Sunday, May 14, 2017

Tearjerker Blogathon - The Incredibles

The Incredibles is easily one of the best films I've ever seen. When Pixar, known for pumping out the highest-quality movies out there, decided to turn their attention to a superhero family, my interest shot through the roof.  As a toy collector, I loved their Toy Story movies, but as a comic book reader, I was even more stoked for this movie.
The Incredibles follows the titular Mr. Incredible as he's forced out of the superhero game and raises a family, all the time yearning for the chance to return to saving lives and beating up bad guys.  The beginning of the movie sees him marrying the flexible Elasti-girl, mowing down enemies on the way tot eh chapel.  Unfortunately, his exploits injures a number of civilians who sue him and the government that allowed him to operate outside of the law.  Superheroism is deemed illegal and anyone wearing a cape or mask goes back to the normal workforce.

The ensuing 9-to-5 life Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible's alter-ego) finds himself in is something I think we can all sympathize with - stuck in a dead-end job, living with the knowledge that we were meant for something greater.  I certainly feel like that ever day, bent over a desk, dealing with complaints that I can't do anything about, this desire for adventure burning within me.  Anyway, that's not the tearjerker part, although as I get older, it haunts me more and more.

While his wife is able to leave the superhero game behind and is content to raise their family - Violet, Dash, and baby Jack-Jack - Bob sneaks out with his friend, formerly known as Frozone, to find crimes to stop.  Saving tenants from a burning building doesn't turn out the way he wanted, which leads to a conflict with the police and an even bigger one with the missus.  That's not all he gets though, as an invitation comes in for some interesting work - addressed not to Bob, but Mr. Incredible, and the timing could not be better as he just loses his job for punching his boss through a building - haven't we all wanted to do that?

That's enough of a recap, though, because if you haven't seen this movie yet, just go out and watch it. Mr. Incredible's return to the superhero game, bringing his entire family along with him, is such an amazing story of redemption.  There are so many parts during the film that bring tears to my eyes - Dash on the water, Bob wanting to keep his family safe, the family triumphant - but there is one scene that always chokes me up; the airplane.
Just watching this clip before posting it got me weepy.  This scene is just perfect - the tension, the tech jargon, the rising music, the fear in the kids, Bob's reaction to finding out they're on board - it all comes together to create one of the greatest and most dramatic moment in film for me.  I love the fact that all of the call signs Helen uses are correct but comes down to her just crying "Abort, abort, abort!" near the end.  Bob's simple "No!" upon hearing there are children on board always chokes me up. Even seeing Mirage's face before that does.

Brad Bird does a fantastic job using this moment to illustrate a point that Helen makes to the kids later on - the enemies they face will not hesitate to kill them.  From that moment on, the threat is absolutely real, and the kids need to use their own abilities to keep each other safe.  The action only ramps up from there, culminating in a massive fight back in their home town.  

The Incredibles deserves to be on everyone's top ten movie list.  The voice cast is perfect, filled with smaller name actors who fit their roles to a tee.  Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter do a great job as Mr. Incredible and Elasti-girl, and Jason Lee does an amazing job as the vengeful Syndrome.  Even the kids' voice actors, who haven't had any other roles before this movie (and only a few after) do an amazing job bringing the bashful Violet and hyperactive Dash to life.  The biggest name in the movie is Samuel L. Jackson, playing Frozone, and he gets arguably the funniest scene in the movie.

I cannot tell you how excited I am that the much requested sequel is coming out next year.  So far there hasn't been any other news about it besides the entire cast returning, but I know we can expect to see the same humor, action, and of course a few tearjerker moments that made The Incredibles so endearing.

This post is made in part of Moon in Gemini's "No YOU'RE crying!" Blogathon.  Check out all the rest of the tearjerker moments on her blog and have the tissues ready!

8 comments:

  1. It never ceases to amaze me how the amazing artists who work in animation can manipulate us so, apparently, easily. Amazed and glad.

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    1. One of the many reasons I decided to go into animation myself. It has a crazy way of making tense or emotional scene that much more powerful when it's animated versus acted.

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  2. I almost chose this as my entry, but I'm glad that someone did! This is one of my very favorite films. I also have had tears come to my eyes in the scene where Dash runs across the water. When I first saw this movie, my son was almost the same age as Dash, and I recognized that gleeful laugh that Dash lets out at that moment. It's the laugh of a boy discovering his potential, finding out that he can do something he never even thought of before. The fact that Brad Bird and his team got that moment so perfectly right is very moving, and a testament to their greatness as filmmakers.

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    1. Dash's scene on the water always gets me too! I think pretty much everything Dash does on the island is awesome, but the laugh is just the best.

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  3. I can hardly wait for the sequel!! I absolutely loved this film.

    Your thoughtful review is a reminder of the things that make this a great movie. Like you said, the casting is perfect. And that scene in the airplane is gripping. Time to see this again! (Of course, it's always time to see this one again...)

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    1. I'm glad Brad Bird has finally figured out the story worthy of being a sequel. It's going to be awesome, no doubt, but it'll be hard to top this one as well.

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  4. I love it that you chose a film that one doesn't automatically think of as a tearjerker. That airplane scene is SO powerful!

    Thanks so much for bringing The Incredibles to the blogathon!

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    1. Thank you! I can never watch that scene without getting choked up.

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