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"The Incredibles"

What a great film this is! I’m a big Pixar film fan in any case, and once again I felt like this film just nailed it. As always the animation is superb, cartoony enough so you’re never distracted into wondering if it’s “real” (although I do have to add that the volcanic island is breath-taking, and at times I did a double-take as to if it was really computer generated..)
The characters are also very good, although I didn’t end up caring for Mr. Incredible and co. in quite the same way as I did for, say Nemo or Woody. But this is clearly a franchise scenario – expect Incredibles 2 any time soon – so I guess there’s a bit more space for character development yet. The story and script are just fab, absolutely spot on. That said, I wouldn’t come away quoting any one-liners; in many cases the comedy was visual (Elastigirl in particular is pure genius here – whoever thought of that super-trait needs promotion! I can’t say too much without spoiling, sadly)
The only thing that surprised me about the film was how… well I’m torn between wanting to say “dark” and wanting to say “true”. People actually die in this film – usually quite violently – although not at all graphically. One sequence goes through a serious of super-heroes demising through mechanisms such as being sucked into a jet turbine (which, to be fair it is actually quite funny! I won’t say why it’s funny, find out for yourself). In another sequence, there’s the list of supers who have been killed by the baddies. Speaking of baddies, no end of these get killed, mainly through being blown up in their aircraft. In any other cartoon you’d expect them to miraculously escape harm (beyond being dazed), but this particular film established very early on that people actually get hurt – after all a significant premise is that people start sueing the supers because of injuries they sustained while being rescued. Don’t get me wrong, by no means is it blood and guts – for instance when the super is sucked into the turbine, the turbine is panned off-screen, just behind the super, who also suddenly disappears off screen, followed by a slightly off-screen explosion and an emergency alarm sound from the cockpit. The implication is inescapable, but not actually shown.
I found surprisingly few ‘in-jokes’ too, perhaps I’m getting too old, but references to other films where obvious by their absence. The best example (non-example?) is at one point where the speedy little boy (“dash”) is being chased around a forest-type setting. A nod at Return of the Jedi is screaming to be made, but none particularly is. I guess the whole sequence/concept is one big nod – a low level rush through tree trunks – but I felt the irony was lacking, somehow.
Speaking of Star Wars, they also had the trailer for Episode III, which I already watched on da ol’ PC, but is so much better on the big screen.
In summary, another hit from Pixar. Kids will love it (although it might lead to conversations about death – “Mummy, what happened to that person when they got sucked into a jet turbine?”), and adults should enjoy it too. Can’t wait for the next one.
Seen at Ster Century, Leeds

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