#6: The Incredibles — dir. Brad Bird
Everyone points to Toy Story as the point when Pixar blasted on the scene. For me, it was The Incredibles that was the game changer. This was not necessarily a film for kids. This was a film for adults that kids could enjoy. It got a PG rating. It eviscerated the superhero formula while being totally honorable to it. It covered not only adult angst but teen angst and childhood angst. What good are these powers if I don’t use them? Can I stop being a hero because of my family? Why should I hold back when I’m great?
The action was remarkable, very fast and fun and exciting, but it was the family moments that got me. Edna Mole and Frozone are funny and all, but it’s the dynamic between Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl, and Violet and Dash and Jack-Jack that were the most powerful. The story is totally organic. And Syndrome is such a wonderful villain. Again, he just wanted to be a superhero, but he had no powers. So he made his own powers. And they laughed at him and told him to go away. And so he became evil. THAT’s an awesome origin story.
Pixar realized that kids love cartoons, so they’ll watch most anything, and then they turned out Wall-E, Ratatouille, and Up. Those aren’t really kid movies. Sure, there’s the cute robot and the little cartoon mouse and the dog Dug who shouts SQUIRREL, but honestly, those films speak to adults. Even Toy Story 3 was more aimed at older kids who grew up on the first Toy Story.
And as much as I loathe sequels, as I feel like they’re just wringing a cash cow udder, I am super excited for The Incredibles 2.