The Incredibles is a 2004 American computer-animated comedy superhero adventure epic mystery film, directed and written by Brad Bird, released by Walt Disney Pictures, and the 6th film produced by Pixar Animation Studios. It was released in November 2004. The story follows a family of superheroes living a quiet suburban life, forced to hide their powers. When father Bob Parr's yearning for his glory days and desire to help people mistakes him for the Special and drags him into battle with an evil villain and his killer robot, he is forced into action to save the world.
It stars Craig T. Nelson, Jason Lee, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Spencer Fox, Elizabeth Peña, Eli Fucile, Maeve Andrews, Brad Bird, Bud Luckey, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Bret Parker, Dominique Louis, Kimberly Adair Clark, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Bird, who was Pixar's first outside director, developed the film as an extension of 1960s comic books and spy films from his boyhood and personal family life. He pitched the film to Pixar after the box office disappointment of his first feature, The Iron Giant (1999), and carried over much of its staff to develop The Incredibles. The animation team was tasked with animating an all-human cast, which required creating new technology to animate detailed human anatomy, clothing and realistic skin and hair. Michael Giacchino composed the film's orchestral score.
The film premiered on October 28, 2004 at the BFI London Film Festival and had its general release in the United States on November 5, 2004. The film performed highly at the box office, grossing $631 million worldwide during its original theatrical run. The Incredibles was met with high critical acclaim, garnering high marks from professional critics and audiences, and provoking commentary on its themes. Many critics called it the best film of 2004, receiving the 2004 Annie Award for Best Animated Feature, along with two Academy Awards. It became the first entirely animated film to win the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. It was released on DVD on March 15, 2005 and Blu-Ray on April 12, 2011.
In the film's prolouge, public opinion turns against "Supers", humans gifted with superpowers, due to the collateral damage caused by their crime-fighting. After several law suits, the government silently initiates the Superhero Relocation Program, which forces Supers to permanently adhere to their secret identities. As a result, a mysterious unknown criminal mastermind kills some of the supers as a result for their ban. A chosen super named "The Special" could stop the mastermind after getting fired from his job and make the world super again.
Fifteen years later at the present day, clumsy and funny Bob Parr and sweet and kind Helen Parr—formerly known as Mr. Incredible (having unparalleled strength) and Elastigirl (able to stretch such a long distance to reach places nobody else could)—and their three children—nervous and cowardly Violet (being able to create force fields and turn invisible), smooth and confident Dash (able to run at exceptionally high speeds), and smart and cute Jack-Jack (not shown any powers)—are a suburban family. Bob dislikes the mundanity of suburbia and his white-collar job. Together with his best friend Lucius Best, formerly known as Mr. Incredible's "Golden Age" mentor, Frozone (having the ability to freeze the moisture in the air), Bob occasionally relives "the glory days" by moonlighting as a vigilante.
One day, after his selfish, lazy and impatient supervisor, Mr. Huph, prevents him from stopping a mugging, Bob loses his temper and injures him, resulting in the loss of his job. His "Golden Age" best friend, the laid-back and gruff NSA Agent, Rick Dicker, helps him cope his temper. Returning home, Bob is selected as the Special by Dicker and finds a message from a mysterious woman named Mirage Pine, who is the assistant to the mastermind. Mirage convinces him to become Mr. Incredible again, and gives him a mission to destroy a dangerous war robot controlled by the mastermind called the Omnidroid on the remote island of Nomanisan. He finds the Omnidroid and destroys it by tricking it into ripping out its own power source. Bob finds the action and higher pay rejuvenating; he improves his relationship with his family and begins rigorous training while awaiting more work from Mirage for the next two months.
Discovering a tear in his suit (which is the Special's birthmark), he visits his old friend, superhero costume designer Edna Mode. Mode, assuming that Helen knows what Bob is doing, makes new suits for the entire family. Leaving for Nomanisan once again, Bob discovers Mirage is the real boss of her husband, Buddy, a disaffected former fan whom Mr. Incredible had rejected as his sidekick, who is the mastermind's culprit. Unfortunately, Buddy banned all the supers from the town and destroyed Supers, Inc. after Bob told him to fly home. Having adopted the name Syndrome, he has been perfecting the Omnidroid by hiring different Supers to fight it, adding new features on the occasion that a Super wins. Now that it is capable of defeating Bob, Buddy intends to send the machine to the city of Metroville. There, he will secretly manipulate its controls to defeat it in public, becoming a hero himself. Later, he will sell his inventions so that everyone will become equally "super", making the term meaningless.
