The Incredibles

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(L to R) Dash, Violet, Mr. Incredible, and Elastigirl from the CGI-animated film The Incredibles. (Disney/Pixar / The Kobal Collection).

The Incredibles

(pop culture)

One of the greatest critical and commercial successes from Pixar Animation Studios, The Incredibles is a computer-animated motion picture about a family of superheroes. This contemporary classic premiered in 2004 and was distributed by Walt Disney Pictures (the Walt Disney Company bought Pixar in 2006). Although filled with comedy, The Incredibles also succeeds in working as a suspenseful and serious superhero adventure saga.

The Incredibles was directed and written by Brad Bird. A protégé of Milt Kahl, one of Walt Disney’s leading animators known as his “Nine Old Men,” Bird became a director and executive consultant on The Simpsons in its first eight years. Bird directed Warner Bros.’ 1999 animated film The Iron Giant, which makes references to both Superman and Will Eisner’s The Spirit.

The Incredibles’ title characters include Bob Parr, alias Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson), who is superhumanly strong; his feisty wife, Helen, alias Elastigirl (played by Holly Hunter), who can stretch any part of her body; their initially shy teenage daughter, Violet (voiced by author Sarah Vowell), who can turn invisible and generate protective force fields; and her rambunctious younger brother, Dash (voiced by Spencer Fox), who can move at superspeed. Bob and Helen also have a new infant son, Jack-Jack, who proves to have superpowers of his own.

Other major characters include the supervillain Syndrome (voiced by Jason Lee), who as a boy tried to become Mr. Incredible’s sidekick and as an adult tries to destroy all superheroes out of frustrated envy. His sultry assistant is Mirage (voiced by Elizabeth Pena). Bob Parr’s best friend is the African American superhero Frozone (portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson), who has freezing powers. Brad Bird himself voices Edna Mode, the eccentric woman who designs The Incredibles’ costumes. (Bird has stated that he intended Edna to be a combination of fashion aficionado and gadget builder along the lines of James Bond’s Q; others have noted similarities to famed costume designer Edith Head.)

The film opens by showing how, soon after Mr. Incredible married Elastigirl, the federal government forced them and all other superheroes into retirement due to an onslaught of lawsuits. Years later Bob and Helen live in a suburb as the parents of three children, though Bob is frustrated at having to work at a dull desk job—a metaphor for a conformist society in which no one is allowed to use his talents to stand out from others. Bob secretly goes to work as Mr. Incredible for Mirage, only to captured by her employer Syndrome, who has been killing off the retired superheroes. Violet and Dash are stowaways when Helen goes to find Bob. The family go into action together as superheroes to combat Syndrome’s minions and then to stop his gigantic Omnidroid robot from destroying a major city.

Though distinct in its approach, The Incredibles bear similarities to Marvel’s own superhero family, the Fantastic Four. Violet has the same powers as Susan Richards, the Invisible Woman. Bob has superstrength like the Thing, and his alias “Mr. Incredible” resembles Reed Richards’ name “Mr. Fantastic.” Elastigirl has the same power as Mr. Fantastic, and the same superhero name (minus the hyphen) as Rita Farr of DC Comics’ Doom Patrol. Perhaps partly in response, Rita recently changed her alias to “Elasti-Woman.” Dash’s name and superpower seem to be homages to DC’s super-speedster, the Flash. The similarities are appropriate because The Incredibles echoes the superhero genre of comics’ Silver Age, while nodding to other examples of 1960s pop culture; for example, Michael Giacchino’s score evokes the music of Sean Connery’s James Bond films of the era.

The Incredibles won the 2004 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and BOOM! Studios published the comics miniseries The Incredibles: Family Matters, written by Mark Waid and drawn by Marcio Takara, in 2009, followed that same year by an ongoing monthly The Incredibles comics series. The marketplace also saw a flood of Incredibles tie-in merchandise, including costumes, toys, and movie collectibles. —PS & GM

The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book Icons and Hollywood Heroes © 2012 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
To say the truth, if the historian will confine himself to what really happened, and utterly reject any circumstance, which, though never so well attested, he must be well assured is false, he will sometimes fall into the marvellous, but never into the incredible. He will often raise the wonder and surprize of his reader, but never that incredulous hatred mentioned by Horace.
But much abatement is necessary with respect to the incredible bulk he assigns it.
Ironically, though, within the Incredibles' landscape superheroes remain an antiquated species that the public are more likely to fear or greet with a shrug of the shoulders rather than fan worship.
Incredible from The Incredibles, Woody, Buzz Lightyear and their pals from Toy Story, along with other Disney?Pixar stars in this water-based celebration.
New LEGO Disney Pixar The Incredibles allows players to team up as the super Parr family to conquer crime and experience, in LEGO form, the unforgettable scenes and your favourite moments from The Incredibles and Incredibles 2 movies.
In the case of Ocean's 8 and The Incredibles, I was not sure I'd like them both.
"The Incredibles 2" is poised to become the biggest animated film ever after a third strong weekend at the domestic box office.
The Incredibles had a strong, simple message, likeable characters and fabulous action.
In 2004 the movie's first part 'The Incredibles' opened with $70.5 million, the second-largest opening at the time for an animated feature.
"The Incredibles 2," which also sees the return of Edna Mode (Brad Bird) and Frozone (Samuel L.
Written and directed by Brad Bird ('Iron Giant,' 'The Incredibles,' 'Ratatouille') and produced by John Walker ('The Incredibles,' 'Tomorrowland') and Nicole Grindle ('Sanjay's Super Team' short, 'Toy Story 3' associate producer), "Incredibles 2' opens in Philippine cinemas nationwide on Thursday, June 14.
In November 2004, The Incredibles -- the story of a family of superheroes forced to hide their powers and try to blend into suburbia -- opened to rapturous reviews, going on to earn $633 million (Dh2.3 billion) in global box office receipts.