The "normal" family of The Incredibles celebrates 17 years

The normal family of The Incredibles celebrates 17 years

It seems like an eternity has passed, since a "normal" family of superheroes appeared on our screens, born directly from the minds of the Pixar house, published by Walt Disney Picture if from a script written and directed by Brad Bird, already a father at the time of The iron giant (1999) and close to the completion of other works, such as Ratatouille (2007) or Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011). The protagonists of this story wore very tight red rompers, but only when they were in action and no one excluded, not even the newborn with the cute tuft. Let's talk about The Incredibles, the film released in Italy on November 26, 2004, but anticipated from American cinemas on November 5 of the same year. Let's rediscover this story, so far lived only in two cinematic chapters and in as many videogame titles.

The Incredibles, a normal family with extraordinary powers

Who are the real protagonists of this animated film ? Let's start with the parents of the "incredible family" we are dealing with: we meet Bob / Mr. Incredible and Helen / Elastigirl, accompanied by three children: Violetta, an "invisible" teenager, Flash, a hyperactive pre-adolescent, and the little Jack-Jack, who at times even knows how to transform himself into a monster. This "very normal" family finds itself having to overcome the typical generational misunderstandings and join forces to save each other. Set in an alternate version of the American 1960s, the film follows the Parrs, a family of superheroes who hide their powers in accordance with a government mandate, and try to live a quiet suburban life. Perhaps not quite so peaceful, at least for Mr. Incredible: his desire to help people draws his entire family into a confrontation with a vengeful antagonist, Buddy Pine.

Public opinion is in fact now in revolt against Superheroes due to the collateral damage caused by their fight against crime. After several lawsuits, the government, including Rick Dicker, initiates the superhero relocation program, forcing them to permanently give up their secret identities and abandon their extraordinary feats. Fifteen years later from this decision by the institutions, the Parr and their children find themselves like any suburban family in Metroville, but Bob can't stand the mundanity of his suburban lifestyle and his "white collar" job. .

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To wreak some havoc, she partners up with his best friend, Lucius Best, formerly known as Frozone, and Bob occasionally relives "the glory days" working as a vigilante in the clear moon. But soon he will have to go back to saving the world even in the open, more or less literally: after his dismissal for an overreaction at work, he receives a message from a woman named Mirage: to destroy a wild robot, similar to a tripod, Omnidroid, on the remote island of Nomanisan. This task makes him really rediscover the almost forgotten and very tasty flavor of adventure, so much so that he improves his relationship with his family and begins a rigorous physical training, while waiting for another assignment from Mirage.

Edna Mode and the island of Nomanisan

Because of her "incredible" activities, Bob wears his suit to have the superhero costume designer Edna Mode repair a tear, who also makes clothes for the rest of the family . Leaving once again for Nomanisan, Bob discovers that Mirage works for Buddy Pine, a former fan he had turned down as her aide and who has now become a ruthless inventor and wealthy arms dealer. He also perfected the Omnidroid, hiring several superheroes to fight it. The Syndrome intends to send the perfected Omnidroid to Metroville, where it will secretly manipulate its controls to defeat it in public and become a "hero" himself. Later he will sell his inventions so that everyone can become "superheroes" and effectively nullifying the difference in power between heroes and normal and ordinary people.

Thus also begins the adventures for Elastigirl, who borrows a private plane to go to Nomanisan and discovers that the children Violetta and Dash have left the youngest Jack-Jack with a babysitter, Kari. Helen's radio transmissions are picked up by Syndrome, which sends anti-aircraft missiles to shoot down the aircraft, but without killing the mother and children, who reach the island thanks to their powers. Helen infiltrates the base and discovers the plan of the Syndrome. Baffled by the indifference of the Syndrome when her life was threatened, Mirage releases Bob and informs him of the survival of her family. Helen arrives and runs off with Bob to find their children. Dash and Violet are chased by the Syndrome guards, but they repel them with their powers before reuniting with their parents. The Syndrome captures them all, leaving them imprisoned as it follows the rocket carrying the Omnidroid to Metroville.

