It has been 14 years since Brad Bird and the still growing Pixar Animation Studios released one of their most ambitious films to date. Marketing for the film was very simple – it was a family of super heroes trying to live everyday life.
Little did we know, however, that it would turn into one of Pixar’s most mature films to date. Mature not in violence or sexuality (per Disney anyways), but mature in its story and themes. At its core, “The Incredibles” was about how resentment can turn into hate and can bring down even the mightiest of people.
Nearly a decade and a half later, “Incredibles 2” probably now takes the title for the most complex and mature Pixar movie that the studio has made. After having seen the film in advance last week, I make that statement with the following reasons.
Truthfully, I needed to see the film twice in order for me to get all the storylines connected in my head. While it is true that the movie does pick up where the first movie left off (The Underminer), it quickly injects new stories and complications that feel very genuine, but a little overwhelming in just the number of them. From there, each character and their own storyline interact throughout the movie pretty quickly. Put all that together and you have yourself a movie with a solid overall story, but worth watching twice to make sure you can put all the pieces together.
Very Contemporary Themes
One of my most favorite parts of the film are all the themes that arose in the writing. While we all think that superhero movies have the same themes (good vs. evil, etc.), you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that the ones in “Incredibles 2” come “left-field.” They might feel out of place because those themes range from women’s roles in society to a tech-addicted society itself. They are things that our very real world is experiencing everyday. To see all that play out in an animated, fictionalized world was quite surprising to see. It may not be to everyone’s delight in that they watch movies to escape the real world, but it works.
The “Incredibles” sequel isn’t completely separated from the first, however. They are both similar in that both films seem to put everything that a superhero movie is supposed to have into the background. At its core, “Incredibles 2” dives deeper into the Parr family’s lives after discovering that they can fight crime together. That said, you still will get a ton more action sequences in the second movie. You’ll have to wait more than a few minutes as much of the movie is narrative and is used to dive deeper into that family life. Again, it’s not something everyone will enjoy, but if you come looking to see superheroes try and get through their personal lives first and fighting for the lives of many second, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
With its a complex story structure, real-world themes, and a focus on the family, “Incredibles 2” is indeed a packed movie that kids might have a hard time thinking through. At the same time, it’s an incredibly fun and understandable movie. It’s truly a Pixar film in that they aren’t afraid of including complex things into their films (the miscarriage scene in “Up,” for example). But like “Up,” you will most likely have dialogue from these kids to their parents about what they see that can range from “Why is Elastigirl taking over and Mr. Incredible mad for it?” to “I really liked it!” In all, “Incredibles 2” may not be a kids movie, but kids – and older kids/parents – will get and enjoy every moment of it.
Details (from IMDB) –
- Runtime: 118 minutes
- Rating: PG for action sequences and some brief mild language
All reviews are personal opinions and may not reflect the attitudes of other writers for DisneyExaminer.com unless stated otherwise.
These films have been screened prior to the release date for review purposes and therefore are viewed without charge courtesy of The Walt Disney Studios.