Movie Review: ‘Incredibles 2’ an Incredible Sequel to The Incredibles

Incredibles 2

Incredibles 2

Anticipation for Incredibles 2 could be felt in the theatre on Media Preview day. We were hoping to be in awe of this movie just as we were almost a decade and a half ago when The Incredibles first blew us away.

Were we? To some degree, yes, we were. Incredibles 2 delivered impeccable animation, relentless action, relevant themes, and witty repartee. The story, however, remained pretty much the same. And this is not a bad thing since for many families this will be their first time watching the Parr family on the big screen.

NOTE: If you’ve read my book, “101 Movies to See Before you Grow Up,” then you and your family have probably seen The Incredibles (2004) at home — at least you should have by now. It’s movie number #22 in the book!

 

MOVIE SYNOPSIS

Elastigirl springs into action to save the day, while Mr. Incredible faces his greatest challenge yet — taking care of the problems of his three children.
In Incredibles 2, things are switched around at the Parr home when Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) is called to help make superheroes legal again. Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson), Mr. Incredible, has to stay home and take care if his kids — and he’s not prepared for his new role as Mr. Mom. Instead of being out there beating up bad guys, he has to deal with “adolescing” Violet (Sarah Vowell), annoying little brother Dash (Huck Milner), and out-of-control Jack Jack — who, by the way, steals the show!
The opening sequence of this movie is fast, furious and flashy. It establishes the pace for the rest of the movie, and it also refreshes our memory of where The Incredibles left off in 2004. They’re back battling the bad guys to protect the city, which is illegal. It’s contrary to what the authorities order them to do since they leave too much collateral damage behind.
A set of new characters includes Winston Deavor (Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk), and his sister Evelyn Deavor (Catherin Keener). Together they want to get all the superheroes back to their legal crime-fighting status, and they convince the Parrs to become advocates for all superheroes. Except, there’s  one person who doesn’t’ want this to happen (there’s always one of these). A lot (and I mean A LOT) of punches are exchanged in the process.
The focus in this movie is Helen Parr, Elastigirl. She leads this movie and is a force in her own right given the chance.  So, expect girl power to be front and center in this sequel (yes!). The dialogue is snappy and sharp, too. Some of the references may go over the younger set’s head, but this is signature Disney writing — a little bit for all ages to enjoy.

Something I always keep in mind when going to advanced screenings of family movies is that they’re meant to please everyone in the group – especially the kids. So, I tend to watch family films with a more open mind, and I cut them a little slack so I get the full entertainment value. This movie does just that. It’s the perfect family movie to kick off the summer break!

Before watching Incredibles 2, I asked a couple of the Pixar animators I’ve met, and who worked on this movie, to tell me what I needed to pay attention to while watching the movie; the technical advancements, a particular scene, or the overall aesthetic of the movie. Having a little insight about the process always enriches my movie-watching experience. I hope that by sharing their insight with you it will enhance your experience, too.

Frank Abney III and I met when he was working on Kung Fu Panda 2 at DreamWorks. His talent can be seen in Shrek, Frozen, Boss Baby, Big Hero 6, and the video game Tomb Raider. He’s now at Pixar and worked on Coco, too. He’s a talented and dedicated animator. He’s also very generous with information about this pain-stacking process of computer animation.

Dave Mullins is a supervising animator, and is the Oscar-nominated director of the animated short Lou. He’s worked at Pixar on everything from Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Inside Out and Coco. We met at the Coronado Island Film Festival in 2017 and have kept in touch.

This is what each of them told me to keep an eye out for while watching Incredibles 2. No spoilers or Easter egss, though.


Abney: Hard to say, there’s so much, hahaha!! I’d say the whole film. From lighting, to effects, to the animation, and level of detail in the sculpting of the muscles being activated on the characters. A lot of good stuff to look out for! I hope you like it!!

Check out the muscle activation on Elastigirl in the video below!

Mullins: The EXECUTION of the character designs have improved. Meaning the models, tools and our skills as animators have greatly improved. Back in 2002 we pushed the limits of what we could put on screen. The characters now closely match Tony Fucile’s designs and Kent Melton’s sculpts.

Tony Fucile is a 20-year animation veteran who’s worked on many Disney films. Fucile’s ability to capture emotion in a drawing and transmit it on film to advance the story is legendary.

Kent Milton is a sculptor and helped make characters for Aladdin, Hercules, The Lion King, Tarzan, and Tangled, to name a few. At Pixar he brought The Incredibles to life.

So, did I like the movie?

Of course I did! What’s not to like? Your family will like it, too.

Incredibles 2

Release date: June 15, 2018

Rated PG

Runtime 1 hour 58 minutes

 

 

 

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