“They keep finding new ways to celebrate mediocrity,” grumbles Bob Parr, once known as Mr. Incredible, the patriarch of a superhero family languishing in middle-class suburban exile. He is referring to a pointless ceremony at his son’s school, but his complaint is much more general, and it is one that animates “The Incredibles,” giving it an edge of intellectual indignation unusual in a family-friendly cartoon blockbuster. [...]
The intensity with which “The Incredibles” advances its central idea ? it suggests a thorough, feverish immersion in both the history of American comic books and the philosophy of Ayn Rand ? is startling. At last, a computer-animated family picture worth arguing with, and about! Luckily, though, Bird’s disdain for mediocrity is not simply ventriloquized through his characters, but is manifest in his meticulous, fiercely coherent approach to animation.
A veteran of both “The Simpsons” and “King of the Hill,” Bird was also responsible for “The Iron Giant,” an exquisite and poignant variation on the sensitive robot theme and one of the most dazzling attempts so far by an American filmmaker to match the strangeness and lucidity of Japanese anime. The clean, modernist lines of “The Incredibles” suggest an attempt to bring some of the beautiful flatness of anime into three dimensions. In contrast to the antic busyness of movies like “Shrek 2″ and “Shark Tale” ? and even to the kinetic bright colors of other Pixar productions like “Monsters, Inc.” and “Finding Nemo” ? “The Incredibles” is spare and precise.
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Reviewer David Brudnoy sees Ayn Rand connections as well, and gives the movie an A- overall.
Watch the Incredibles trailer for a taste of the actual movie.