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Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Incredibles -- Random Thoughts

I haven't really fleshed out all my thoughts on The Incredibles, and probably never will. It was a very thoughful movie, which is not something you expect from something made for kids. Here are some of the thoughts I had while watching:
  • The people in charge of casting the voices for this movie did a tremendous job, in particular their choices of Sarah Vowell as Violet and Jason Lee as Syndrome. I've always loved Jason's manic and exasperated voice, especially as the crazy lead singer in Almost Famous. He has an intensity that's perfect for comic-style animation. Sarah Vowell isn't even an actress(she's a radio host on NPR of all things), but she's perfect as Violet. Hearing Violet call Dash an "insect" was itself worth the price of admission. Everyone else is good, too, without being an obvious choice like Robin Williams or Eddie Murphy.
  • The set design and "look" of everything in the movie is AWESOME. You can sit there and look around at all the stuff, and not even pay attention to the story, and still have fun. Everything looks so cool, and that's really half the point of these 3-D animated features anyway, isn't it? The most impressive feature of the character models themselves is probably the hair. It totally looks like real hair! Syndrome is a bit over-the-top bad-guy-ish, but that's the only one I can think of that didn't just wow my ears off.
  • It has been mentioned before by many others (mostly due to the fact that I'm seeing this for the first time just now, almost a year after it came out), but I can't help nerdily pointing out that the powers of the Incredibles -- stretching, invisiblity/force fields, super-strength -- correspond exactly with the comic book super-team Fantastic Four (coming this summer to a theater near you, btw). Now, Bob isn't a big rock dude like the Thing, but he does have a rock-like look to him, particularly in the nose. And do you think it's a coincedence that when Syndrome grabs the baby at the end, the first thing it does is burst into flame? Human Torch, baby -- the last remaining piece of the Fantastic Four puzzle. Dash is the only one who doesn't fit in.
  • If you look up this movie on and go to the "trivia" section, you will find that there are hundreds of little references in the film to different comic books, movies, rooms at Pixar, etc. This, along with the awesome look and feel of the film, points to a zealous attention to detail. I don't have to tell you about the importance of this in making a good film, or even a good TV show. All the good ones have attention to detail as a hallmark. Plus, it makes things extra fun when you look for all the details. It also makes it enjoyable to watch again (which is something no doubt oodles of parents are thankful for, since their kids are going to want to watch this thing over and over again).
  • Much has been made of the themes of the movie, which are quite unusual for an a kids' adventure. For those who haven't seen it, I will spoil it by saying that the villain does what he does because of a vendetta against "supers", people who have natural super-human powers. He wants to be super himself, but he has no powers, so he works hard and comes up with all these inventions to get rid of all the superheroes and in the end defeat his creations and get the attention of being a superhero himself. He wants to make everyone a superhero, so he will later sell his inventions in order to make everyone a "superhero". He wants to make the exceptional normal, and so keep it from being exceptional. Now, as the story goes, the government has forbidden the "supers" from using their powers, and has put them in what looks like the Witness Protection Program and told them to live normal, quiet lives. The point of the movie seems to be that we should not try to marginalize, lock away, or minimize the exceptional. We should nurture and celebrate them so they can protect us from giant robots. There are the other family-type themes as well, but they're not as interesting to me. I don't know what all this means, but I'll keep thinking about it for a while, which is more than I could say about, say, Shrek II.
  • Most of what the philosophers are saying about this movie has to do with the Objectivism of Ayn Rand, which I hate. It's thankfully not an Objectivist movie, so let's forget this bullet point ever happened.
  • This was Pixar's first PG-rated project, and it features: kissing, real (3-D) danger, and the term "got bizzay", refering to having made babies.
  • This is a funny, smart, and rollicking movie. It actually rollicks. I'm starting to think that Eternal Sunshine and The Incredibles were the two best movies of 2004, and neither one of them were nominated for Best Picture. I am starting to, as they say, pity da foo. In this case, da foo is the Academy. I pity da foo dat nominates Ray.
I give it 4 1/2 out of 5 overpriced popcorns, and I can't really think of any good reason to dock it that half point other than it's animated and often not very subtle. So go see it, if you haven't already.


  • At 1:25 AM, Blogger Danny said…

    I really want to see the film now. Good review. Interesting tid-bit from the once great Nippon; the film was called "Mr. Incredible" over here. What a patriarchical society, no?
    BTW, are you okay? I think that this is the first day in about a month that I have checked out yo blogger and found nothing new. I hope that you don't have a flew or anything...take care of yourself. Me thinks that maybe you work to hard.
    きおつけって. (take care)
    Sorry for all the Japanese lately, I'm trying to study up a bit and have found that writing it out on the ole computer helps me quite a bit. Thanks for not minding...

  • At 1:42 PM, Blogger Mike Pape said…


    The Japanese just looks like question marks to me, so I just ignore it. Now that I mention it, most of what people say sounds like question marks to me. Do I have a problem?

    Your comments made me think of Mr. Sparkle from "The Simpsons". And you're right, I do work too hard. I'm working right now, in fact. Sometimes the blogging takes a back seat to other things.

    Thanks for reading.

  • At 7:09 PM, Blogger Danny said…

    I have a picture of the fish that looks like Homer Simpson...I think that maybe it was the inspiration for the episode.
    It shall be included in the scavenger hunt post.
    Sorry to bother so much. Lately I have been on break and have had nothing to do...thanks for enduring.


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