It has been 14 years since the Parr family took the world by storm in 2004. My twin girls were barely a year old at the time and the perfect age for a family of superheroes to touch their hearts. We bounced back and forth between ‘Incredibles’ and ‘Finding Nemo’ until we destroyed the discs from over usage. Now, those same girls are nearly sixteen and have only vague memories of the Parr family. Ten years ago they would have been begging me to see the sequel, but this time it was me that was excited.
Which is kind of the story of these Pixar sequels. They are so far separated from each other that it’s the parents or kids who are now parents that are excited about sharing the sequels with a new generation. Luckily, I now have a three year old who absolutely loved this movie and her laugh made the experience even better than it was. You can’t see a great kids comedy without a kid. Their love and excitement when something really works is truly infectious. And this movie truly works.
Oddly enough, this film may have taken 14 years to make, but it begins right where the previous one left off. And the plot of the film uses the events of the action packed opening to set up the construct of the story. You see, the government’s of the world are not very enamored with the Parr’s coming out of hiding to save the day. In fact, one agent tells them that if they had done nothing than things would have been better. This is nonsense, of course, but the problem is that the public only ever sees the carnage and aftermath.
So, a clever businessman named Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) comes up with the idea of broadcasting superhero actions by putting a camera on their suit. He also thinks that utilizing Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) as the number one superhero is the best bet for preventing collateral damage. A fact that doesn’t sit particularly well with Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), but he is willing to be a stay at home dad in order for his wife to help make superheroes legal. This set up leads to dialing narratives that are both equally compelling, exciting, and often hilarious.
The action sequences in the film are a blast! The sequences of family separation and watching the difficulty of raising children while balancing a career in a major blockbuster is particularly poignant. The scenes with baby Jack-Jack are particularly hilarious (the one involving a raccoon is one of the best scenes of the year)! And giving the children more time in the drivers seat of the action is a nice twist. The one problem I did have was the predictability of the villain, but the first movie had a similar issue.
At the end of the day, ‘Incredibles 2’ is an early contender for Best Animated Film of the year at next years Oscars. It’s beautifully animated, wonderfully written, thought provoking at times, and truly hilarious! Audiences are going to walk out of this glad that Pixar waited to get it right. However, if they are going to make another one, Pixar might want to move up the development process a bit. A 30 year trilogy is quite a haul.