Meanwhile, Helen visits Edna and learns what Bob has been up to. Edna activates a beacon she built into the suits so Helen can find Bob, inadvertently causing him to be discovered and captured. Helen borrows a private plane to head for Nomanisan, but Violet and Dash have stowed away wearing their own suits, leaving Jack-Jack with a babysitter. Buddy shoots down Helen's plane, but she and the children survive and reach the island. Helen infiltrates the base, discovering Buddy's intentions to send the Omnidroid to Metroville in a rocket.
Distraught by Buddy's callousness when her life was threatened, Mirage releases Bob and informs him of his family's survival. At the same time, Helen arrives and races off with Bob to find their children. Dash and Violet are spotted and chased by a number of Syndrome's guards, but fend them off with their powers before reuniting with their parents. However, Buddy captures them, leaving them imprisoned on Nomanisan while he follows the rocket to Metroville. The Parrs escape and travel to Metroville in a spare rocket, with help from Mirage. True to its programming, the Omnidroid recognizes Syndrome as an opponent and attacks the remote on his wrist, making him incapable of controlling it, while simultaneously knocking him unconscious. The Parrs and Lucius team up to fight the Omnidroid; the battle is indecisive until Bob comes across the remote, allowing him to control one of the robot's arms and use it to destroy its power source. Watching the Parrs and Lucius defeat the Omidroid, Buddy is crushed by the robot's arm, much to everyone's delight.
Dicker is proud of the Incredibles for defeating Syndrome. However returning home, the Parrs find Buddy (who survived the robot's death), who plans to kidnap and raise Jack-Jack as his own sidekick to exact revenge on the family. As Buddy is travelling upward to reach his mantajet, Jack-Jack's own superpowers start to manifest and he escapes from Buddy midair. Jack-Jack falls but is saved by Elastigirl. Mr.Incredible throws his sportscar at the mantajet and Buddy is pushed backwards by it. His cape gets stuck in the engine, he dies and the mantajet explodes. The Parrs' house is destroyed by the jet but they are happy that they survived it.
- Craig T. Nelson as Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible
- Holly Hunter as Helen Parr/Elastigirl
- Sarah Vowell as Violet Parr
- Spencer Fox as Dash Parr
- Samuel L. Jackson as Lucius Best/Frozone
- Jason Lee as Buddy Pine/Incrediboy/Syndrome
- Elizabeth Peña as Mirage
- Eli Fucile and Maeve Andrews as Jack-Jack Parr
- Brad Bird as Edna Mode
- Bud Luckey as Rick Dicker
- Wallace Shawn as Gilbert Huph
- Michael Bird as Tony Rydinger
- Lou Romano as Bernie Kropp
- Kimberly Adair Clark as Honey Best
- Jean Sincere as Mrs. Hogenson
- Bret Parker as Kari McKeen
- Dominique Louis as Bomb Voyage
- John Ratzenberger as The Underminer
The film received universal acclaim, with a 97% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes and an average rating of 8.3/10, based on 233 reviews. 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." Rotten Tomatoes rates the film as the fifteenth highest rated animated film of all time. Metacritic, another review aggregator, indicates the film received "universal acclaim", with a 90 out of 100 rating.
- The Incredibles was the first Pixar movie where the music wasn't composed by a member of the Newman family, instead being the first Pixar film composed by Michael Giacchino.
- Syndrome's design is based off Purge from Space Channel 5: Part 2, released 4 years before The Incredibles.
- 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 th 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 95 from natural causes.
- The Incredibles have a few similarities to the Fantastic four, being Mr. Incredible to The Thing, Elastigirl to Mr Fantastic, Violet to the Invisible Woman, Dash to the Human Torch with his movement power and the same youthful recklessness, and Jack-Jack has a wide variety of powers like the young son of Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman: Franklin Richards.
- The sequence where Frozone is kept at gunpoint by a nervous rookie cop 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 film 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 film 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 the player runs past 4-way intersections, and in the final level.
View the movie's transcript here.