The Incredibles flee to Metroville in another rocket with the help of Mirage. Thanks to his advanced artificial intelligence, the Omnidroid recognizes the Syndrome as a threat to himself and fires from the remote control on his wrist, making him unable to control it and knocking him unconscious. The Incredibles and Lucius fight the Omnidroid together, but returning home, the Incredibles find Syndrome, which plans to kidnap Jack-Jack and raise him as his helper, in revenge. As the Syndrome flies towards his jet, Jack-Jack's superpowers manifest and he escapes the Syndrome in mid-air. Helen catches Jack-Jack, and Bob throws his car at Syndrome's plane as it embarks. The Syndrome is sucked into the jet turbine by its own cloak and the plane explodes, with all due respect to the whole community.

The production of the film and The Incredibles 2

Bird, which He was Pixar's first outside director, he developed the film as an extension of his childhood 1960s comics and spy films. He presented the film to Pixar after the box office disappointment of Warner Bros. for his first feature, The Iron Giant, and involved a large part of his staff to develop this title released in 2004. The production team was tasked with animating a all-human cast, which required the creation of new technologies to realize human anatomy in detail: from clothing to skin and other details. Michael Giacchino composed the orchestral score of the film, contributing to the creation of an excellent product that, between adventure and superhero costumes, tells of family love, the courage that daily life needs and the value of "normality".

The original voice cast also features none other than Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Spencer Fox, Jason Lee, Samuel L. Jackson and Elizabeth Peña. The film premiered on October 27, 2004 at the BFI London Film Festival and performed well at the box office, grossing $ 633 million worldwide during its first theatrical release. In addition, The Incredibles received wide acclaim from critics and audiences, winning two Academy Awards and the Annie Award for Best Animated Film. It was the first fully animated film to win the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.

Let's not forget that its sequel, The Incredibles 2, was released on June 15, 2018, bringing the vitality of this beautiful and powerful family. In this second film, set after the death of Syndrome, the Incredibles and Frozone fight the Underminer, while first loves are born with Violetta's crush, Tony Rydinger, who discovers his identity as a superhero, causing the Agent Rick Dicker erases her memory. A film that has certainly not lost the luster of the first episode, but that's a whole other story.

Not just movies: videogames

A first video game based on the film and from the title of the same name was released in 2004 for consoles, Game Boy Advance, PC and mobile. Although based on the film, several key scenes have been changed from the original script. A second game, The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer, focuses on Mr. Incredible and Frozone battling the Underminer, but the storyline was later changed from Incredibles 2. A third game, The Incredibles: When Danger Calls, was released for Windows and OS X and is a collection of 10 games and activities featuring various playable characters. The roundup does not end here: a fourth game, The Incredibles: Escape from Nomanisan Island has been released as a PC title by Backbone Entertainment, an action-adventure game in which the incredibles try to escape from Nomanisan Island by facing wave after wave of the evil forces of their enemy, Syndrome.

Another game, Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure, was released on March 20, 2012 for Xbox 360 and includes characters and missions from five Pixar films: in addition to The Incredibles, we also find Up, Cars , Ratatouille and Toy Story. Finally, a LEGO-themed video game, Lego The Incredibles, was released by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and was released on June 15, 2018 on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PlayStation.

The human side of an extraordinary hero

The Incredibles showed how superheroes always appeal to the youngest audience. But why do masked heroes attract the attention of children so much? There are those who are ready to swear that superheroes are deleterious for young people, and infantile for adults, while others find depth and maturity in these figures and in all the products connected to them. So what can superheroes teach to the new generations (but also to the more "mature" ones)? We would dare to make our own judgment about it: in the end, like so many other superpowered characters, from Batman to Superman, passing through the entire MCU, even such an "incredible" family has on its side a human side that is definitely shown on the screen and able to give a fundamental teaching. As powerful and different as we may be, we must not forget our origins of pure flesh, bone and spirit.

Collect the characters from the film in Funko POP! by Elastigirl, Jack-Jack and Violetta!

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