All original written content is (c) 2018 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed art is ©2012 and a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
THIS WEEK: America’s greatest super family and family of “supers” is finally back! This animated fantastic four (plus one) reunites Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Vowell and Eli Lucile, plus Huck Milner as Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Frozone, Violet, Jack-Jack and Dash, respectively. Billionaire CEO Winston Deavor (Bob BETTER CALL SAUL Odenkirk) and his tech- inventor sister Evelyn (been-in-everything Catherine Keener) recruit Helen Parr (Elastigirl) as part of a plan to restore the legality of superheroes, while secretive villain Screenslayer tries to sabotage it…all while Mr. I tries to take care of the kids and handling baby JJ’s new “poly-morph” powers.
Written and directed by Brad Bird (INCREDIBLES, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL, TOMORROWLAND, RATATOULIE, THE IRON GIANT, etc.)
- Picks up right where the first one left off! The family fights John Ratzenberger’s “The Underminer”, with disastrous results that set the rest of the plot in motion. (Think Sokovia Accords in Marvel’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR.)
- Animation amazement, as you’d expect! Having re-watched the first INCREDIBLES the day before, even your non-artist pal Bru could tell how much the technical and movement stuff has improved. (I didn’t need art-monkey Pascale to tell me, even though he did anyway. Dude likes to shoot his dumb artist-mouth off.) The way the characters moved, reacted and stuff, plus things like water and rocks/trees all looked better than ever. (Thankfully, Elastigirl still has her shapely big butt and tiny waist.)
- Gobs of Pixar-style hilarity, both physical and verbal, especially with Brad Bird’s pushy designer Edna (“E”) Mode and (my favorite) incredible-infant Jack-Jack. That kid is a laugh machine! Every time he uses his powers is worth a smile if not a giggle or guffaw. (Even if I’m not drunk.) The angry rants by Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) about “changing math” (as seen in the preview) and “rolling with the punches” are priceless. And don’t miss the quick exchanges between him and Lucius Best (Frozone) when he visits and sees JJ’s powers for the first time.
- Battle of the year? Forget Thanos vs. Avengers. It’s Baby vs. Raccoon!
- The cast worked well together. All the major voice actors from the original were back except Dash’s, probably because Spencer Fox is now 25 instead of 11. (Of course, there’s no Syndrome appearance, since he was rather violently blown up). But the voices really don’t sound 14 years older—even Jack-Jack’s! Some may hear a bit of a slow-down in Craig T. Nelson’s now that he’s 74, but it fits perfectly with the worn-out Bob Parr who becomes a stay-at-home super-Dad.
- Very solid simple “linear” story. No fancy sub-plots to get in the way, but still some good plot-twists and double-crosses to keep you on your toes (even though I managed to figure one out fairly early, but that’s because I’m beer-smart). But there are a few side-stories about adolescence, parenting, responsibilities and that kinda thing.
- Along those lines, there’s even a fairly deep discussion about the nature of superheroes and the overall laziness and insecurity of current culture. The kind of thing you’d talk and yell about at a bar or on Facebook after too many beers.
- A few if not more “easter eggs” and in-jokes, like a hidden Mickey Mouse and such.
- Several brand new “supers” of all different types (and ethnic backgrounds, PC-police). As in the first, they have some great names and powers.
- More family-friendly than depressing and preachy past Pixar like INSIDE OUT or “deep” ethnic family stuff like COCO. (That is reserved for the opening short, “Bao,” about an Asian dumpling come to life. Very cute, sweet and touching.) It may be current blasphemy, but no family members die! Which means, of course, it can’t win an Oscar, but screw that. Who sez an animated flick can’t just be fun for once?
- From the start, you’ll notice a completely different voice for agent Rick Dicker (perfect “almost dirty” name, eh?). Sadly, original Rick voice actor Bud Luckey passed away earlier this year. This film was dedicated to him. (MIKE: Bud Luckey was a Pixar character designer, an animation great who started with ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS and the MAD MAGAZINE TV SPECIAL, worked for SESAME STREET for 12 years and later became only the fifth employee hired at Pixar. He wrote, directed, voiced and designed all the characters for the pre-INCREDIBLES short, “Boundin’,” and designed a slew of classic Pixar characters including Woody from TOY STORY. He also voiced Eeyore in the 2011 WINNIE THE POOH movie and series.)
- This one is also just under two hours long, which might be too long for some of today’s ADHD kids (or their gnat-attention-span parents) to take.
- Being a senior citizen superhero named “Reflux” with fiery bad breath. “Medical condition or super-power?”
- No cameo by Jessica Rabbit or any other big-chested ‘toon babes. The curse of a family flick.
- Winston Deavor’s company is called DevTech, but it has nothing to do with the real consulting company Devtech Systems. (Lawsuit?)
- No button during or after the credits, but that’s normal for most Pixar movies these days. However, the animation and music during the credits are some of the best ever and definitely worth staying for. (MIKE: I swear Tom Jones is one of the singers in the ending medley!)
Every bit as fun (and not as dark) as the first one, just different (I’m now drooling for a Jack-Jack solo film or websieries.) Though best in the theater, I’m gonna grab the DVD/Bluray for all the inevitable incredible extras, plus being able to pause and check out the background fun and unseen gags. Probably the best animated film of the last year or two, even better than LEGO BATMAN. (Don’t bother with 3-D, although IMAX and D-BOX are probably very cool—gotta see it on the big screen before TV.)
P.S.:How about some incredible ORIGINAL ART? Time to get some cool characters, hot babes, big beefcake, monsters, adorable animated characters, killer cars or whatever you want–Pascale can make you something wall-worthy. Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are not those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, DevTech, Devtech Systems, Pixar, Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Jim Henson Co., DC, CW, WB, M-O-U-S-E, FBI, CIA, NSA, Sweet F.A. or supers, dupers or Mimi-Coopers. If Bru were a super, he’d probably go with Beer Gut, Baron Boxershort or Powerporn…but he would only help himself and hot chicks. (Of course.)