'Incredibles' Shows Pixar's Super Powers
Friday, November 5, 2004; 10:55 AM
"There's no question that this weekend's boxoffice returns will be incredible -- the only question is how incredible. The current king of animation, Pixar Animation Studios, is poised to extend its perfect record to 6-for-6 as the Walt Disney Co.'s Buena Vista Distribution unleashes 'The Incredibles' to an eager marketplace," Hollywood Reporter wrote today.
The Hollywood Reporter: BoxOffice Preview: 'The Incredibles' Journey Begins
"After 'The Incredibles' hits theaters today, the world of superheroes may never be the same," declared Iowa's Sioux City Journal. Nor will animation, the article concludes. "Lifting the mask that shrouds the personal lives of crimefighters, the animated comedy shows what they do after retirement. It's a tongue-in-cheek look at a popular genre, but it's also a representation of the strides made in animation. As detailed in 'The Art of The Incredibles,' a new companion book, filmmakers got one step closer to making humans look believable. In earlier films ('Finding Nemo,' 'Toy Story' and 'Monsters Inc.') humans kept a distance -- computers couldn't do them justice. Now the cartoony Parr family comes as close to reality as director Brad Bird can get."
Sioux City Journal: New Book Details Creation of 'The Incredibles' Film
In its review, Wired News today notes that Bird -- the talent behind the critically admired 1999 financial flop "The Iron Giant" -- wrote and directed the new release, "but as with previous Pixar films, this is obviously an effort by a group of artists, filmmakers and techies who sincerely love the material with which they are working. ... Some filmgoers still raise their noses at animation, but 'The Incredibles' is undeniably an example of quality filmmaking. The Pixar animators, as much as any skilled cinematographer, understand how to effectively frame a shot, when to shift styles and how to make great use of color. [The film's] 'set design,' while not as gorgeous as Nemo's undersea backdrops, gives the film a rich, multidimensional and slightly cartoonlike look. It fits the story perfectly," the publication said. "Pixar's winning streak -- now at six films made over nine years -- is nearly unprecedented in Hollywood history. In a day when filmgoers seem increasingly suspicious of the blockbuster formula, Pixar has cracked the code. The keys: smart writing, a focus on story, plenty of all-ages humor and a sincere depth of feeling for the characters. Plus, of course, eye-bending animation."
Wired News: Incredibles: Another Pixar Winner
USA Today's review noted the power of the film's animation. "'The Incredibles' is one of the year's most clever and visually arresting computer-animated films, enlivened by a well-developed and credible cast of characters who just happen to be superheroes. Though not as endearing as 'Finding Nemo' or as cheeky as 'Shrek 2,' the film is a raucous adventure that celebrates the joys and messy complexities of family life. The animation has a unique style, artfully blending a futuristic quality with a retro '50s look," the paper said.
USA Today: 'Incredibles': Family Dynamic in Visual Overdrive
How did the tech wizards do? The Merc review glows: "Bird unwittingly demanded some of the toughest stuff to digitally animate: hair, fabric, dozens of scene changes and, most difficult of all, people. And not just one person, but a family of five and a group of supporting characters -- all of whom get close-ups. In short, 'The Incredibles' goes where no purely computer-animated film has gone before. Through the combination of cutting-edge technology and the subtleties of facial animation, body gestures and caricature, it convinces you that the digital actors are alive. Animated, yes, but alive."
The San Jose Mercury News: That's Incredible (Registration required)
More on the top-notch animation, from The Washington Post: "While 'Incredibles' doesn't have the visual lusciousness that marked 'Nemo' -- or the high-stakes, heart-rending pull that comes with the traditional 'Bambi's mommy is dead!' kid-film moment -- Pixar geeks will love the trademark high-tech animation, including Elastigirl's ability to slither into all means of Twister-like positions, and a wonderful sequence when Dash finally lets loose his superhuman speed on the island."
The Boston Globe: Look! Up in the Sky! It's a Flabby Suburban Dad!
The Washington Post: 'Incredibles': Pixar Uses Its Powers for Good (Registration required)