Enjoy this Monday with Mildred!
Brad Bird has been giving us wonderful stories since The Family Dog (the incredible Amazing Stories episode, not the atrocious series) and The Incredibles, fourteen years ago. Bird demonstrated in the first film a genius for using his characters’ abilities to further the plot rather than simply showcasing them, introducing a world where superheroes have been outlawed because of the damage they did while saving the world, and the effects of that on a family of supers. The beauty part of animation is that fourteen years later the story can be taken up right from the last moment of the first film without worrying about everything being different.
Like, middle aged voice actors from the first movie now sounding that much older. Holly Hunter as Elastigirl is still uniquely lispy and Craig T. Nelson as Mr. Incredible is still earnestly heroic. But the age difference in voice is apparent, especially with Nelson, now in his mid 70s and not sounding so much like a brawling super with a young family. The older children are voiced by new people, but not the baby. I wondered if anyone has ever asked Eli Fucile what he does for a living and he answered, “I make baby noises for movies.”
Pixar has an amazing history of ratcheting up the cool and innovation with every animated work (check out Pixar’s Short Films Collection Vol I for a history) but the beauty of an Incredibles sequel is that the original’s style is old school, rounded around the edges and larger than life with the action, sound effects and music. Being timeless makes it easy to continue the story at any time, without giving the audience an artistic shakeup. But you have to be careful to not go overboard and give too much more of everything for the sequel, and they came perilously close to doing that here. The music was especially overbearing at times and definitely too loud on occasion. Because I’ve long been a fan of Pixar’s astounding history of quality animation, I was shocked to notice the disparity between the voice soundtrack and the animation. While not as bad as a dubbed spaghetti western, it was noticeable all the way through the movie and was irritating as a small pebble in my shoe.
As is typical of Pixar films, The Incredibles 2 is an adult themed story that kids can enjoy. Here we have a bad guy who will surprise most viewers (well, I figured it out but didn’t say anything as I didn’t want to be smacked by my companion – seeing too many movies can be bruising). There are several scenes of confident women characters conversing about solving crime, being powerful in their own right, and eye rolling discussions of sexism in the world, and a central male figure overcoming his inherent sexism and pride to make what he at first considers the sacrifice of taking over running the family. The kid theme shows the sacrifices parents make to take care of them, and how even when they’re not perfect they’re still trying to do the right thing.
I found The Incredibles 2 to be a lot of fun with several solid messages for young and old alike. It was nice to see Frozone getting a much larger role this time, and it’s always a hoot to visit the incredible Edna Mode. There were a few problems with the cgi and music, but nothing that will ruin your day. Go and see this for some good laughs and a heroic good time.
Incredibles 2 Official Trailer