Incredibles 2 Review
Disney Pixar is a very different place to what it was when Brad Bird’s The Incredibles hit the screen back in 2004. The lengthy wait between releases hopefully a thing of the past, with at least one feature coming out a year, not to mention the huge advancements in animation they’ve made and paved way for. It seems apt that the first thing you see in Incredibles 2 is a lush red landscape sporting Metroville in the background and a satisfyingly stylised rendition of the Disney Castle and Luxo Lamp at centre stage. Immediately, they remind you just how far Pixar has come and how much you’ve missed these supers.
Picking up moments after the original, Incredibles 2 sees Helen (Holly Hunter) taking up the role of main breadwinner for the Parr family as she is hired by DevTech owner Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk)and his sister/company tech director Evelyn (Catherine Keener). This leaves Bob (Craig T. Nelson) to deal with their home life - including a math-struggling Dash (Huck Milner), an angst-filled Violet (Sarah Vowell), and an unpredictable, uncontrollable super-powered Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile), who causes the most and hardest laughs of the film. Meanwhile, Elastigirl, the new face for the legalisation of supers, heads out to make the world a safer place. A thankless job doesn’t when new super-villain Screenslaver (Bill Wise) rises.
It is a welcome subversion of Helen and Bob’s roles seen in the original and used to great effect. Against a charged backdrop of prejudice against supers, Bird hits a bullseye in balancing aspects of the familial and the super. While Helen is being an out and out badass, shining in the loaded action sequences to rival Marvel, there is an equally stirring emotionality in the interactions between Bob and the kids. As much as it is a hilarious and exciting superhero animation, it is also a nuanced look at the struggles of being a good parent and being yourself in a society that tells you to stay hidden.
What certainly isn’t hidden in Incredibles 2, however, is the team’s care and attention for recreating and recapturing the iconic aesthetic of the original. The film takes everything that was great from the original (the retro-futuristic blend, the level of detail, juxtaposition of colours, etc.) and turns it up tenfold. It truly makes the most out of Pixar’s technological advancements; famously, animators struggled to translate Violet’s long hair to the screen during the animation-process for the original, but in its sequel, each strand is individually “oiled” and her locks are realistically messy. It’s the small things that make the big differences.
Bonus Features and Sneak Peeks
The disc extras include: The Coolest Guy in Show Business, Two SuperScene Breakdowns, Auntie Edna mini-movie, 10 Deleted Scenes with Introductions, Super Stuff, Heroes & Villains, Ralph Eggleston: Production Designer, Paths to Pixar: Everyday Heroes, SuperBaby, Commentary, Pixar Short: Bao, Making Bao, Outtakes & Stories, Character Theme Songs, Vintage Toy Commercial TV Spots, Toolkit Montage and Global Incredibles 2 Trailers.
Incredibles 2 is no more incredible than it in its digital and Blu-ray features. Special mention must be given to Strong Coffee, which is sure to quench the creative thirst of all animation fans, and Auntie Edna, a short filled to the brim with laughs.
Video and Audio
The richness of Incredibles 2 is perfectly translated to the small screen by the 1080p of Blu-ray. The action is full-blown and colours radiate off the screen, highlighting just how far their animation work has advanced in recent years. Similarly, its sound design is sufficiently shown-off, managing to capture every explosion and every brassy note of Michael Giacchino’s retro score.