on the wall behind her.
- When Syndrome reminds Mr. Incredible about his line "I work alone," he is not holding Bomb Voyage in the flashback scene as he did in the original scene (this could, however, be explained as Syndrome's distorted perspective of the event).
- When Frozone is taking a drink when the police are at gunpoint, he leaves the water jug on and no water comes out.
- Although the Omnidroid 08 had the "8" on its shell, Mirage referred to it as "9000".
- The Omnidroid v.X3's computer graphic in the Operation Kronos database is a repeat of the v.X1's.
- Syndrome dies in the plane accident. However, he appears alive and well in Disney INFINITY.
- It is likely that the Incredibles playset is set in an alternate universe where Syndrome survived the explosion, especially that the makers of the game said that in the playset Syndrome releases some Omnidroids into Metroville to try and kidnap Jack-Jack again. It could also be that there was a clone of Syndrome.