Recently, this column reviewed "X-Men," which is about a team of sometimes mismatched superheroes. The concept of a team of superheroes usually involves alliances between unrelated individuals who are forced to come together to overcome a world problem none of them could confront as a solo fighter. 2004's Oscar-winning animated film "The Incredibles" offers a different take on how a group of individuals transform into a successful superhero team.
In "The Incredibles," Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl (voiced by Holly Hunter) were once powerful crime fighters. Now, they are an ordinary, middle-aged married couple with three lively children. The beleaguered parents are flummoxed by the same mundane situations that average suburban families confront. For example, their son, Dash, often gets into minor trouble at school. Also, their daughter, Violet, struggles to get noticed by the guys that she likes. Mr. Incredible misses the grandeur of being a celebrated hero. He gets to chance to relive his old life when he is summoned to a mysterious island. Unfortunately, this is a trap set up by an enemy he made years ago.
"The Incredibles" has a great cast. Craig T. Nelson is very good in the lead role. We see that he was very good at being a superhero, and we understand why being a father and husband is underwhelming to him. Holly Hunter is also great as Elastigirl, who is also a tough, feisty hero. The perfectionist is dedicated to being the best possible mom. Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl make a great team. Another strong performance is by Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Lucius, their friend, a hero with freezing powers.
The filmmakers place the Incredibles in classic scenes requiring bravery and agility. A favorite depicts Mr. Incredible and Lucius saving several people from a burning building. Even though we have all seen superheroes rescue people from burning buildings, this scene is tense and fun.
"The Incredibles" ranks among the best animated films of the 2000s.